A few months ago one of my students mentioned to me that she would be traveling to America in a few months and asked me if I would help her to finalize all of the reservations with the hotel, tour bus and rental car by phone.
She would gather all of the information by herself over the internet but she asked me to do the actual phone conversation.
I have done this many times for my students over the years. I have made phone calls to numerous countries over the years and I really enjoy providing this extra service for my students who are traveling abroad.
However, this past time… I decided to challenge my student in a unique way so I said
“No, I don’t think I am going to make that phone call for you. Instead I am going to teach you how to make those hotel and car rental reservations. We are going to practice and practice and then one day you will make that phone call. Don’t worry because I will be sitting next to you.”
She stared at me in disbelief and was silent for about 15 seconds.
I simply stared back with a grin on my face.
This particular student was taking the man-to-man private course so I knew I could spend time focusing on her exact needs over the next few lessons.
Over the next month we studied, reviewed and role played the lessons in our curriculum which are focused on hotel reservations, car rentals and restaurants.
We offer these lessons as part of our curriculum and we also offer them as a “Short-term travel course” here at Smith’s School of English.
We especially drilled on the reservations because I was going to hold her to the challenge.
I explained to her that when you are speaking to a native English speaker on the telephone it is very important to always control the conversation.
You are still studying English and your level is not good enough to begin “free-talking” with a native speaker over the phone.
You MUST control the conversation and if you do not understand something, please ask them to repeat it again slowly.
Be comfortable and tell them you don’t speak English so well but you are doing your best and ask them to please understand.
If you are honest with them right away, people will understand and speak slower and in simpler terms.
I remember when the big day came!
We finished one more final review of the reservation lessons and it was time to call the toll-free reservation numbers in the U.S.A.
She was very nervous but she had her information written down in simple sentences and I reminded her one more time to immediately take control of the conversation.
Relax I said; I am here and I know you will do fine.
She was on the phone for about 15 minutes total. She told me it felt like an hour.
I sat nearby during the call just in case I had to assist in an emergency, but she did great!
I was so proud of her! So proud!
She had spent 6 weeks preparing for this big day and she had finally done it.
When she finished on the phone she was exhausted but I could tell by her smile that she was so happy. 短期月謝制コース
She could not believe that she had actually spoken in English on the phone by herself and made her own travel arrangements successfully!
I said “I told you, I knew you could do it!”
She said “thank you” to me about 100 times but I know it was her who had made the greatest effort.
I said “Thank you” to her for making my day.
That moment was priceless and it’s those kinds of moments that truly define our roles here teaching English in Japan.
Smith’s School of English Nara – Saidaiji
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 奈良 － 西大寺校
http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/saidaiji.shtml 英会話 西大寺 奈良市