some students come for chat while others really have a serious goal in mind. One such student wanted to pass a tour guide test which had an English section, another was hoping to get a promotion at their company and yet another student wanted to prepare for their study abroad trip. Today one student came in and as there were no other students in their class he asked if we could discuss how to write essays as it seems to be his Achille’s heal. We went over the different styles and how we can use proverbs, quotations as well as numbers to help add some “kick” to his persuasive essays. With the small classes it’s easy to shift gears and focus in on a new topic if you feel that everyone is benefitting from it. For me it brings excitement into the classroom and keeps things fresh. I wonder what request my students will have next week…
Al Bartle says
How true! Students have a wide variety of needs. One of the issues in the case of complete beginners though is finding a way to tactfully convince them that before they take the TOEIC test, for example, they need to master basic conversation skills and that may take some time. I have had several trial students who were complete beginners but the first think they said was that they wanted to take the TOEIC next month. I tell them “you can do that, but do not expect to get many points on your first try”. Unfortunately, that often turns them off to studying with me and they do not join. (They seem to be searching for a “magic English pill”.) I am still searching for a more tactful way to reply in such cases. On the other hand higher level students understand where they are on the English “mountain of proficiency attainment” and can more readily appreciate my candid comments. Especially, Man-to-Man students have such requests as you mention and helping them acquire such knowledge and skills as you mention is truly rewarding. I hope we can get all of our students to that level and beyond, even the pure beginners. If they make the effort needed, they will succeed and eventually can make use of the level of instruction that you are providing your higher level students. Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your posts and the artwork is great too!
Glad you liked the posting…appreciate yours too. Keep up the good work Al.