Starting out as a 1-2-1 teacher

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Starting out as a 1-2-1 teacher

Unread postby JimStrother » 05 Feb 2012, 19:37

Dear Lucy

I have trawled your very helpful forum but still need a little guidance please.

I have just completed the four week International House Celta course (phew! - hard work but I recommend it). I have another job working from home, but want to get into TEFL, teaching on a one-to-one basis at home, probably focusing on business clients but happy to take on any age or background. If it goes well I would like to increase my teaching and reduce/give up the other job, and potentially work abroad also in due course. But for now it's as above.

Where I need help is in how to plan a course for my first client. I understand your point about knowing the student, so I won't make any decisions until I have one. I have had a quick look at the New English File that you recommended and it seems good, similar to Language to Go and Cutting Edge which we used at IH, but more up to date. Please can you help with the following:

Do you recommend English File for adult students being taught 1-2-1? If not, any suggestions?
Is a text book (student and teacher) sufficient for me to plan a course of lessons, bearing in mind I've done the CELTA course so I have some basic experience of teaching classes?
What is the best method of testing a new student to ensure I've got the right level?
Whilst I am happy to buy books if I'm going to use them myself, am I expected to provide one for each student?
Would my plan look something look this:
Meet student - get to know student's background and needs - test student to ascertain level in all four skills - buy appropriate set of books - lay out an intended syllabus for me and the student, with flexibility to adapt as required - get teaching!

Thanks very much
Jim
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Re: Starting out as a 1-2-1 teacher

Unread postby Lucy » 08 Feb 2012, 22:53

Hi Jim,

Congratulations on completing your course. I think you have a great plan for moving into teaching. I've copied your questions into this post and answered them below.

Do you recommend English File for adult students being taught 1-2-1? If not, any suggestions?
I've used it in 1-2-1 classes and it has worked fine. The teacher needs to take one of the parts in any pairwork but that would be true of any book with pairwok.

Is a text book (student and teacher) sufficient for me to plan a course of lessons, bearing in mind I've done the CELTA course so I have some basic experience of teaching classes?
Yes, this will be enough for an average English lesson. You would only need to supplement this if your students has specific needs or requests. I think a course book and a teacher's book is the easiest and best route. Most course books have been extensively researched and piloted so they usually work well; and it will save you re-inventing the wheel.

What is the best method of testing a new student to ensure I've got the right level?
You can use a placement test. There are many free placement tests available on the web; you just need to google that. Some books start with a placement test.

Whilst I am happy to buy books if I'm going to use them myself, am I expected to provide one for each student?
No, you can ask the student to buy his/her book.

Would my plan look something look this:
Meet student - get to know student's background and needs - test student to ascertain level in all four skills - buy appropriate set of books - lay out an intended syllabus for me and the student, with flexibility to adapt as required - get teaching!
Yes, this looks like a great plan. I don't know what your time frame is on this. You may not want to test all 4 skills and language in the first lesson; that may be too much.

All the best,
Lucy
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