I am in Italy and have just given my first private English lesson to two thirty-something, degree-level-educated Italian friends. Both are false beginners and want to continue lessons, one a week. I do have a CELTA but have never used it and it was 5 years ago, also the course was focused more on teaching classes rather than very small groups. I feel a bit overwhelmed and am not sure how to give the students the best possible learning experience. Any tips would be much appreciated.
Their English lessons at school were heavy on the grammar and very, very light on the speaking and listening, so I'd like to get them speaking and listening to me speak as much as possible, even if their English isn't perfect at first. I am trying to speak only English in the lessons, but I'm not sure if that's unrealistic. They don't understand instructions very well.
I think they panic when faced with the book (English Unlimited, Starter) because it makes it feel like school, where neither of them had a good experience of learning English. I'm worried that some exercises are too easy for them, but also that they rush through things because they want to show they 'can do it' and they keep on making the same mistakes. Like one wanted to ask "When did you come back to Italy?" except he kept saying, 'come back *in Italy' and although I corrected him and he would nod and be able to say the sentence fragment correctly, a second later he would say the full sentence and make the same mistake again. How do you get them to slow down and really think about what they're saying, without making them feel like they're back in school? Do you think it is possible to use more games and things and less of the book, in the early lessons, and still actually teach them something? I think 'input' is the thing I find most difficult - I can get them practicing, and communicating, but I don't know how to introduce a grammar point in an interesting way.
Sorry, this is all a bit rambling. Just looking for tips and suggestions, really. I don't quite know where to start!