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ESL forum > Ask for help > One-to-one video conference lessons with shy student, HELP!    

One-to-one video conference lessons with shy student, HELP!


One-to-one video conference lessons with shy student, HELP!
Hi everybody

I just have this little problem with this student, and I d love your advise on it.

He is a student (an adult man) with an advanced level but he is very shy (or maybe he doesn t want to speak Disapprove ), this is not too bad; the problem comes now: our lessons are via video conference!! I d love to chat with him longer; he s got the level to have great conversations about any topic BUT it seems that he just doesn t want to speak or make the effort or maybe he s very shy, I don t know but it s a bit frustrating. 
His answers are usually Yes, I do; No, I haven t, etc. (you know what I mean). I feel like I don t have as many techniques as I usually have on a one-to-one "normal" lesson (and believe me I ve got quite a lot!!)

Do you have any advise for me? Have you experienced a similar situation? What can I do?

Thanks a lot for your answers.

I hope all is well for you.

Much love (and have a great weekend!!!)

3 Sep 2010      


Hi, Try to avoid yes/no questions. Ask questions with how, why, where, who.
eg How do you feel about.........
What s your opinion on......
How long have you......
Why did you......
If you watch TV interviewers, this is the technique that they use.
Cheers Joy

3 Sep 2010     


what do you ask him to prepare for the next lesson? maybe he s not really interested in the themes/documents you ask him to prepare, so he hasn t much to say... for example, i found that my pupils - no matter how old they are - tend to speak more if I give them documents they are interested in!
have a nice day!

3 Sep 2010     



A good technique that I use sometimes is to get your students to ask you questions. Have him ask you about your day or get him to ask your opinion on certain things. Have him lead the  conversation - and maybe you can do some "Yes, I do", "Maybe..." and "No, I dont" ... just so he can see how frustrating it is at times carrying the conversation by oneself.


3 Sep 2010     


Another technique that I use sometimes:
I take two puppets and the student will have to pretend he is both characters, most probably one hand will ask and the other will answer....And as it is a video conference,you will have to monitor the conversation and mark down his mistakes... He will be forced to tallk anyways....

3 Sep 2010     


Good idea Linda!! ha ha (I d love to see his face when I answer with just a yes or a no)

Claudia, yours is GREAT as well but I cant really see this guy doing the muppet show on his own, that could be hilarious though Clown (I keep the idea!)

thank you all for your ideas

3 Sep 2010