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ESL forum > Ask for help > Private Students    

Private Students


Private Students
Hello! Can you please tell me what you do with a private student the first time you teach him/her? I try that he/she tells me what are his/her main difficulties/questions, but I always end up with the same old answer: "I find it all difficult." Confused And those weaker students always have the same general difficulty: vocabulary and building sentences, understanding texts... I believe that one of the best ways to help them with this is text interpretation. Do you agree with me? What do you usually do??

Thanks a lot!

25 Sep 2014      

United States

I usually spend my first lesson just getting to know each other, then I give them a written diagnostic to do as homework--the diagnostic helps point me to the problem areas (there are few that can be downloaded from ESLP). Otherwise, I find a review of the fundamentals never hurts. 

26 Sep 2014     


Same here. However it depends on student īs level. If it is like zer-english proficiency, I usually teach greetings on the first day and interpret into their native language using translation. And then on the next day would be, vocabularies - NOUNS. If it is upper-basic, greetings lessons and introducing his/ herself.

I hope it helps. :)


26 Sep 2014     

Peter Hardy

Again, what age is he/she? Get to know each other is always a first. It gives you time to assess at the same time. But why not ask things about themselves, rather than the language they know? Depending on level of understanding your questions, they īll tell/show you what they know any which way. Douglas ī tip of a written test at home gives them the peace to give the other info you need. At the lowest level I īd follow Lyka in simple sentences but would add sounds. You can make fun pulling faces. They īll relax and are ready for, no, not nouns but more short sentences. Combined with phonics and fun, they īll swallow the rest sort off automatically. Now they translate and try to add grammar, but that way no-one learns English. Teach them the way they learned their native language, and you īll be fine. When they can substitute one word in a sentence with ten other words, they know ten sentences. The grammar slips in without them noticing :-) Cheers, Peter

26 Sep 2014     


placement test?

26 Sep 2014     


Usually these students are in 9th or 10th grade in Portugal (15/16 years old). They have been learning English for 5 or 6 years, but most of the times, when they need private lessons, they don īt know most of the basics in English. For you to have an idea, some of them don īt even know how to write the present continuous of verbs or still have questions about the verb To Be. Wacko 
A test is a good idea, yes Wink Thanks for the tip! I usually ask them to write something about themselves, which also gives me a grasp of some of the difficulties, but the test is a better idea, as it covers more areas. I also usually make a quick review of the main tenses (as Douglas says, it doesn īt hurt (and it īs useful)! Wink

Douglas, do you talk in English with the student in the 1st lesson, when you get to know each other?

Thanks a lot!

26 Sep 2014