Getting to know your students.

  • Help your students feel comfortable by speaking clearly and being mindful of how fast you are talking. This will help ensure that your students feel confident communicating with you.

  • Let them know a little bit about yourself. If you already have a teaching philosophy, discuss it with them. Make sure to display enthusiasm in your lessons; a bit of humour can really help break the ice!

  • Make sure you give your students a chance to introduce themselves as well. This is both a great way to get them speaking and to help you better understand their language level. This will inform your preparation for future sessions.

  • Ask them what they want to focus on. Not all of your students will have the same reasons for wanting to learn English. Some will be hoping to brush-up on travel phrases before a trip abroad. Others may need assistance with business English or exam preparation. The sooner you know this about your student, the faster you can satisfy their tutoring needs.

  • It also helps to have a few small exercises handy for your first class, so you can gauge your students' strengths and weaknesses and will demonstrate to them that you are prepared.

  • Ask your students to give you feedback at the end of your class. Welcome them to provide suggestions on how you can improve future sessions. Be open-minded to this feedback, it can really help you both. In turn, you can provide your students with a brief assessment of their language skills and what you think is necessary in order for them to achieve their goals. But keep in mind: learning another language - if you haven't done so yourself - can be overwhelming, intimidating, frustrating, and require huge amounts of confidence. Be mindful of this when you give your feedback. Try to find a balance of being honest and direct, but encouraging and positive.