A few years ago I had a trial lesson with someone who had a very clear idea of how he wanted to learn. My teaching style ended up being not compatible with his learning vision. We spent most of the session telling each other “that’s not the way I do things.”
Needless to say, he did not become one of my students.
You may be thinking that he was being unreasonable in arguing with me, since I’m the teacher and should know better than him.
You may be thinking that I was being unreasonable in not accommodating him, since he knows how he learns best.
I think we were both correct and he explains why in his review of me.
“It is very difficult for me to give a valoration for the experience because the teacher is polite and I think she has a good English expertise level but her method doesn’t adjust to my requirements. So, in one sense I think that I should valuate with zero stars because it is not usefull for me. In other way, she was polite and I understand that she has freedom to use her own methods and techniques. So, I should value to her with five stars. My decision then is value her with three star because of these reasons.”
I’m glad he wrote that and I’m glad he didn’t become my student.
We didn’t match and that’s okay.
The student/teacher relationship is a relationship- not everyone is going to gel with you. Focus on finding the right teacher according to the goal you’ve set for yourself.
Here’s how you can get the most benefit from your one-on-one lessons and find the teacher who matches with you.
Set your goal
You are the one who wants to learn a language, you have to be clear on why you are learning. When you have a goal, it lets your teacher plan lessons around what you want to learn. You can depend on your teacher to track milestones so you can focus on learning.
Schedule time around your lesson
Give yourself 5 minutes to warm up before a lesson and 5 minutes to review what you’ve learned. This will make your sessions so much more effective.The benefits of this practice may inspire you to plan 10, 15, even 30 minutes around your lesson. And hey, no reason to be rigid, if a 15 minute warm up and a 5 minute review or a 5 minute warm up and a 15 minute review works for you, do what works for you.
This is your chance to show off everything you’ve worked on for the past week, use it! Your teacher can’t praise how much you’ve improved if they can’t hear you. They also can’t provide feedback if you don’t show off what you do know.
Update your practice plan
To have effective lessons, you must spend time during the week practicing what you learn in each lesson. To practice effectively, you must get feedback during the lesson to know what to focus on in those practice sessions.
It’s a positive feedback loop.
When you first meet with a teacher, explain to them your goal and ask them how their style of teaching will help you reach that goal. When you reflect on your session, listen to your gut to decide if this is a person you want to keep working with every week.
I teach through italki (affiliate link), so I find it the best place for me to look for a teacher, though I know it’s not the only one. If you have a favorite place to find a teacher, please share it below and let others know why you love it.
It can be very helpful to have a guide along with you on your language learning journey and the internet has made it possible to find someone who you like learning from. Take advantage of the possibilities.
If you want to check out our chemistry, I’d love to chat about how I can help you reach your goals. Check out my courses or just sign up for the Pronunciation Habit newsletter where you’ll get weekly pronunciation practice techniques. Plus, exclusive special offers.
And if you found this post helpful, feel free to post it around. We can all use all the help we can get with our goals.
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