It was suggested that in a lot of cases a coursebook might not be appropriate and it was often better to start with materials that the students brought from their own work place such as emails, reports and other documents.This was seen as different when working with younger students preparing for an exam.The nature of TTT was thought to be different in a 1-2-1 class.
As always it was a great conversation and it really amazed me, looking back over the transcript, how much ground we managed to cover in a very short hour of fast speed tweeting.
The conversation covered a wide range of different teaching contexts and class types from executives to exam preparation classes, from younger learners to students with learning difficulties and special needs, both face-to-face and online.
Needs analysis was also felt to be a good starting point for the first lesson with a new student, and it was suggested that with lower level learners needs analysis could be conducted in the student’s L1.
One chatter talked about the enjoyment involved in trying to figure out what exactly his students need, especially when they don’t know themselves!
Various solutions were suggested: Rapport was seen as another key area.
It can be really uncomfortable if there is no rapport, but it was felt that the responsibility for building rapport lies with the teacher.
It was felt that there may be need for more variety of materials and topics in a 1-2-1 class, and that it may be necessary to plan more activities and switch more quickly from activity to activity, being ready to ditch activities if they aren’t successful, especially with younger learners.
It was considered important to find out what the student is interested in (sports, music, cinema) and what learning styles and approaches they prefer.
There was agreement that needs analysis has to be ongoing and that needs and wants change during the course, sometimes in response to new approaches and materials introduced by the teacher, sometimes through a growing student awareness of possibilities.