Preparing to be Successful

Needs Analysis

You need to do a thorough needs analysis with a student. Why are they learning English? What do they hope to achieve from their lessons? What are their expectations?

Once you can get a good understanding of what they want and how they see the lesson, then you are on the first step of the ladder to planning and delivering effective lessons that the student enjoys.

It is also important to manage expectations. The student may want something; it doesn’t mean it is possible. If the teacher and student can agree, right at the beginning, what the goal is, what the time frame is and how it is going to be achieved, it goes a long way to the student being happy with the lesson.

Learner styles

If you can find out early on what learning style the student has then you can incorporate that into the lesson planning which will mean the student will feel more comfortable and will be more effective. Everybody wins!

The problem is that the student may think he has one particular learning style when in fact he is better suited to another. The reality is that schools are a little behind when it comes to incorporating different learning styles into a lesson. The consequence is that the student may have become so accustomed to a learning style that was used at school they may assume it is the most productive for them. The VARK questionnaire is the most well-known test for gauging learning styles and it is readily available online. There are others that may well be just as good.

A questionnaire can become a lesson. It can be a fun reading lesson, where the result is that the student finds out something that they didn’t know before.