Updated: Jun 27
Since most of my lessons last an hour, I make sure my students make the most of every minute. It’s a balancing act between responding to their questions and doing revisions, where necessary, while keeping an eye on the programme I prepared for them and giving them something new to practise.
The latter point is crucial, because learning a new language point signals progress, which in turn encourages my students to do more and learn more. That’s the virtuous circle I spend a lot of energy encouraging them to embrace.
Every lesson starts and ends with questions. Those I ask my students to prepare, putting new language points/vocabulary in practice, as well as the ones they might have about the previous lesson or what they practised on their own since. And, of course, not one class finishes without my checking everything is clear and if they have questions still.
Maximising the learning does not mean stuffing my students' brains with knowledge and information every lesson, but rather making sure they understand everything they’re learning, to the point of being able to explain it to someone else. Because if they can explain it, they know how to use it and feel confident.
It also means describing what the language learning process entails, where they stand, and what we’re going to study next and why. In other words, my students are regularly reminded of the fact that learning a language is an active process, so they don’t fall back into the passive learning pattern we all perfected at school.
It is not a race nor a competition. There are no tests, no exams. It’s an active collaboration, with me acting as a guide and adapting myself to my students’ specific needs. And at the core of it, is one key idea, which is that a language is meant to be spoken, that it's first and foremost about communication, not about perfection.
Don't hesitate to send me your questions.