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3 Tips For Livening Up Your Private Lessons (Part 1)

From the first lesson you give to the thousandth the same question is always: What can I bring to the lesson for it to be effective and engaging? Here are 3 simple tips to liven up your lessons.

1. Use Images!
Using images is a great way to reduce your talk time, change the dynamics,and to encourage creativity and fluency. Using photos and image can support learning for all levels of students.

Example activities
1. Descriptive Writing: Set a set time limit and get your student to freely write a story based on the image you have provided. Sure to get creative juices going!
2. Comparatives: Provide two photos of  people, places, or events and get student to verbally compare the content.

2. Get up!
A new teacher might be shy about doing this and a more experienced teacher reluctant to. Get your students to move around! It provides variety, gets the blood moving, and is energising!

Example activities
1. Role play: Act out an authentic interaction such as buying ticket, asking someone out, or ordering a coffee. If you're giving the lesson in a cafe, make the most of it and get the student to act out being a customer or waiter. 
2. Walking around. Putting aside some time to use English with your student while you are mobile will take the pressure off the learner, will change the dynamic of sitting at a table together, and is about as authentic as it gets for language use! You can offer to have a lesson in a park one day, and walk and talk, or finish the formal prat of the lesson early and walk with your students for the remainder.

3. Lose the Paper!

If paper is a teacher's best friend it is the soul-mate of the student. Teachers often use paper for good reasons such as clarifying grammar points, spelling words, and utilising worksheets. For students these pieces of paper and their notes can become a crutch which students rely on heavily to produce language, look to constantly, or bury their head in; when the real objective should be using English in a natural way.

Example activities
1. Speaking English! In the final 10 minutes of your lesson put the language to use. Ask your student to put everything away and to have a conversation, as best they can. It's not a time for correction but for encouragement, confidence-building, and praise.  
2.  20 Questions: You have an (imaginary) box. Your student needs to ask present simple questions to understand what's in it. Is it a person? No. Is it an object? Yes. Is it large?.. If it wasn't clear from the name of the game, your student has 20 questions to guess what's in your box. Swap roles. 

We hope you enjoyed these tips to freshen up your teaching. If you'd like to leave any comments, please feel free below. If you'd like to contact us directly, you can on:

Read more: 'Keeping Your Private Students Happy'
'Being a Professional English Teacher'


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