- On 21 November 2017
- Tags TEFL Florence
With English existing as the world’s common language, there are a multitude of reasons why people are determined to learn. In my experience teaching in Italy, each of my students has different needs, some come because it’s necessary for work, test prep, travel, while others want to learn for their own personal gain.
After finishing the Via Lingua TEFL course, I started working at the American Language Center about a year ago and it amazes me to think about all of the people I have had the opportunity to work with. I currently teach students ranging from 10-65 years old, of different backgrounds and cultures, in both a group and one-to-one setting. From young learners and multiple test prep students, to general English students, I quickly learned how crucial it is to have a clear understanding of the students’ desires and needs. Why is this so important?
Each student is different from the next, which means I must tailor lessons based on the students’ needs and assess what learning style best fits for them. Before delving into lessons, I always take the time to build rapport and get to know my students. This is one of the most exciting aspects of one to one teaching because I have the opportunity to evaluate the student’s speaking and listening abilities while simultaneously learning about their interests, childhood, family, hobbies, studies, etc.
Teaching one-to-one has allowed me to build strong relationships and engage in deep conversations, provide more feedback, and address more questions. I have also had the chance to share my stories, my life experiences, and perspective. In my experience, embracing my vulnerability is key. By showing empathy and remaining open, I’ve seen my students overcome their fears and lean into the discomfort of language learning. It’s incredibly inspiring and rewarding to know that I was able to help he or she break from their shell.
Be willing to understand your students. Show them that you are committed to developing their English language skills. And, remember that you play a key role in their personal growth. Embrace it!