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Language Teachers: What to Know When Teaching Private Classes

For language teachers, one-on-one classes provide a personal setting in which you can really get to know your student. As such, they can be extremely rewarding for both teachers and students alike. Still, they come with a unique set of challenges that can be difficult for teachers to navigate. If you’re worried about your upcoming one-on-one class, fear no more: our seasoned teaching experts have all sorts of ideas, suggestions, and tips for extracting the most out of your private lessons.


What to do on the first class

The first day of school is notorious for causing anxiety in both students and teachers. Similarly, the first day of private language lessons can be an intimidating prospect. How can you get to know your student, determine their linguistic strengths and weaknesses, and assess their learning style, all in one lesson? Our expert explains how to plan for your first lesson to guarantee that your classes will be off to a great start.

How to choose a book

When you’re teaching language classes in a school or business, it’s likely that someone else has already chosen your coursebook. This is not the case with private lessons, in which case it’s up to you what book to use. Our veteran English teacher has a slew of suggestions for choosing the perfect coursebook, taking into account your student’s level, needs, and learning style.

Making your own materials

Though it’s important to pick the right textbook, in private lessons it’s equally important to create your own materials. The joy of one-on-one classes is that you can tailor your activities to your students’ particular interests and needs, thus ensuring that they remain interested and engaged. As our writer notes, there are abundant resources that will make designing your own materials both easy and fun. And for more specific ideas, take a look at our favorite ideas for speaking, listening, writing, and reading activities, particularly selected for private lessons.


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Maintaining motivation

Everyone agrees that motivation is one of the most important factors in successfully learning a language. Perhaps the greatest challenge in one-to-one language instruction is making sure that your student stays motivated to learn the language. In group classes, students can motivate each other, but in private classes, the responsibility falls entirely on you. But don’t let this phase you: we have plenty of experience-based expert advice about maintaining your students’ motivation.

One-to-one classes can be hard. But with good planning, a positive attitude, and some sage advice from our veteran teachers, your private classes can be among the most valuable and fun classes that you teach. In the end, what could be more rewarding as a teacher than seeing your students progress and knowing that you’re the reason for their language success? For more tips and tricks on managing both private and group classes, consult our article about teaching groups, and be sure to visit our teacher’s handbook, which includes over 100 free articles that are chock-full of ideas for your next class.