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3 Tips on Teaching Different Levels of Learners by Julian Siret

This week has been busy, but it’s also surprised me and made me feel so grateful to be involved in helping learners achieve their goals. Below are 3 things that I have been reflecting on this week as I’ve had to cope with entirely different levels of learners.

The importance of finding out about your student

I’ve started teaching a low level learner on a one-to-one basis. On Friday I did a review of the present perfect for experience and I asked 30 questions with ‘Have you ever’ (for experience) and accompanying slides. I was worried that this might feel repetitive, but by the end it felt like I really should have done this right away as a means to finding out about what both of us had in common. I found out that we had both been to the same place on holiday and that the student had grown a lemon tree at his grandmother’s house.

Unknown language sessions

The second thing that has got me thinking was that I remembered about how crucial unknown language inputs are and how useful they are in terms of letting trainees know how emotionally charged learning a language can be. It brought home to me how stressful learning a new language is and how true the quote is about "Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery", by Amy Chua.

Experimenting with presentations

When I first moved to Ireland, I did a QQI Train the Trainer course. As part of this we were asked to give (a short) presentation to 11 other trainees on a topic that we were passionate about. This experience and the presentation I gave, I then used with learners to give a model of how to deliver an effective presentation. One student gave a presentation on a game that he’s extremely proficient in playing with another team. I really enjoyed his enthusiasm and this led to a discussion on life goals which I felt benefited us both.

Anything that has surprised anyone this week? 😊 Leave a comment below.

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