While we have no strict rules about the format of our private lessons, the majority will follow a similar pattern in which you focus on your particular challenges, usually speaking and listening. There will be plenty of opportunities for error correction, expansion of vocabulary and phrasing, and discussion of engaging and meaningful topics. We use as much authentic learning material as possible – in the form of podcasts and newspaper/magazine articles – together with a range of textbook-based content from various sources.
The key point is that unless requested otherwise, much of the lesson will provide you the chance to speak without any fear of embarrassment.
Our lesson is typically 90 min. The following sample lesson plan is a typical example of what you may expect. It is based on years of feedback from past students who have told us what they have found most beneficial from private lessons. Nonetheless, you will have the opportunity to discuss your own specific learning requirements.
Breakdown of a typical lesson
(Duration: 0-20 mins)
Chatting about the past week – personal news or other interesting happenings in the world. We feel this is an important part of the lesson and should not be rushed just to get to the main topic of the lesson. Why? Because in our experience, our students have told us that small talk is one of the most difficult aspects of living and working in the UK. Students often have extensive vocabulary and confidence in speaking about industry-specific topics, but not when it comes to small talk during the coffee break. We will help you to improve this skill, offering new expressions, ways to respond to questions asked and to practise understanding colloquial English.
Review of the previous lesson
(Duration: 10 mins)
One of the biggest challenges is getting sufficient exposure to new language expressions. By reviewing with the teacher, it will allow for further consolidation, a chance to ask any questions and use those newly learnt expressions in different contexts.
New topic or follow-on from the previous lesson
(Duration: 50 mins)
This could comprise 20 mins listening practice and 30 minutes speaking, depending on your learning goals, however it is most likely that speaking practice to enable you to have better and more fluent natural conversations will be a priority. There will also be opportunities to discuss any problems with idiomatic language or difficult grammatical points. The teacher will help you understand the mistakes that you make and how to avoid them in the future. If you speak with a high degree of accuracy already, your teacher will encourage you to use alternative expressions that would be unfamiliar to you. The teacher will use different resources depending on the nature of the topic – newspaper articles, photocopies from grammar workbooks, home-produced unique material tailored to your specific needs.
(Duration: 10 mins)
An opportunity to go over the main learning goals of the lesson and discuss plans for the next lesson.