While working with long term students, it’s easy to fall into a pattern. Maybe their goals were really clear after the first session, and you started focusing on one of them, but then after a while you realize that you’re sending them the same kinds of activities constantly and having somewhat repetitive conversations about their family or their weekend plans. While this can be both fun and easy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the student is benefitting from your sessions after 20 sessions of chit chatting.
So how do we solve this problem?
Today we wanted to propose some ideas to make sure that you’re keeping your long term students engaged while also constantly helping them to increase their learning.
1. Keep track of how many sessions you’ve done
One of the easiest ways we fall into this trap is not even realizing when we’ve hit a 10 session or 25 session mark. Make sure to regularly check how many sessions you’ve done with a student. By doing this, you can set some reminders for yourself to check in with them at certain points throughout the learning process.
2. Have regular check-ins
This is the best way to stay focused on your students’ goals and make sure that you’re meeting their needs. For example, after every 10 sessions with a student, you can schedule a mini ‘evaluation’ session for your next class. Have them prepare a short presentation, perform a mock business meeting, or act out a travel scenario- something that will get them talking and allow them to exhibit the skills they’ve learned.
After this kind of exercise, give them feedback. Let them know where they’ve improved and what you can continue working on together for your future sessions.
3. Ask them how YOU’RE doing
It’s important to get feedback from our students on their Fluentify experience and what they like, but also what they don’t like. Most students won’t voluntarily share this information, so make sure to ask. Ask them what they find beneficial, what they feel is the most effective way for them to learn, and what they would like to change about the way you’re working together. This will guarantee that your students are happy and they feel like they are also participating in guiding their English journey.
4. Get some new follow up materials
After the fifth article from the same website talking about the same general topic, your student will probably be getting bored- and also repeating a lot of the same phrases and vocabulary. Make sure to switch up your session and follow up materials! Give them a mix of different articles, videos, and podcasts from different industries. If you find a theme that they like that gets them talking, that’s great, but just make sure that you are always advancing their English skills rather than keeping them at a steady level.
5. Use the tutor community on Slack
If you’re feeling really stuck with a long term student, reach out to your fellow tutors! We’ve all experienced similar situations and sometimes another tutor will have the best insight on how to liven up your sessions.
Anything else you guys do to keep long term students fully engaged? Share below!