Adult 1-on-1: total beginner

I just picked up a new private. She is an older woman and the only English instruction she has had was from high school about 20 years ago. Needless to say, her English is very weak.

How would one go about handling this? I don’t want to belittle her by using first/second grade material, but that is her level. Any experience with this?

There are lots of adult beginner books available. Use one of them. Not sure what the issue is here.

No offense, but are you sure you are the right teacher for her? I mean, when I get offered basic level students, I usually recommend they go to a structured class with a local teacher until they can basically communicate with me. That being said, if your Mandarin is strong then that’s not a big issue. For example, how would you like to learn Russian from a Russian guy with bad English? But a Russian teacher who could communicate with you in English until your Russian was OK would be better, nyet tovarisch?

Yeah, it took mandarin to get through the first few classes, but I doctored some childrens material I had, and she has shown to be a fast learner, so I think I can move to a beginner adult book.

Might want to check the sticky subject on teaching 1 on 1 classes also.