How do you design a class for a private student?

Spoiler: It’s my girlfriend. I know everyone advises against this, but her English hasn’t improved at all in the 4 years we’ve been together and I don’t want to waste the money on an adult buxiban because she’s starting from such a basic level I think it’s a waste to pay someone else for it.

Since I’m not a teacher, I don’t really know how to organize classes without a curriculum being drawn up for me. (Ignoring the significant other aspect of this) What kinds of materials do people use to design classes?

:bow:

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]Spoiler: It’s my girlfriend. I know everyone advises against this, but her English hasn’t improved at all in the 4 years we’ve been together and I don’t want to waste the money on an adult buxiban because she’s starting from such a basic level I think it’s a waste to pay someone else for it.

Since I’m not a teacher, I don’t really know how to organize classes without a curriculum being drawn up for me. (Ignoring the significant other aspect of this) What kinds of materials do people use to design classes?

:bow:[/quote]

It’s not a waste if you don’t know how to do it, surely? WIth a beginner, one to one? No materials because a book based approach is unlikely to be that successful, in a one to one class because they rely on the class dynamic and also because she probably ‘knows’ the stuff in them, she just can’t use it because she hasn’t acquired the material: reading 'em again with you won’t change that. You’ve kind of got it back to front: it’d be much easier to teach her if she were advanced.

Figure out what she wants to do with English and give her lots of input at that level. Don’t just make her talk and correct her and tell her new words.

Basically she wants to go from a beginner to an intermediate. No specialization, no particular focus on anything. I forgot to mention above that another reason I don’t want to send her to a buxiban is that they tend to charge by the year (at least the ones around here do, we’ve checked), and I don’t expect we’ll be in Taiwan that long, so the money would kind of be going down a drain. We could hire a private tutor but I have no idea how to find/evaluate the quality of one, so I decided to just do it myself. I was thinking of buying an easy book that’s not too boring and making vocab / sentence exercises off of it.

Yeah, I guess. Think about getting a reader (simplified book) or something, rather than a class book.

Edit: thinking of a focus is a good exercise for her. It makes her think about why she wants to do it. ‘Learn all English’ is not going to happen, so she’s not going to be motivated by that. In the same way that if you’re 400 lbs, ‘get thin’ isn’t the best way to go: start with that first 10 pounds. If she can articulate something she wants to do in English, it will also help her choose material that will be interesting.

I’m teaching my nieces, and I have started using a three-book series I bought at Crane, titled “Speak Up”. It’s designed for classroom use, but it works well with my two nieces. It’s good to have a topic-based book to guide you. The listening exercises are quite good, too. You don’t have to stick to the material, but I find it useful to have something to come back to.

She’s definitely more interested in something that would be based on reading, i.e. a book, than on regular sentence patterns and vocab lists. (Her disinterest in them is why she never learned much English in the first place.) I’ve previously tried writing simplified stories myself based on current events but even I think that’s kind of boring after a while. Maybe history would be a good focus, since I’m really enthusiastic about it anyway. I ought to start with US history, maybe, if I expect for her to live there one day…

Just a suggestion - why not pick articles from magazines/books/blogs or anything she finds interesting, then:

1 - get her to read the article to you.
2 - ask her some general questions about the article.
3 - go over the article in more detail, looking at problematic terms, articles of grammar, or anything she struggled to understand (and work on resolving these problems).
4 - get her to read over the article again - focusing more on accurate pronunciation and a smoother reading.
5 - ask more in depth questions - this could develop into several conversations.
6 - if she wants to work on her writing, take the article away and have her summarise it, or have her write something based on the article.

thanks for the suggestion. I think that would work later on, it’s just that we’re starting with a really, really basic level of English here. As in, she gets the words “bank” and “back” confused. :-/

Which means reading is probably not the most appropriate way to begin. That’s what got her into this mess – read this, memorize it, and do it (once more in written form) on a test.