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Needs analysis was also felt to be a good starting point for the first lesson with a new student, and it was suggested that with lower level learners needs analysis could be conducted in the student’s L1.One chatter talked about the enjoyment involved in trying to figure out what exactly his students need, especially when they don’t know themselves!The conversation kicked off with chatters listing their general attitudes to 1-2-1 classes and this grew into a sizeable list of advantages: These were the main issues we discussed, more or less in the order they were first raised: The approach to needs analysis often depends on the client (and not necessarily the student) and some chatters talked about conducting needs analysis interviews or distributing questionnaires before the course started, although this also has it drawbacks.
Chatters suggested correcting lightly and often, negotiating what and when to correct with the students, and using recordings to help the students self-correct.
Another area we touched on briefly was that of discipline, although it wasn’t generally felt to be a big problem, there can be issues such as time-keeping, overuse of L1 and a tendency to ask too many personal questions.
A lot of chatters integrate technology in their classes, many using smartphones and laptops for a variety of activities: Web tools were thought to be a great for letting the students work while the teacher prepared the next task or feedback.
Recordings and chat transcript were felt to be very useful for reviewing, reformulating and pushing students to perform at a higher level. Chatters talked about the use – or rather non-use – of whiteboards, preferring to use paper which could be taken home as an instant record of the lesson and also makes it easier for the student to join in.
There was agreement that needs analysis has to be ongoing and that needs and wants change during the course, sometimes in response to new approaches and materials introduced by the teacher, sometimes through a growing student awareness of possibilities.
It was also felt that some students need guidance and training in setting personal goals.Various solutions were suggested: Rapport was seen as another key area.It can be really uncomfortable if there is no rapport, but it was felt that the responsibility for building rapport lies with the teacher.The nature of TTT was thought to be different in a 1-2-1 class.It was considered to be a valuable resource, with teachers involved in role plays and offering live listening input, as well as opportunities for real communication.Here is the summary for the second #ELTchat on written by Ceri Jones (@cerirhiannon on Twitter) on her blog and reproduced here with her permission – Many thanks Ceri!