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AMarshall - 3/8/2017 12:44:53 PM
Lesson Planning for One-on-One Instruction
Posted on behalf of Alana J, Rural Routes Advisor.

Where Do I Begin?

Start by setting specific and measurable goals with your learner. Break vague goals like “I want to learn grammar” into smaller and smaller substeps. A goal such as “I want to use the past tense correctly” is easier to achieve. Then ask yourself how your learner will demonstrate that skill.
Setting long-term goals can be especially useful for one-on-one tutoring. If a learner surprises you with a document or task that he or she needs help with, you can still work toward your goals. It will just be with different materials than you might have planned.

General Planning Tips

- However you spend your time, aim to maximize interaction and your learner’s use of English.
- Provide opportunities to practise and use material in more than one way.
- Build a repertoire of teaching methods and incorporate them into lessons.

Specific Tips for One-on-One Tutors
Because group work isn’t an option for you, it’s especially important to provide opportunities to improve both fluency and correctness. Plan opportunities for relaxed chat or free writing that will not be corrected. If your learner insists that you correct every error, try pointing out that fluency itself is a critical skill. Let your learner know that you still pay careful attention to mistakes and will do activities that focus on correcting them.

What Do You Want to Work On?
There’s a lot to fit into your one- or two-hour meetings. Let your learner’s needs and goals determine your focus. Focus on reaching two or three major goals each day.
- Spelling and pronunciation
- Listening
- Writing
- Reading
- Speaking
- Vocabulary
- How to use a dictionary

Typical Lesson Cycle
Begin by talking about your goals for the day.

Do a quick warm-up about your topic. You could watch a video clip, read a story title and make predictions about the story, brainstorm about the topic, or pre-teach some vocabulary.

Then go over instructions and work on your activities. When your learner finishes, give feedback and make any corrections.
End with a brief review.

Activity Ideas
- Read and listen to a news story. Be sure it is already mostly understandable for your learner. Allow time for questions about new words, phrases, or grammar from the story.

- Talk about safety issues and procedures in your learner’s workplace or home. Read a set of related Canadian safety manual instructions. Discuss similarities and differences. Stop for vocabulary and pronunciation discussion. Highlight any important new language used in the instructions. Scramble a set of pictures or symbols and have your learner repeat the instructions to you in order.

- If you visit a store, cafe, library, or leisure centre, stop to look at how staff use language at each place. Work on vocabulary before you go, and after the visit, your learner can build a phrase book. Look for ways to use these phrases in new situations.

• Use a mobile phone camera to take pictures and, in your next session, create a picture book or write a glossary to help your learner remember the phrases.
• Record yourself saying key words and phrases. Your learner can listen and repeat them for practice. Make more challenging recordings for more confident learners.
• Create a worksheet where learners match the beginning of a phrase to its correct ending.

- Try combining field trips with movie or TV clips to review or just use the clips if field trips aren’t practical.
• Teach your learner how to shadow the speakers. Practise together, and then your learner can practise all week long.
• Watch a video clip together and turn the sound down at key points. Can your learner “fill in the blanks”?

- List some adjectives that describe a good employee. Ask your learner to list and rank important qualities that an employee should have in his or her home country. Ask what might be valued here in Canada. Talk about similarities and differences. Find a related article to read. The Canadian Immigrant online magazine has great material (http://canadianimmigrant.ca/]

• Ask your learner to list the qualities that he or she remembers best. Reread and repeat the process. The learner can turn the list into a paragraph or longer article for you to correct and discuss. The learner could summarize the whole article or just focus on new ideas.

Rural Routes Tip Sheets are created by ESL Rural Routes Regional Advisors and Language Training Instructors. Tip sheet topics include, but are not limited to, learning assessment, ESL literacy, needs assessment, and how to become an ESL teacher. To find these tip sheets and others, visit https://eslruralroutes.norquest.ca/resources.aspx and use the keywords “tip sheets” in the search field.