BALTIMORE, USA – Happy Anniversary…
I’ve been a teacher now for 15 years!
July 2004 I arrived in Prague, got my teaching certificate, then in September started a job teaching at a school on Wenceslas Square.
After some quick math, I think I’ve probably taught over 3,000 lessons.
To celebrate, I’d like to give you the “secret” to 10x your conversation lessons.
Below are threee stories about students.
In our lessons, they all talked about different things.
But these students learned much faster than my average student.
So what did they do differently?
What was their secret?
The answer is the difference between becoming a confident, relaxed, natural speaker this year… or possibly never feeling good about your English.
Student Success Story #1 — David
David was (is) a lawyer.
He told me he wanted legal English. But he usually started the hour talking about some HBO show he was watching, or an American crime novel he was reading on the metro, or his favorite sport, American baseball.
Then five or ten minutes before the end of our lesson he’d say, “Oh yeah, legal English…” And we’d read a page or two from one of Marta Chroma’s books.
Student Success Story #2 — Monika
Monika was (is) a producer for a company that makes TV commercials.
Somehow she made it to the age of 23 and never got the basics of English. But Monika loved her job and to keep it she had to learn how to talk with her American colleagues.
So we chatted about movies and TV and all the crazy people she was meeting and the adventures she was having in her job.
Student Success Story #3 — Monika #2
Monika had a boring job.
All day it was numbers and spreadsheets.
At least it sounded boring to me.
And she never wanted to talk about it, either.
Instead, the real joy in her life was her two kids.
So that’s what we talked about.
What they were doing in school… what sports they were playing…what hobbies they had discovered… what funny things they had said… and so on.
So there you go: three very different students and three different conversations.
But all made big progress in a short time.
Can you guess what they all have in common?
Here’s a clue.
When a student DOESN’T make good progress, this is what happens:
First, they tell me they want to prepare for the CAE or do business English or improve their grammar. Next, they start coming to lessons late. Then they start cancelling. And finally they just disappear.
So what do the successful students do that unsuccessful students don’t do?
SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY LOVE
I call this “The Pull Strategy.”
If something is interesting, exciting, or new, it “pulls” you.
But ”Push” is the strategy we all learned in school. You learn English because someone is pushing you — teachers and parents.
But “Pull” is the only strategy that works for adults, because now there is no one around to push you. But when something — a TV show, a book, a conversation — is so interesting that it pulls you toward it, you naturally do more of it.
Ready to talk about what you love?
Teacher Creature is the online home for friendly native speakers who would LOVE to talk about what YOU love.
Don’t live in Prague?
Not a problem.
Most teachers would be happy to stay home and meet you on Skype.
All you have to do is ask.
Here’s the link: