Friday, April 6, 2007

Meeting Locations for Private ESL/EFL Lessons

I previously wrote about possible locations to meet ESL or EFL students for lessons. I gave a partial list of possible places for private tutoring (coffee shops, libraries, the tutor’s home or office, the student’s home or office, senior centers, and community centers, etc.). After hearing a sad story today, I’d like to encourage you to only meet your students in public places.

I met with a Japanese conversation student today. I asked him to tell me about the top news in Japan. I was saddened to learn that a young British woman teaching English in Japan was recently murdered. She was only 22-years-old. My ESL student told me that the teacher’s body was found in the apartment of a man who was likely her private English student.

This very sad situation is a reminder that it is best to meet students for private lessons in public places, especially when you are first meeting your student, but it’s probably safest to keep the English lessons in a public space at all times.

I have one-to-one tutoring sessions in a very public coffee shop. Many students have asked to meet me in my home or in theirs. They tell me that they are concerned about the noise in a public location. This is a legitimate concern, however, I always insist on a public location.

It’s tempting when you are first starting your tutoring practice and trying to get new students to agree to the wishes of your potential student. Encourage them to try the public location and if they refuse, then I would reject the potential student. Another student will come along. The risks are just too high.

1 comment:

alistener said...

I found your article on safety during one to one tutoring very interesting. I too teach adults in Essential Skills both Literacy and Numeracy and have recently started my own web blog. I have never been in the position where I have one to one's but I agree with your comments. I will revisit your blog in the future and look through your helpful links.