How to Relate to your Online English Tutor
1. Be polite and eager to learn. It takes a certain amount of humility to learn something new. Nearly everyone I know enjoys spending time with a humble person, especially in a teacher/student scenario. Strive to learn something new in each lesson and to be teachable. Every teacher wants to feel that they too have achieved something in the lesson. Teachers hope to inspire students and furnish them with new knowledge. It is much easier to do this with someone who is eager to learn something new. Each teacher may have a different teaching style or even a different sense of humour. I think you should be able to learn something from everyone.
2. Talk as much as possible. Although you may opt for a general or free conversation for the lesson, the conversation should be predominantly student sided. The more you talk, the better you become at speaking. If you want to practice listening to native English speakers then watch the news or documentaries! Your short lesson time is an opportunity to engage and expand your conversational abilities. Granted, anyone can run out of words to say to a stranger or a teacher you don’t know much about so also have some interesting questions to ask that you can answer yourself.
3. Respect works both ways. It is true that you may be older, wiser and more experienced in business than your English language tutor but in the online classroom, you are a student and the teacher has been hired to teach you. Reminding the teacher that you have children about their age is unnecessary. Bragging about your country, job or financial status is simply uncalled for. Relate on a professional basis and you will benefit more from your teacher. Kindly refer to my previous blog post “5 ways to Irritate your Online English Tutor.”
4. Don’t pry too much into the personal life of your tutor. Following on from point 3, there are some questions that you need not ask your tutor. For example: How much do you earn? How much is your rent? How old are you? Don’t you think you should exercise more? British people especially are particularly reserved and may not directly inform you that your questions are invasive but you can learn which questions to ask by reciprocating the questions that your tutor asks you. As times goes on and you establish a more amicable relationship with your tutor, they may feel more comfortable to open up to you but a professional association must always be foremost.
5. End the lesson well. You may have got off to a rough start or had a few awkward moments but the lesson is over now. End the lesson well by thanking the teacher, saying goodbye and hanging up first. It doesn’t have to be lengthy and definitely not over the set time for the lesson but it is always good to leave a good, final impression. Do remember to ask any final questions within the last few minutes of the lesson. The teacher may have other classes or may need that well deserved rest before the next class.
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