This is a very short announcement saying that I am starting the enrollment process.
I'm taking on returning and new students in the number of less than 20.
You can either take regular classes or conversations, or a mix of them.
For terms/conditions and fees please click HERE and read the text carefully.
If you are a returning student, you will be offered a 10% discount on regular classes.
I do not offer this discount on conversations, though.
Please pay special attention to the cancellation classes section as it has been changed.
If you have any questions please do contact me directly and I will be happy to clarify any issues.
Here's a form to fill in. I am trying to remember your learning and scheduling requests but things often change and I would like to be in the loop.
Thank you very much for your work and involvement this academic year.
It's a great and a challenging year! Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.
Wishing you all great summer holiday!
If you would like to leave me a recommendation please do it HERE. I'd really, really appreciate that.
I think I'll meet some of you again after the summer break. The final offer is not ready yet but when it is you will be informed and asked to confirm your enrollment.
Tests are coming
The end of the academic year tests will be held from 22-26th of June. Please revise everything we have covered this year. The test will include Quizlet sets and a set of questions based on the things we've been doing in the lessons.
Summer conversation courses will be run in the summer months. Please check the info here. If you're interested please enroll now as the number of places is limited.
INTERVIEWS WITH MY STUDENTS
I hope you have all read my first interview with Basia. It got a lot of positive feedback and generated significant interest. If you still haven't read please click in the link below. Also, I'd very much appreciate if you can leave a trace of your presence under the post in the comments section. I think it will nice for the interviewees to see your support. Thank you.
I've already have a couple of interviews planted for the upcoming months. Having said that, however, I want you take initiative and TAKE PART. Please take a moment to think what would you like to share, poke me and the rest will be history.
I will be taking some new students from the next academic year. If you know somebody who is looking for a teacher please spread the word.
I would like to thank you very much for the hard work on this project. I am really glad that almost all of you have got to the end. I must admit that my project coordination wasn’t the best, and there’s some room for me to improve in this area. The circumstances were also working against us but having said that I also need to highlight how incredibly informative for me as a teacher this project was.
Your questions were good and your recordings too. I especially appreciate the ones which were direct talks to the camera. I think it takes a lot of guts to start a camera, record a talk and send it to a total stranger. Well done, all of you who decided to do that.
To those who weren’t that brave - well, I do hope that it will be your next step. I strongly encourage you to do that. There’s no progress without leaving your comfort zone.
The feedback you received from your buddy will be sent to you in an email. But I really feel I need to share a few tips on How to give feedback
THE GUIDED TALK
I enjoyed watching these videos a lot. And again, videos - not audio recordings.
I have learnt a few things from them.
1. Working with your buddy has got different dynamics than working with your teacher. Your teacher is primarily interested in you getting your message across, and your language partner not necessarily. And this is how it is supposed to be. When you talk with your buddy, both of you are interested in your own performance, focus on your shortcomings and your communication. That’s why working with your buddy gives you a bit more insight into your communication skills. My suggestion here is to continue working with a buddy. Maybe a different buddy, maybe in a less intensive way but still.
2. Learn the words, phrases or vocal signals to show that you are listening.
There’s very little of that used in your conversations. It would be a good idea to make a list of all these expressions and try to incorporate them on purpose during your talks.
The expressions could be as such
3. Do not go on and on about something. I am trying to remind you this every time we’re having a guided dialogue task in the lesson - use 3 sentences and throw a ball to your partner’s court. Do not dominate the conversation. If your story needs more than 5 sentences, go ahead but do not make it a habit. Also, try to check during your talk if a person has a similar knowledge, experience, beliefs - and then come back to your original story.
4. Do just sit in silence listening to your buddy. It might happen that your buddy is far more talkative than you but you need to learn how to interrupt a person otherwise you’re being dominated in a conversation and lose your engagement and interest. If you are a participant of such a conversation you need to act. Look for the moments that your partner takes a pause, finishes a sentence or a thought and grab the opportunity to say something.
5. Write down the words or phrases that you had problems with during your talk. In the conversation, it might happen that you don’t know or don’t remember the word of the cuff. Then it would be good to write these words down and look them later up in a dictionary. Do not overdo it, though. Focus on max 5 words.
6. Record and watch your talks. I would suggest a very short sample like a minute or so. Watch it and think about what you can improve. Especially look for the words that you often repeat and try to look up the synonyms afterwards.
7. If you decide to continue your cooperation with your buddy, and let’s say meet twice a month, it is good to come a little bit prepared for these meetings. You can either do some reading before the talk to familiarize yourself with a topic - this solution is great, but let’s be honest - a little bit time-consuming. So if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands prepare 5 words or even better, phrases that you would like to use during the talk and practise.
April is almost coming to the an and I am posting an update. Hmmm ....
Anyhow, it's been quite a time for me and guess for you too.
Thanks to those who texted me - wishing me good health (not fortune). I am doing okey now.
Sadly I had to say goodbye to few of my students. It's always with a heavy heart that I finish our cooperation. I know it's life and all the good things must pass one day but I do hope we can both cherish good memories of our time together.
I have also welcomed some newcomers. It's a thrill to have you on board especially during these crazy times. I do hope that you will be able to settle down smoothly and enjoy the learning process.
The buddy project is living its own life- so it seems at least. On the positive note, I can say that a lot of you got really involved and created good tandems. I am hoping to finish this project in April, so hurry up if you need to.
I think this summer will be a bit different so I am considering running the holiday conversation classes, also in tandems. The tandem system is not completely new to me but it hasn't been on my menu for a long time. This summer, however, I might be giving you such an opportunity. Please signal to me your interest in the link below. The more official info with fees will follow.
The time could not be worst ...
or the time could not be better ...
I know that some of you might be stuck at home now with plenty of time at your hands <joke>
If however it is the case I would like to offer you the opportunity to improve your skills a bit. The project requires writing, and in theory, this is the skill we would like to improve but in practice we will be working on your communication.
There will be a list of assignments with due dates. Each assignment cannot be longer than 50 words.
How much time does it take you to write 50 words?
Ok, so if you have these 15 minutes a week, please let me know- I will start creating a google class for you. Whatsapp me with a message - Writing yes!
PS. For those of you involved in the buddy project the writing one can start in April. No pressure!
PS. If you are not my current student but you would like to take part, please contact me HERE
With a reference to the current events and the possible changes in your working schedule, I would like to inform you that if you're working from home and wish to move your evening classes to the late morning or early afternoon please let me know. I will try to offer you as much flexibility as I possibly can.
Also, please do let me know about any possible cancellations. Especially, if you have already moved any of regular classes. Do not wait to the last minute with such info please.
Be safe. Keep safe and don’t forget to wash your hands.
PS. All of you involved in the buddy project please make sure that you've already established the initial contact on Zoom and you're on schedule with the tasks. Thanks.
Congrats to you on your Semester 1 test. Good results! Keep up the good work!
THE BUDDY PROGRAM
The buddy program has just started. There is a new green icon in your learning space to indicate this. It takes you to a file with the project info and task details. I do hope that the project will be of benefit to you and to your language partner. Please put your hearts and minds into it.
And if you are unsure of any of the parts please contact me immediately.
Additional classes on QUIZLET
You can join my new Grammar class on Quizlet. There're already some sets for grammar revision. The ones labelled EASY are for low-level students.
You can join HERE
1) New contact number
As you, I hope, already know I have changed my number. It's 739-907-487.
The old one is no longer in use. Please mind that this change affects our Whatsapp correspondence as well.
Term 1 tests will be held in the first week of March . They will include everything we have covered from September. Please don't be surprised.
3) No classes on Saturday
I am not able to offer you any of additional classes, conversations or catch-ups on Saturdays at the moment.
4) The tandem idea
I want to encourage you to step out a bit and look more intensively for your language partner, your lg buddy, your tandem. A person you can share your work with; exchange constructive feedback; revise vocabulary or even chat from time to time.
I know that some of you have been already doing that; and I guess some of you need this pep talk to finally give it a go.
Please, please do not feel forced to do that! If you are not ready - OK, give yourself some more time but also do not wait forever.
If you can talk among yourselves and get into such collaboration - that’s perfect. If you need me to help out a bit pls fill in your agreement form.
It’s not an obligation, it’s a step. You can take it or not. I think it’s worth trying and I wholeheartedly encourage you to take the plunge.