1. Teacher gives brief, personalized explanation to elicit meaning of a word.

As you can see in this video, Carlotta had difficulty describing the word and Ross wasn’t 100% sure she understood, so he gave her a brief description, tying in her frenetic life as a journalist, and in the end in just 1 minute she went from relatively unsure about the word to using it perfectly in speech.


2. Giving synonyms when students don’t know the meaning of a word. NOTE: Never just give a student the meaning of the word- ask them first to describe the words, use it in a sentence, or ask them yourself an open-ended question using the word “When was the last time you were in a thrilling situation while travelling?” This stimulates the brain much more than just giving them the word, and also increases student talk time and lowers teacher talk time.

3. Every lesson has key target language, which is usually both grammar and vocab. It is the teacher’s job to help the student fully grasp this key language by the end of the lesson, so when they inevitably struggle with it, feel free to take a step back, open up a new page and really spell it out for them. Additionally, when possible, try not to give them the answer to their struggles, but rather guide them to the answer.

4. During the slides when the teacher introduces the new grammar, there will certainly be some road bumps. Be prepared to open up new slides in order to get them to produce a little more. The only way you can be sure that they’ve comprehended the task is if they are able to produce it themselves, because them simply saying “oh I know this tense” doesn’t mean they can actually use it! In this clip, Carlotta was struggling to make more examples to give Ross a clear idea that she understood, so he opened up a new slide and steered the conversation towards her, since he knew she was a former competitive fencer.

5. After going over the target grammar rules, our lessons will then have final slides which prompt the student to use the target grammar in conversation. Naturally, when you get to this final exercise, the student understands the grammar rules but will always struggle to use the grammar in speech. Give them space to formulate ideas and correct themselves, and be as patient as possible in this period, intervening only when necessary. It will be super satisfying when they get it themselves!