In the following video, we'll look at some general advice for how to give a great trial lesson here on Verbling; for more specific tips from some of Verbling's top teachers, please continue reading below:
Some of Verbling's top teachers have very generously provided some more tips on what works best for them in areas we often receive queries about. The article below contains some specific advice on how to prepare and deliver the perfect trial lesson.
REMEMBER: There are in fact TWO types of Trial Lessons: free trials (only for the very first lesson ever taken by a new user on the platform) and paid trials (the first lesson taken to try a different teacher, after having already used their free trial, paid at a flat rate of $6 USD).
- Upon receiving the lesson confirmation message, ask the student about their estimated proficiency level, learning objectives, and previous experience learning the target language. This will help you prepare.
- You should design a warm-up activity as per the student’s estimated level and goals, as well as have several pre-prepared ones that can be easily adapted for any level in case the student doesn't provide you with any relevant information beforehand.
- DON'T BE LATE!!
- Introduce yourself. Be friendly, but professional.
- Create rapport and get to know each other to find out if you’re a good match.
- Do not promise anything if you consider you’re not the right teacher for this student type.
- If they’re not complete beginners, ask them to introduce themselves, test the student’s proficiency level and identify the student’s measurable learning goals. E.g. "learning the target language" is not a measurable goal... Learning how to ask for a meal in a restaurant is a goal, which has sub-goals of using modal verbs correctly, asking questions correctly and politely etc.
- Praise every small effort and any correct use of the target language.
- Discuss your teaching style and show them material samples so they know what to expect from your lessons.
- Encourage them to be inquisitive and ask any questions they may have.
- Help them gain confidence by doing a short activity that’s slightly below their level. This will give them a sense of accomplishment.
- When dealing with beginners, make sure you type what you’re saying so it’s easier for them to understand. You can later turn to this for drilling or for pronunciation practice.
- Give feedback and highlight the student’s strong and weak areas in the target language.
- Share with the students the benefits of studying on Verbling. For example, the functioning of the platform in relation to the different tools available, which they can use for their learning, such as access to documents, videos, chat translations, vocabulary cards, text-to-speech etc. It makes a good impression on students because they see a site that is trustworthy, well-designed/professional and laser-focused on the process of acquiring a new language!
- Make sure you set aside some time for the last three points in this section. Rushing may negatively affect student perception of teachers:
- Suggest a general plan to achieve their measurable goals and ask for the student’s consent: “I’d suggest that we focus on/practice/expand… How does that sound? Would you agree? Would you be happy with that?”
- Explain how to book further lessons with you on Verbling.
- If the student is worried about their long-term availability, ask them to solely focus on their next lesson. This is a better approach to the learning process since it helps relieve the pressure of a long-lasting commitment if that's not what they’re looking for.
- Always create a learning plan to structure the student’s future lessons according to what you have discussed during the trial lesson.
- If you don’t receive any response or further lesson bookings from trial lesson students, messaging them from time to time may help bring you more business.
Special thanks go to:
Charlotte | English Teacher
Charly | French Teacher
Claire | French Teacher
Denis | English Teacher
Emma | English Teacher
Marie | English Teacher
Mayra | Spanish Teacher
Santiago | Spanish Teacher