Teaching: basic considerations

Basics checklist

As a home teacher you’ll find you can have many roles: tutor, host, meal provider, adviser, entertainer, confidante etc. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the teaching basics.

Here are a few general points to help you keep focussed on the basics:

  • Find out what your learner needs and how they want to achieve it.
  • Determine their learning priorities and what motivates them.
  • Plan your course and discuss this with your student.
  • Adapt materials to suit a 1-1 teaching situation (or 2-1).
  • Check every couple of days if your student is happy with your programme.
  • Always be prepared to change and adapt.
  • Be encouraging and positive in your feedback/correction.
  • Look for ways to involve your family and friends.
  • Try your best to be relaxed and approachable.
  • Find out how your student likes to learn. What kind of learner are they?
  • Give your student the benefit of the doubt. Many issues are cultural rather than personal.


  • Essential reference books (esp. grammar)
  • A selection of coursebooks and skills practice books to dip into if appropriate
  • Your own collection of resources/materials (which you can slowly build)
  • A recording device (digital recorders are now inexpensive)
  • Internet and printer (using the Internet is essential)
  • Online resources such as www.onestopenglish.com
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