Geoff Richards

The 360 degree approach

A new way to teach TOEFL and IELTS


I've been teaching TOEFL and IELTS ever since I arrived in Thailand and I quickly realised that there's far more to passing the tests than simply memorising the strategies in the textbooks.

When I first came here I did a tour of the private language centres in Bangkok and managed to squeeze out of more than a few of them that it takes your average Thai student at least four attempts to pass the tests. Some of my private TOEFL and IELTS students have also confirmed similar.

Here's the approach that I've developed and I hope that it works for you and your students.

I only tutor TOEFL and IELTS privately and no longer teach the subjects at private language centres. I will not adhere to rules and regulations that mean students have to repeatedly sit tests. It's a rip-off.

I also only work with the most committed of students. There are two ways of sounding out potential students on this; [1] they must be able to provide their weekly schedules so that you can see their free time. Anything less than eight hours of available TOEFL or IELTS time is a big turn-off for me and [2] they must be able to tell you exactly what degree they want to study, which country they would most prefer to study it in and why, and what job/career they expect to have after graduation.

If they can't do this, especially with the latter, it's because mummy and daddy are footing the bill and pushing them towards something they have at best only a notional interest in. I won't work with these kinds of students.

Students study with me face-to-face for a minimum of six hours per week. Mistakes are treated as learning opportunities and we do not move on until both of us are confident that the same mistakes will not be repeated. Indeed, actively refer to ‘mistakes' as ‘learning opportunities' and praise every single success.

Tailor your lesson plans and teaching approach so that your students never feel disappointed with their efforts. TOEFL and IELTS are difficult subjects after all.

The remaining two hours of the TOEFL or IELTS week is spent on daily projects and contact with me via telephone and/or email.

What sort of projects? Whatever ones will help to develop weaker areas and reinforce the stronger ones.

For example, I might get them to actively watch and read BBC World and the Bangkok Post and report specifics back to me. But I only set them tasks in which they have a genuine interest. By focusing on what they really like, I find that it takes a lot of the pressure off of studying the subjects.

This approach ensures that students are immersed in English on a daily basis and it uses all of the four skills to mastering it; listening, speaking, reading and writing.

When I begin working with a new student I always stress that TOEFL or IELTS are a once in a lifetime activity and when they have passed either test they'll never need to sit it again.

The results that I've received from this 360-degree approach have been impressive too, with many students passing on their second or third attempts.

And, no, my rates aren't cheap but my students do get excellent value for money and are at least one step closer to realising their ambitions than they ever will be with your average private language centre.




Comments

No comments yet

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

inlingua International School of Languages

฿600+ / hour

Bangkok


I Can Read System (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

฿37,000+ / month

Bangkok


Ideal English Academy

฿40,000+ / month

Bangkok


Tonlew International Kindergarten

฿40,000+ / month

Chon Buri


TEFL International

฿70,000+ / month

China


DaDaABC

฿63,000+ / month

Online


Featured Teachers

  • Logan

    Logan


    American, 29 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Matthew

    Matthew


    American, 30 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Klaus

    Klaus


    German, 40 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Felix

    Felix


    German, 28 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • JOSEPH REY

    Joseph


    Filipino, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • ofwono

    Ofwono


    Ugandan, 27 years old. Currently living in Thailand

Sponsors

No TEFL required or lesson planning needed. Training and multimedia lessons provided.

Top TEFL job placement provider with competitive benefits and an unforgettable experience.

To be internationally recognized as the leader in quality English language training.

We get you a job! Options for school placements all over Thailand

Brokers for ajarn health insurance and for all your Thailand insurance needs.

Competitive teacher packages with benefits and bonus incentives

First bilingual school in Phuket. Vacancies for kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers.

Progressive English program school near Bangkok employing NES and Filipino teachers

Premier language school with many branches and corporate training.

The Hot Spot


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.


Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!


Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?


Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?