Short lessons: why and how?

Lots of English teachers are used to 60-90-minute lessons and they get surprised when they hear about short 15-30 minute lessons. Most of them react like this: “It is impossible. What can you do in 15-30 minutes?”. However, the experience of many teachers has already proven the contrary. Short lessons do have an effective result and they are quite possible to be organised and held. Today we will be looking into the benefits of short lessons shedding light on why students want to take them and how a teacher can plan these lessons for adults. 

Why do students ask for short lessons?

Students usually ask for short lessons because:

  1. They need only speaking practise on a regular basis. 
  2. They do not have enough time for a proper 60 or 90-minute lesson. 
  3. They have a tense timetable, and they can study only at lunchtime break.
  4. They have small children and can study English only when they are sleeping. 
  5. They are studying by themselves and, occasionally, need some help from an English tutor. 
  6. They are studying the language for business meetings, interviews, public speeches, presentations and many more. All teachers need is to help  students to hone his/her speaking skills on this or that occasion. 

Why shouldn’t teachers be afraid of short lessons?

Short lessons can be really productive in consistency.  I am pretty sure that most of us have students who learn English just once a week. Having a 50 — 60 — minute lesson weekly is not really enough to keep one’s English mood. Hence I will suggest having more lessons with less duration, say  3 — 4 lessons per week, each lasting 15 minutes. The key to this method is to complete a study session every day and to keep consistency.  With the 15-minute method, you will notice improvement while maintaining your student’s motivation and interest in learning the language.

The second benefit of these lessons is that sometimes students lack time and need to discuss some issues with their teachers very quickly. 15-minute-lessons will give you an opportunity to highlight the main points and to clarify them with your students.

How to organise them? 

Having clarified why these lessons are so helpful, now we can smoothly pass to their construction. Definitely, first of all, lesson plans depend on the student’s goal and objectives of the lesson. But whatever the aim of the lesson is, you should cut down some activities, such as warm-up or lead-in. You can just have one-minute warm-up activities before moving to the main point.  

So, if you are having a speaking lesson which is aimed at helping your students to get ready for an interview, a business meeting or a presentation, you need to provide your students with the appropriate vocabulary list in advance. This will certainly save your time. Secondly, you need to make sure that your students have the necessary materials (presentation, the text of the speech, the issues that may be discussed at the meeting, etc.) to get ready for the upcoming task.  

Sometimes students want to have a short lesson to practise some specific grammar topic. Here you need to prepare the key points of the material, some speaking activities (e.g. board games) and why not brief examples from different films (if there are any). Students may have some special questions on the topics as well, which you can discuss with them at the lesson.

Accordingly, as you can see, short lessons do have an effective result when used properly. There are of course many more cases when these lessons can be found helpful. 

We continue recruiting teachers for short 15-minute Speaking lessons, Talks, for students at Skyeng online school.
If English is like a native language for you or you permanently live in the country where you speak English, try yourself as a teacher of speaking lessons.

This job is perfect for you if you:

– Speak without a strong accent, you can grade your speech to the student’s level (from Elementary to Advanced),
– Feel the student needs and feel the mood of the conversation,
– Can identify mistakes in speech and correct them.
– A teaching certificate is not required, although it is welcomed. It will be a huge plus if you have any international certificates (CELTA, Toefl, etc.). However, the main thing is that you love teaching.

We are looking for a teacher who:
– available for teaching 2 or more hours a day, 5 days a week.
– available during prime time for classes – from 08:00 to 12:00 Moscow time (weekends – optional).
– has a tidy workplace with a neutral background.

Work details are discussed after recording a short trial video.
We are looking forward to your videos. Register using the link here >>>

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