How do I gain loyal students from the first lesson?

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    Bronwyn Conlon

    These are great suggestions, but honestly sometimes the student just won't respond before that first class...! I literally had my very first Conversation Practice lesson today and messaged the student twice in the preceding days to try and get some more information about his goals, level, etc and I got nothing back from him! So it was just a case of launching the call today and hoping for the best...! Thankfully it went well, but I honestly think that it's possible he simply didn't understand the messages I was sending to ask for more info... In that case, he wouldn't be able to respond to them anyway... 

    I think the clarity before a class begins is going to be a bit of a hit and miss game... Some students will respond, some won't... We'll just have to be prepared either way... Xxx

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    Mika

    I've experienced the same thing as Bronwyn - sometimes students don't reply before the class. Even if there is a response, a lot of students only superficially fill out the contact form (it's still useful for me to gauge somethings about a student) so the first lesson is always just a getting-to-know-them/ breaking-the-ice kind of conversation. I've found that people open up more about their needs and desires with the language learning journey during the conversation, as opposed to, through messages. 

    The trial lesson option is a good option. If a student doesn't have any trial lessons left, I still make sure that their first lesson with me is a 30-minute lesson. If they book an hour, for example, I decline the request and send them a message with the reason. Most students immediately book a 30-minute lesson instead. 

    I 100% think that a 30-minute conversation is better than a pre-planned lesson. But that may be because that is what works for me and my students.

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    Guyomar

    The advice doesn't match up to my experience. Usually, when a new student books a lesson, they don't send me any message at all. In the past, I followed up, asking them about their experience with the language, their goals --- and often got no response at all. It's been my experience that students do NOT see it as going the extra mile, don't really appreciate it and would prefer just to spend 5 minutes of the first meeting talking about these things. I would prefer to know more about the student ahead of time because it helps me prepare better, but it seems that most students don't feel a need to communicate their needs ahead of time.

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    Leslie

    It would be nice if students had unlimited trials. Teachers set the trial prices anyway so it doesn't make much sense to limit it to only three. A limit to one per teacher would make more sense. 

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    Laurie S

    Leslie - 100% agree. 

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    Filippo Pistore

    Completely agree with Leslie

    It would make sense for students to have unlimited trials, limited to one per teacher.

    The purpose of a trial lesson should be to see if there is a good chemistry between a specific teacher and the student.

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    Eunice Ruiz

    Very good article. I have always done these steps, both in live classes in the schools where I worked before, and now in Italki, because it is very important to know in advance what a student's needs are. This is very professional.


    I want to ask something important to ITALKI STAFF:
    Why do teachers no longer have access to the full profile of students? Knowing your approximate age and knowing about your experiences in general will help us know what kind of people we are dealing with. Because just as they want and have the right to know something about their future teachers or tutors of the language they learn, it helps them to be able to choose with what kind of person they want to practice their Spanish, we will not be blind either, guessing who we will teach for the first time .
    Hopefully this comment and question, be considered by you, please.
    Thank you

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    Eunice Ruiz

    I want to ask something important to ITALKI STAFF:
    Why do teachers no longer have access to the full profile of students? Knowing your approximate age and knowing about your experiences in general will help us know what kind of people we are dealing with. Because just as they want and have the right to know something about their future teachers or tutors of the language they learn, it helps them to be able to choose with what kind of person they want to practice their Spanish, we will not be blind either, guessing who we will teach for the first time .
    Hopefully this comment and question, be considered by you, please.
    Thank you

     

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    Dann Connery

    i am completly agree.

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    Pete Johnson

    Project experience and certainty but if there happens to be a tricky question which you cannot answer immediately - eg: a particular rule on which prepositions in certain situations in English - don't be afraid to admit you're not immediately sure but will clarify and let the student know next time. The student will be accepting of that as long as you deliver on the promise.

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    Majid Alqassim

    These are really insightful. thanks,

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    Simone Wentzel

    Super good points.  On the fence of the limited trial lessons however when I say that I know us as teachers need to step it up and make it worth the student' time and money.

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    Ashton Gray

    In my point of view;

    It all depends on the communication of the student and the teacher. 

    I have have noticed some students are more private with what their goals and motivations.

    Before the session or even during the lesson.

    I suggest that Italki makes the students chose at least 3 areas of interest (or hashtags or topics) prior to the meeting - in this way, before the session you can have material relevant to the student.

    Otherwise you can go into a meeting blind.

    I think this will save some trouble and save time if a student and teacher are not compatible.

    I hope this helps.

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    Ambiorix Encarnacion

    It has happened to me that they don't reply back; however, I try to look at their profile and see their level or if they have received classes already, that can make an idea about the student. When I meet the student, I make them talk about them; I lead them to use some structures of the language in those first 10 minutes and see where the student has some weakness that they have to work. From there I can build a lesson and it has usually worked really well. 

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