What should I do in my first English lesson with new students?

new student in first class
11 Mar Shelley Vernon 4 Comments

When you start with a new student you never know what you are going to get. It's pointless preparing a lesson really since you won't know the real level of the student until you meet them. The student might have told you that they have been studying English for seven years, but that doesn't tell you much. Some people know virtually nothing after seven years of English lessons!


I therefore recommend giving students a language test in the first lesson. You'll have concrete evidence of what they know. You can find free tests online. Here are three links but if you search yourself, you'll find more. Copy and paste the links to go through to the page:




If you have new students join your existing group, the golden rule is not to hold up the students already attending. Likewise, if a student misses a lesson, don't go back over old ground and hold back those who were there. When the new student joins the group, give them a language test to do quietly, while you teach your regulars something new. Then, in the second part of the lesson, you could ask the students to find out all about each other with interviews. Work in pairs, find out as much as you can and then present the other student to the class. This might mean that one of the students will interview and present you. This is quite a nice thing to do in the first lesson. Also, this type of multi-level activity allows more advanced students to use more language and those with less ability can stick to questions at their level.


Do write your comments and ideas in the blog below. Don't worry, your email is kept private, it's only there in case you ask me something and I need to get in touch with you.



Hello, Shelley! Nice to hear your new ideas! They give me so much inspiration for my own. Very good idea to start the first lesson - it's always so hard to organise students. Your idea's very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing it with other teachers. Jane.
Dear Jane, Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found the ideas useful. I'm here to help anytime. All the best, Shelley
Just testet: testmylevel.com. The result is sent to my email which is fine, but it tells me about a level that I can not relate to. And it isn't possible to see the right and wrong answers... Best regards Lone
Thanks Lone, you are right, I'm removing the link. In addition, there are 40 questions and my internet is so slow I can't even get through the questions before the time is up!

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