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Teaching One to OneWhile the majority of english teaching courses are focussed toward the classroom environment, there are several specific areas starting to emerge in popularity. One of these is private english lessons, or teaching english one to one, particularly in the business sector. There are several differences between teachings in the classroom environment and one to one. I will focus on managing the teacher – student relationship in this short research article. While the one to one environment presents great opportunities to concentrate on specific needs, be flexible in the lesson plans and deal with weaknesses as they are recognised, there are some difficulties managing this close relationship. The teacher may feel that the student is tiring, boring or intimidating. The student will also be an unknown quantity and may vary in personality or attitude from being rude and arrogant to insecure and non talkative. There is also a possibility the student may feel a lack of control or patronised, particularly if they have a high powered position in their company. The student may also have chosen one to one classes, expecting to be spoon fed. It is the teacher’s responsibility to establish a good relationship with the student. The key ways to do this include giving the student a clear indication of what the course will involve. The course will have been developed from needs analysis information from the student. The explanation of the course provides a forum for clarification of expectations and that the teacher has interpreted the needs analysis correctly. There may be some elements which the student does not think are necessary but the teacher should be able to explain the reasons for their inclusion. Gaining respect from the student is important. By being organised and well prepared, seeking feedback (and accepting negative feedback), being prepared to adjust content and being interested in your student are all ways to gain respect. Student learning styles is a well researched topic. Understanding the learning style of your student also contributes to managing this relationship. It will help to prepare lessons, select activities and set the pace of learning to suit the individual. This does not mean the teacher has to be an expert in student learning, but you do need to be aware of what is working and what is not for your student. If the student does not like an activity or does not respond positively to it, the teacher may need to minimise its use. Adapting to the student’s learning style does not mean you need to change your teaching style. One of the major difficulties expressed by teachers experienced in the one to one environment is keeping the energy levels going. In a class environment there is a group of students all feeding off each other’s enthusiasm (if properly motivated by the teacher) but this is missing one to one. If the student is low-energy or passive the interaction between student and teacher may become one way (teacher only). This is draining for the teacher and makes it difficult to get any momentum going in the class. In this situation, it is critical to build the confidence of the student to change this dynamic. All students may become tired during class, not just low energy students. Students may be doing an intensive course or learning difficult vocabulary. Student may also be dealing with living in a different country as well as learning a new language. Teachers need to be conscious that tiredness may be a factor and should look out for it and adjust the lesson accordingly. This may require changing to simpler, fun based activities, taking a break or allowing more time for activities. The relationship between a teacher and their students is critical in both the classroom and one to one environments. This has been a brief look at some of the factors a teacher needs to consider when operating in this scenario.