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I’ve been asked to do a workshop for Cornelsen to promote Up to Speed, a Business English coursebook written by Carole Eilertson and Louise Kennedy which I had the honor of being an advisor to, as one of a team. The two authors have other things going on and can’t do it. I really like the book, so if it helps it get more publicity, I’m in. This will be at BESIG this coming November, so I’m going to Posznan, Poland – wow!

A workshop should be more than a book PR event, it needs to contain interesting approaches that stand on their own. The book focusses on one2one language coaching (Einzelcoaching), so I’ll make that my main project focus for the next half year.

I need to reflect on my teaching practice and do some “action enquiry”: redefine and refine my didactic approach in one2one, find students willing to go down that road with me and then evaluate what we have done to see whether the approach translates to effective learning. A nice project. It will bring back those great discussions we had with Louise and Carole. I’ve focussed on one day workshops lately and have longstanding company courses, but have taken a break from one2one. One of the things I’ll be rethinking now is how to keep one2one courses on track; after all, they are often more chaotic and less regular  due to my clients’ complicated schedules and very limited time and ad hoc problems to be solved. But when we get sidetracked and lose track of where we’re going there is less progress. Focus is so important, so defining small steps to achieve small gains is essential.

PS: My four categories for a small gains spreadsheet:

  1. Goal and purpose
  2. When
  3. What and how
  4. 360° feedback

This is a rough scheme. Not sure how to break down bigger goals into smaller ones visually – I probably should put them on a separate sheet. Especially with one2ones the agenda changes so quickly – this is the problem – because I’m an immediate resource, and there is always a pressing need for something right here and right now. I have to be able to document what goal we have been working on for the 360° feedback. – I wish I could get all of my one2one students to set up a blog, to reflect and extend the lesson productively. You know, maybe I should make it mandatory…. Hmm… Anyway, a few of my students are starting up again.

If you are a teacher, how do you monitor whether you are still on track in your one2one courses? Or do you feel you don’t need to? If you are a project manager, how do you visualize and monitor small gains or “wins”?