Usually these are topics related to current local news (e.g. A long list of English conversation class topics can be found here.If it’s a group class and there are at least 30 minutes remaining, I sometimes do an activity where I write a bunch of presentation topics on the board, for example “economics, politics, sports, entertainment.” Then I have each student pick a topic, prepare, and then give a short presentation on that topic in their home country.Providing an easy and stress-free opportunity for the student to suggest changes will help ensure you keep him or her happy to the best of your abilities.

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Practical matters aside, I now let the student(s) introduce themselves.

If it is a group class and the students all know each other, I get them to introduce one of their classmates to me using the third person.

If the student is a housewife who is interested in more general topics, I might bring an ESL lesson plan on the family.

Or, I might just bring a list of questions, topics, or new headlines to our next class and have class without any printed material. Although some students dislike textbooks, I explain to them that I can teach English but I am not an expert in business.

For these reasons, I usually bring a few textbooks to the first meeting.

This shows that I am serious and have resources available to help the student.

For this reason, a textbook is the preferred approach because it was written by experts in that particular field.

It can provide the desired content with an organized structure.

As a teacher, I have been noting down the student’s mistakes (on paper) during the class.

At this point, I review the notes and explain the errors.

Making an effort to understand what the student wants communicates that you are serious about helping him or her. Also, I often ask the student to tell me about their previous English teacher and what they liked/disliked about him/her.