An image of an angel sitting on a balcony.

Placing Students – Top Tips

    • See this as a God-given opportunity to welcome and show love, rather than something to ‘get over and done with’.
    • Have a person(s) tasked with placing people.
    • Make the most of that first meeting when a new student arrives. Smile, show warmth and make them tea. Tailor your registration form so that you can get to know the student a little and take interest in him or her. For example, get the student to write a little about him or herself and then ask them about it. (See the registration form referred to below as an example)
    • Be flexible! Once you have placed the student give it a couple of weeks and then review whether you think they are indeed in the correct group.
    • Do use some kind of graded test to help you, especially if you teach different levels.
  • Be aware of cultural tendencies. For example, in Japanese culture, the emphasis would be more geared towards getting the answer right rather than ‘having a go’. This can mean students from Japan might prefer to be in a lower level group and/or may not speak much for fear of making mistakes. This can make assessing their verbal capability tricky!
  • Prioritise speaking ability if, as in most cases, your classes are conversation classes.
  • Take time to introduce the new student to their teacher and at this point you could give the student a ‘welcome pack‘ including term dates, invitations to any upcoming events and anything else you want to pop in such as information about church toddler groups if appropriate.
  • Be encouraged! Some of the best chats have been with students during the registration/placement process.
  • Review the process each year.