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SkimaTalk Teacher Guidelines

February 03, 2023

SkimaTalk Teacher Guidelines

SkimaTalk Teacher Guidelines


February 03, 2023

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  1. 1. Must-read Preparation 1. Set "allow calls/messages from anyone" and

    "Appear in search results " in your Skype settings. 2. Confirm your Skype Name registered with SkimaTalk is spelled correctly. 3. In the “Upcoming Sessions” screen on your teacher profile, click on the student’s photo to view the student’s information such as feedback preferences. Use this information to help prepare for your session. 4. Before the session begins, send a message to the student via Skype. As part of the message, ask the student what he/she hopes to learn from the upcoming session. This will prepare the teacher and student for the session and set expectations. 5. Become familiar with SkimaTalk’s Courses and other tools in advance to facilitate sessions efficiently. Top 10 Reasons Teachers Receive Low Ratings – Avoid these situations to avoid low ratings 1. No-show. 2. Tardiness: beginning the session late or conducting a session that lasts fewer than 25 minutes. 3. No use of Skype Video: some sessions have been conducted with Skype Audio only. Students want to be able to see the teacher. If you do not use Skype Video, the student is entitled to a refund if they complain. 4. Speaking speed: make sure you speak slowly enough for the student to understand. You will need to alter your speaking speed for different students. 5. Lack of feedback for students: students want feedback on how they did during the session, and what they should practice. The new "Feedback" feature will allow you to provide feedback after the session as well as during the session.
  2. 6. No use of Skype chat: prior to and after

    a session, it is important to send the student a message via Skype chat. Say hi and goodbye and type links, questions, and words on Skype message to make your session more efficient. 7. No use of the SkimaTalk course materials when requested: if a student books a course lesson, you must follow the lesson materials during the session. 8. Be sure to smile and be friendly. This makes students more comfortable. 9. Poor Internet connection: make sure you conduct the session from a strong internet connection in a quiet location (no loud cafes). 10. Lack of customization / focus on the student’s unique learning goals. Hitting the ‘I’m Ready’ Button 1. Teachers are required to hit the “I’m Ready” button at the beginning of every session. This is an important, and required, step in the SkimaTalk teaching process. Dealing with Student No-Shows: some steps to minimize no-shows 1. Not all students will respond to your Skype message sent before the session begins. Even so, you still must call the student. In this instance, search for the contact and then right click on the contact's name. One of the options should be to Skype call the contact. You might not be able to enable video until the call connects. 2. Don't rely on Skype's online / offline status to determine whether the student is online. Even though the student is shown as "offline", there are many cases where your student is online and just waiting for your call. You must call the student, regardless of what the Skype status says. 3. You must remain on Skype at least 15 minutes into the scheduled session time, sending several messages to the student during this time period. 4. If the student still has not shown, teachers are required to report the No-Show on the teacher’s “My Page”: To report the No-Show, click the ‘Report Student’s No-show’ button 15 minutes after the scheduled session time and before the session ends (the No-Show report button is effective only for the last 10 minutes of the session).
  3. 2. How to conduct the 1st session I. Introduction /

    Ice Breaker (5 minutes) a. Get to know the student – where is he/she from, what are his/her interests, etc. b. Learn about the student’s goals – what does the student want to practice (e.g., pronunciation, reading comprehension, conversation)? c. Gain an understanding of the student’s current English ability level. This will be important in selecting teaching aides and materials. d. Ask the student if he or she has a specific material / topic to study during the session. If not, you can propose a topic based on b and c above. II. Teaching session (15 minutes) a. Based on your introductory conversation, begin working to meet the student’s goals (e.g., practice pronunciation or conversation) b. Learn about the student’s learning style III. Feedback (5 minutes) a. Provide the student with a few points of feedback – offer some techniques and materials the student can practice in between now and the next session. For example, provide a link to a news article the student can read or a YouTube video the student can watch. b. VERY IMPORTANT – Ask the student what he/she wants to practice during the next session. c. (If you have no teaching experience) Ask for feedback from the student – in what areas can you improve your teaching? IV. Post-Session (5 minutes) a. Leave feedback on the student’s profile on the “Evaluate” page. b. Leaving feedback offers many benefits. As a teacher it will improve your reputation and allow you to remember / learn about previous sessions. For the student it helps the student focus on where to study. Your feedback will be saved on the student’s profile page and also sent to the student immediately.
  4. c. Use the following SkimaTalk functions effectively: • SkimaTalk Message:

    You can communicate with your student on the SkimaTalk website, but you cannot always send or receive messages. You can do so after your student books a session and within 48 hours after the session end time (this is to prevent spam). • Student Feedback This feature enables you to leave feedback for students directly on their profiles. Lots of students have been asking for this feature – this is a great way to establish strong relationship with, and ratings from, your students. • Comments from Students We have created a feature that allows students to leave feedback / comments on teachers' profiles. This feedback can be a great marketing tool for you – potential students will have the ability to see positive comments that students have left about you as a teacher. Ø On the "History” page, check the box "Display on Profile" next to the comment that you want to display on your profile page. 3. How to conduct subsequent sessions Preparation: - Send a Skype or SkimaTalk message to your student a couple minutes before the session. o e.g. “Hi, good evening / morning. Welcome to SkimaTalk. I’m XXX. What would you like to talk about today? The news, accent reduction, free conversation or other topics (Interview training, writing correction… whatever you want!)? See you soon!” o You can also send a Skype or SkimaTalk message to your student after the session. - If you and your student have an agreed upon lesson plan from the previous session, prepare a lesson plan that meets the student’s goals.
  5. - Remember that each student will have a different set

    of goals for the session – adjust your preparation accordingly. I. Introduction (2 minutes) a. Ask the student how he/she is doing. b. Ask the student if he/she has specific material or a specific topic to study during the session. Otherwise, you can give a 30-second summary of the lesson plan so the student knows what to expect. Make sure the student is comfortable with the lesson plan. II. Session (20 minutes) a. Work through the prepared lesson. b. Adjust the lesson accordingly if the student feels the material is too easy or too difficult, or not relevant to his/her goals. III. Feedback (3 minutes) a. Leave the student with a few tips to practice before the next session. b. Be very encouraging (e.g., “You made great progress today”). c. Discuss scheduling a follow-up session and a potential lesson plan for that session. 4. SkimaTalk Courses SkimaTalk offers a variety of pre-built Course content for students. To be eligible to teach these Courses, you must Opt-in to each Course. To do so, take the following steps: 1. In the “Manage Courses” menu, select “My Courses”. 2. Select the checkbox next to each Course you want to teach (you may not be eligible to teach all Courses). 3. Select the “Update” button. That’s it!
  6. Many students will elect to study SkimaTalk Course lessons. In

    these situations, the lesson materials have been prepared in advance. It is important that you read through the lesson materials before the session. Preparation: 1. When a SkimaTalk Course lesson is scheduled, the session confirmation email will contain a link to the lesson materials. 2. Some lessons require teachers to prepare in advance. Please review the lesson guidelines to understand if you need to prepare in advance. 3. Prepare as necessary for the lesson. During the Session: 1. The Teacher version of the lesson materials provides tips/instructions on how to structure the lesson. It is important that you follow these instructions during the session. 2. Be sure to ask the student all of the discussion questions listed in the lesson materials. After the Session: 1. Provide feedback to the student based on the instructions in the Lesson Guidelines. 2. Each lesson has different feedback requirements. You must follow these requirements to receive credit for the session.
  7. 5. DO’s & DON’Ts Category DO’s DON’Ts Punctuality - Call

    on time (+- 30 seconds) - Talk for at least 25 min. The student must not feel cheated on time. (Be sure to end your session on time if you have another session scheduled directly afterwards) - Call at 12:03 and end at 12:25. (It’s only 22min!) Speaking - At the beginning, speak slowly and deliberately. Speak as if you were talking with a young child. - Then adjust the speed based on the student’s level. - Do not overwhelm your student by speaking at your natural speed from the beginning. Pronunciation - Be mindful of your pronunciation. Try to clearly articulate each syllable when you speak. - If you speak slowly and articulate clearly, it helps the student greatly, as they can see the position your mouth and lips take in pronouncing each syllable. This is one of the best ways (especially for Japanese students) to practice various sounds. - Do not let one word flow into the next or allow your pronunciation to slip. Don’t speak too much - Make sure the student is doing the majority of the talking. It is common that Japanese people are somewhat timid when speaking another language. Therefore, it will be tempting for you to speak most of the time. Encourage the student to speak – this is why they are - Do not overwhelm the student by speaking too much.
  8. conducting the session! Provide frequent feedback - Be sure to

    correct your student when grammar, pronunciation, comprehension, etc. is lacking. The students need this feedback to improve. - Encourage your student whenever possible. Provide frequent praise and highlight areas where the student has improved. - Do not be timid about providing feedback. Your feedback will help the students achieve their goals. - Do not let a 25-minute session pass without praising your student. Utilize Skype video - Always ensure that your Skype video is enabled. Video allows the student to track your lip movements and facial cues. - Do not disable your video, even if the student’s video is disabled Use Skype message effectively - Type links, questions, and words on Skype message to make your session more efficient. - Send messages soon before and after the session to say hi and goodbye. - Go through the messages in the previous session to remind you of what you and the student studied last time. - Do not forget to send a Skype contact request in advance of the first lesson with the student. Otherwise you cannot use the messaging function. - Do not let the student ask a question like “What did you say?” several times. This is when you should use Skype message to type what you said. Session design - Be strategic & creative in designing your lesson. How can you add the most value to the student & make the session enjoyable? - The quality of your session will determine whether the student will return for another session - Do not approach a session without a plan. This reflects poorly on you as a teacher and provides only limited value to the student.
  9. Ask for feedback - Remind the student to provide you

    with feedback on the session using the “Evaluate” section in the student’s SkimaTalk page. Ideally the student should provide a rating as soon as the session is completed. - Do not forget to monitor your reputation (rating) on SkimaTalk. The students use this rating to help select future teachers. Session timing - Recognize the time difference between Japan and your location. - California is 8 hours ahead of Japan (minus 1 day). For example, 6:00pm Thursday in California is 10:00am Friday in Japan. - The sweet spots for Japanese students are 7:00am-9:00am & 6:00pm-12:00am on weekdays, and 7:00am -12:00am on weekends (Japan time). In California time, this translates to 3:00pm-5:00pm & 2:00am-8:00am on weekdays, and 3:00pm-8:00am on weekends. - Try to schedule your availability to align with the sweet spots for Japanese students. - Do not forget that Japan is 1 day ahead of the U.S. (Monday in the U.S. is Tuesday in Japan).