Retaining your Language Students
You made an amazing profile, the word is out about your awesome classes and you are completely booked for the next month. This is great news, but be sure not to drop the ball – there’s retention work that needs to be done on your end in order to keep your students coming back for more. In this article we cover all the how-to’s you should know in order to maintain and nurture your students. So, prepare your whiteboard and write on it in bold letters “retention” because that’s what will differentiate you from the ‘one-hit wonder’ teachers on Amphy.
But first, it’s important to understand why retention is so important for your professional path as a teacher. On Amphy, creating a base of the loyal and regular students should be your main focus.
Having regular students:
- Gives you a steady and consistent source of income
- Gives you a powerful group of advocates to promote your classes to their friends and loved ones
- Add to your positive reviews and therefore increase your search ranking and sales on Amphy
- Allows you to give more personalized classes since you’ll understand your students’ individual language level, what they need, their learning style and the type of words and phrases they enjoy to learn.
- Gives the ability to build strong personal relationships with your student
Retention Quick Tips
1. Make a good first impression. How you welcome your students and start your class with set the stage for the feelings throughout and afterwards. Be sure to be friendly, on time and organized.
2. Set up realistic expectations. Make it clear from the beginning who the class is meant for and what you will achieve together. This can be the most effective way to avoid disappointment or frustration.
3. Make students feel heard and appreciated. A big advantage of live classes is the ability to ask questions and interact in real time. Be sure to be patient and appreciative of interactions.
4. Encourage feedback, questions and ideas. Plan regular stops throughout your class for students to ask questions or share their experience.
5. When a regular student misses a class, be sure to notice them when they return. A simple “great to see you again, we missed you” can make your student feel that their presence and participation is valuable.
6. Students prefer to learn “real world” and practical skills. Try to include as many snippets of practical advice throughout to enrich their everyday lives and personal workouts too.
7. Ask student opinions. Engage them with questions and encourage their participation.
8. Identify an early alert system. Be clear on what students should do if they become lost or confused, sometimes you may want to dedicate some time for dealing with students that didn’t keep up. Perhaps recommend direct chat to allow you to finish what you are in the middle of before helping them out.
9. Help students create goals for taking the class. Ask them why they chose to take the class and what they would like to gain. If they have big or advanced goal, this can be a great way to encourage them to take additional classes.
10. Make sure to keep pace and achieve what you set out to do. No one will come back if they only made it through a couple phrases in the class.
“Retention is one of the most important factors that will define your success on Amphy”
Prepare your whiteboard and write on it in bold letters “retention” because that’s what will differentiate you from the ‘one-hit wonder’ teachers on Amphy.
Actively ask for feedback & reviews
One of the main concepts in personal growth is the ‘learning stage’ – this is a state of mind you should adopt in every class. To do so, it’s highly recommended to engage with your students after the class is done.
Ask them about their experience learning with you, what parts they loved and which parts could be better. The most confident and qualified teachers actively ask for feedback, and students appreciate the honesty and care of you trying to improve to give them and others the best possible class.
You will be surprised to know how useful this feedback can be for you. Here are 2 ideas:
After you finished the class, kindly ask the attendees to leave a review if they enjoyed the class, and to elaborate as much as they can. They will receive a review link after the class.
After Class Feedback Sessions
Suggest a 5 min session with you after class for those who want to talk about their experience, give feedback and ask questions. This can be incredibly beneficial to you to build relationships with your students and to fine tune your class plan.
Use this time to encourage students to leave positive reviews and to tell their friends about the class.
Of course after collecting the feedback and reviews, comes the difficult stage of implementing the critics and that’s the most important stage of improving the experience that you provide.
Bring some fun into your class
There are so many ways to make your classroom more fun and we will cover some ideas how to do that here but in any case, no matter what you choose, remember that when your class is interesting and involves fun activities, the experience is much better and the chance those students will come back again is by far higher.
Involve Points or Games
In other words Gamification. This term is used when integrating gaming techniques in non-gaming environments to inspire, collaborate, share and interact socially with others. People love to compete, against their previous selves as well as against others.
For instance, you can create badges that will be granted to your students from class to class to encourage them to participate in more of your classes and work their way towards fluency.
You can also create group activities and make the attendees engage with each other. For instance, you can pair people up to practice together. This is a great way to keep your class dynamic and improve the bond between students.
Research shows that (good) surprises have a positive effect on the brain. Keep your students interested by preparing occasional surprises such as interesting guests, gifts, bonus classes, and more.
Build Excitement for the next class
Always build expectations for your next class. Give your students teasers at the end of the class on what will be studied in the next session and why they should participate again.
These are only some examples of how you can retain your students but the list is endless and there is no limit to where your creativity can go. Just remember that like in any relationship, stagnation is always a bad sign. Hence, you should be able to keep your students interested and excited about your next encounters.
Congratulations! You have completed the Amphy Teacher’s Guide.
Next step: Teach Live on Amphy.