We've had an amazing 2015 here at Tutorfair thanks to our fantastic community of tutors and students! We asked a few of our favourites to share their adventures with us. Here, Isabelle tells us what it's like to work with a rather unusual client.
Football really isn’t my thing. Or wasn’t at least. If I don’t hate it I have certainly spent my life mostly ignoring it. No longer! My first booking with TutorFair turned out to be with a football analytics company (and owner of Brentford Football Club), providing French tuition to two employees – one a beginner, the other very proficient - with an emphasis on improving spoken fluency.
Particularly for the more advanced client, I found myself in a dilemma familiar to many language tutors: how to stimulate and sustain 90 minutes of conversation on a weekly basis without either one of us collapsing from exhaustion, or worse, boredom. The answer? Football, of course - at least in part. From corruption at Fifa to the decline of Manchester United and the ins and outs of the transfer market, I have covered it all through newspaper articles, reports and perhaps most importantly, by drawing on the expert analysis of my football-mad client. I’ve certainly learned a lot. I may even have learned to like football! I can only hope my client feels the same way about his French.
Tutoring is not all about long discussions, of course. Every client has a different level and every client has different motivations. Part of the pleasure of tutoring is precisely this diversity. Where one might need French for their work, another might have an exam coming up or feel themselves slipping behind at school. The challenges are always different and always changing yet, as every tutor knows, there is one constant: the key to learning anything is to enjoy it. Tutoring is much more than simply imparting information. It is also about eliciting ideas and thoughts and encouraging clients to express themselves freely. I have only been with TutorFair for a few short months but I have been lucky enough to work with some fascinating, diverse and very motivated people. What more could I ask for? Apart from a Brentford win next week, of course.