Yesterday I had a client cancel on me. I don't mean cancel a session; I mean 'We think we don't need you anymore' kind of cancel. My family was horrified - I had described the sessions as interesting and fruitful for both client and tutor - and I must say, I am having a little difficulty wrapping my head around it! But ultimately, the client had put into practice the suggestions I made and they were working, so I should not be disappointed.
You run into all sorts of people when you offer tutoring services to adult speakers of other languages. When the client is your student, as most often happens with adults, you talk things out and make suggestions which may or may not be followed. But in some cases, the student is actually an (adult) family member of the client and the solution to the problem of his or her acquiring more English lies with the client's family and how they communicate with the student at home. Which I explained to my client. And ultimately, he and his wife tried my suggestion and discovered that the student perhaps did not need the services of a tutor to speak English with him once a week, but that the family could do that every day! So I guess I worked myself out of a job!
And so my schedule opens up a little; I might actually answer a few more requests for my services, hopefully people who are free towards the end of the week instead of on the three days that I teach in the classroom! Perhaps I shall work on a blog post aimed at family members who want help with a non-English-speaking member of the household, outlining suggestions to help support that student in their acquisition of a new language.
Irene C. - English as a Second Language