Some background – at my school if a student is not ready to go on to the next course level we are supposed to, amongst other things, have a chat with the student and suggest that they repeat the same level. It’s a system that I don’t think works well for different reasons, but that’s a discussion for another time.
One of my adult students has been very weak in the course throughout the year, i have previously spoken to him and we have agreed action points to get him on track, but he has told me he hasn’t been able to do so much because of other commitments.
The group gets on really well and it would be a real shame to have to split them up, but I was worried that the next course might have been too difficult for him.
In the end I left it until the last lesson, then announced at the end of the lesson in front of the whole group that I wanted to speak to this student. Then I didn’t really point out any positive points about what they have done well, I just immediately began to tell him he was possibly not ready for the next course and asked him how he felt and if he thought he could do some extra things over the summer. He seemed totally demotivated and I felt terrible. I felt that I embarrassed him in front of the class and discredited everything he has achieved and the fact that he always comes to the lessons even though they are late in the evening and he has to come a long way.
I dont really know how to fix the situation. I thought perhaps I could send him an email and explain myself better, pointing out all the things he has done well. Do you think he will be feeling totally demotivated and less confident with his English now?
I’d really appreciate any advice!
Obviously I will learn from this to be much more careful in future, but I’d really like to fix this situation with this particular student somehow as I feel terrible!