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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 13 Oct 2022, 19:04

I had my first two tutorials of the academic year yesterday.  It was obviously early in the course and I could not expect the students to know much of the course content so developing a good rapport was probably the main aim.

One seemed to do this better than the other.  In one tutorial, very few were prepared to use their microphones and this led to a slightly stilted tutorial.  It was still useful but it did not really help students to break down barriers and think of how they can support each other.

The other seemed livelier as students turned their microphones on and we were able to speak more naturally.  Unfortunately, my slides did not load (there was no problem with that in the other tutorial) which meant it flowed less smoothly than it might have done.

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This is part of an essay written by a student I taught on an online course for a Chinese university.  It is interesting that she says she and her partner dare not speak, which is a major constraint in a speaking course.  This perhaps reinforces my view that it should have focused on writing skills and teachers who could teach face to face should have taught speaking.

It is interesting that she overstated my age by at least ten years.  I suppose 60 year olds look ancient for 18 year olds.

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