Like many areas of the country Farley Hill has received its fair share of the snow. My lessons for yesterday and today have cancelled, understandably not wanting to take the risk of getting stranded in the snow. Many schools closed yesterday, at a time when many pupils are faced with exam modules for A and GCSE or mock exams.
But, of course, my Skype lessons can continue unaffected by the weather. I now have four Skype pupils and I am sure many more people will consider this option in future. Apart from the weather factor, there is the convenience of parents not having to be available as chauffeurs or having to while away an hour as their offspring are tutored. There are some limitations – having to scan pages from text books unless the pupil also has a copy at home, for example – but there is so much material available on the net that there are usually ways around it. Typically lessons on Skype require more organisation in advance and it’s harder to suddenly switch topics. Written work has to be shared by sending files, correcting them online with tracked changes and returning them for discussion. Instant messaging is useful for short answers or exercises.
All my Skype lessons so far are for English and it will be interesting to see how French tutor sessions will work. Written work will need some thought. Although there are ways to register accents etc via the keyboard they are rather time-consuming. Listening comprehension will also be a challenge. Does anyone have any experience of tutoring French via Skype?