One thing experts advice language teachers to do is to take a language course every so often in order to remember what it feels like to be a language student.
I haven't been taking language classes, but I am studying something that is brand new to me--music. And, as I have been learning to play the 二胡, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, I have learned some things about being a student that should help me as a language teacher.
fundamental basics are necessary.
--they are not fun; but they are necessary for future success.
feedback is crucial and a balance (between negative and positive) is necessary.
--if all I hear is how good I am, I can get overconfident.
--if all I hear is how poor I am doing, I can get discouraged.
--hearing my teacher say "good job" makes me happy to continue practicing.
--hearing my teacher say "hold it this way insead" also makes me happy to continue.
review is nice.
--it lets me refreash what I should know.
--it lets me feel successful.
there are times when I need a challenge and times when I don't.
--if everything is challenging, it makes me want to quit.
--if everything is too easy, it makes me want to quit.
--if there is a balance between challenging and easy, I feel much more willing to try.
practicing must be a little every day.
--15 min for 7 days is much better than 1 hour for 2 days.
the teacher is not always right. :)
--sometimes she makes mistakes too.
the teacher knows best.
--the things she does to help me learn are worth it even though at that time they don't make sense to me.