English Teacher Puts Skype Student on the Spot… It’s NOT Teaching!

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Improve Spoken English

Hello, my dear fellow foreign English speakers!

It’s me, Robby, from English Harmony and welcome to my video blog.

Today, I’m going to tell you what I experienced, what I witnessed to be more precise, while watching a video of a particular English teacher teaching a foreigner how to speak in English obviously, right.

Why I’m saying this, it’s all got to do with my own English fluency coaching program that I’m going ahead with currently called Fluency Star. I stopped taking new students on board for the simple reason that there’s no more places available. My schedule is pretty tight as it is but anyway, I was watching this particular video and what struck me, what surprised me big time was the way the teacher conducted the whole conversation.

Here’s what she did. I’m not going to name the teacher or provide any links to that video in the description box below for the simple reason that I don’t want to discredit other people and knock them. Maybe they do what they do for good reasons, who knows, but the way I see it, it’s very inefficient and here it goes, right.

The teacher basically introduced herself to the student by saying all the common things, “My name is such and such. I come from such and such country. I’ve been an English teacher for so long and this and that.”

A minute or a couple of minutes later on, she said to the student, “So now you introduce yourself, please” and the student goes something like, “Okay. My name is such and such, and I come from such and such country” and then she just froze and guess why?

Well, obviously, she couldn’t recall what the next point was that she had to mention in her introduction simply because the teacher just breezed through the whole list, right, and she had no reference points or anything in her mind!

No-one Is Capable Of Repeating Long Lists Even in Their Native Language!

She just went blank. She drew a blank – which is an idiomatic expression – I think it comes from military, to draw a blank. It’s got to do with blank bullets, I think. I’m not really sure but then again, we don’t have to analyze these idiomatic expressions. We don’t necessarily need to know where they originated from. We just need to know how to apply them in everyday conversations, right, so in this case when I’m saying that the student drew a blank, it means her mind went all blank and she basically didn’t know what to say.

The teacher was like, “Okay, do you not remember what I said?” and the student goes like, “No” and I was watching it and I was thinking, “Jesus, does she not realize what she’s doing? She’s putting the poor student on the spot!”

This is another expression meaning that she puts her in a situation where there’s no way out of it, do you know what I mean? She was in a predicament basically. She didn’t know what to say, she couldn’t complete the task that she was assigned and it registers with the student that she is a failure, that she can’t speak properly!

In reality it was all happening just because of lack of instruction, right, but how that teacher could get away with it and how she doesn’t realize what she’s doing… I just don’t get it! It beats me. I don’t get it. What I would have done and what I’m doing in the Skype coaching chat sessions is I’m always asking questions or dropping hints as to what the student has to say or what he has to ask me. There’s always hints dropped or questions asked so the student immediately knows how to respond!

My Skype Coaching is Totally Different!

In Fluency Star, there’s a lot of repetition going on because my hints and questions always include the key phrases, collocations and idiomatic expressions, and all of that, so there is constant repetition and memorization going on. It’s a natural flow, but just to basically recite a whole poem off by heart and then tell the person, “Now, you repeat the same thing, kind of”, it just doesn’t compute!

I just don’t get it. All it does, it creates an awful lot of confusion and if that person was paying for that lesson, I would say it’s money wasted, money gone to waste, because after thirty or sixty minutes of conversation having happened in this particular way, there’s no benefit to the student because the student is not required to repeat anything or to memorize anything.

The teacher does most of the talking and from time to time, she’s trying to elicit some answer from the student or makes her say something but it’s not done in a consistent manner.

There is no conversation going on at the same time. It’s mostly one way conversation the whole time. The teacher talks and then sometimes the student is required to say something. In this particular example, she just puts the student on the spot by telling her, “Listen. Now, say pretty much the same as I just said during the last thirty seconds or sixty seconds or whatever.”

It’s just not possible. Nobody could do that in their native language let alone in a foreign language, right, so this was just my observation and I believe it’s wrong. It shouldn’t be happening that way. Yes, that’s about it, my friends. If you have any comments in this regard, please publish them in the comments section below this video and of course, I’m going to be as helpful as I possibly can while responding to those comments, right.

Thanks for watching and talk to you soon again. Bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
  • Yes, I couldn’t agree more with you on that – learning via Skype is the done thing nowadays and it only makes sense to do it that way – you can learn comfortably from home, save yourself loads of time and skip all the textbook studying that won’t get you far in the spoken department!

  • Ren

    Online teaching is really becoming popular because of its convenience. I learn from my skype teacher english at Preply and it’s really been helping me.

  • Hi Rozina,

    Yes, I have a Skype-based fluency coaching program called Fluency Star, and you can read about it here: http://fluencystar.com/

    It’s not a free service, however – as you can imagine anything that takes up people’s time is work and has to be remunerated accordingly! 😉

    Let me know if you’re interested and we’ll take it from there,


  • Rozina Begum

    i am trying to learn english via skype free have you and idea or service for me.Please inform me quickly.

  • Well, in order to do that, I’d have to ask one of my customers to agree with getting recorded and published on my YouTube channel – which is something I can bring up during one of the next chat sessions. I’ll see if anyone is willing to do that! 😉

  • nick

    Hi Robby

    It’s better to see one time than to hear one hundred times

    Could you allow us to see an example of your Skype session ?

    Sure, it will bring benefit to your business, learners and other English teachers.

  • Hi Sunny,

    Please get in touch with me at [email protected] and we’ll organize it!

    Chat soon,


  • Sunny

    Hi Robby, I really wanted to join a skype based english fluency coaching program and fortunately I came across Fluency Star but the next thing I knew is it is already sold out. I missed it this time but don’t want to happen it again.

    Dear Robby,do you have advance booking facility for Fluency Star coaching program?