3) Skype, Zoom & how to connect with students

There are two official options for taking lessons: Skype and Zoom. Most tutors allow students to choose, though you can also opt to only offer one of them under Settings. We recommend offering both as you'll find it harder to gain students if you do not.

Some students prefer Skype because it's easier to connect with their tutor and revise language written down in the chat after lessons. Others prefer Zoom because they feel it has more advanced features like a collaborative whiteboard. Both are free for 1-on-1 calls.

Before you start, you will need to add your Skype Name and/or Zoom link under Settings. This can be accessed via the dropdown on the right of the menu.

Your Skype Name can be found in your Skype account under Settings. 

For Zoom, students will use your personal meeting ID link, which will allow them to join the call even if they don't have an account. To find your link, after creating your account here, go to https://zoom.us/profile and go to 'personal meeting ID'. To reveal the full link without the ***s, click the little symbol to the right of the numbers. Then copy the full link ((starting with 'https') and paste it under Settings in LanguaTalk. 

You might want to communicate to students that your meeting link will always be the same so they should save it somewhere. If you're using a Google Doc for lessons, you could paste the link at the top of the document.

If you haven't used Zoom before, you should quickly familiarise yourself with it. Most things are quite obvious, but make sure you understand how to open the chat, share your screen and send files.

Once you have your Zoom account, we strongly recommend activating three important settings:

1. Configure Zoom so every time you start a meeting it's at your Personal Meeting ID. Under settings, turn on Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when starting/scheduling meetings.

2. Turn on 'Waiting room' to ensure you have to accept students before they can join the call. This is important for security and will also prevent one student joining when you're talking to another.

3. Turn on 'Auto saving chats' so that you do not lose the chat history when the meeting ends and can send it to the student (most students will want to have access to their new vocab / corrections).

How to connect with students

For sessions with new students, you’ll need to check their booking form to see whether they've asked to learn via Zoom or Skype. The student will call you at the time of the lesson - you don't need to email them as they'll already have your contact details. Students occasionally struggle with technology - if after 5-10 minutes, they've not called you by the start time, you should email them. If they've chosen to use Skype, you can also search their email address there and their profile will often pop up.

When you're ready, please move on to the next page: Setting your availability