Sometimes when I sit across the table from my students, it is very difficult for me to find the best way to help them. Usually I begin with some very basic conversation to find their level. From there, I can decide if they need to use a book, or if they can begin practicing regular conversation. Many people want to jump right into conversation, but it is difficult if they lack the basics. Sometimes it is also difficult to get into conversation with someone whom I have not shared one single experience other than sipping coffee together.
However, with time I can usually somehow manage to break through the walls that separate strangers and when that happens, then real conversation can begin. I enjoy the fact that I can learn many things from my students while at the same time teaching them English.