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Five Weeks to Beginning Bridge

In just under a month my wife and I are to give a talk at the ABTA Convention in Atlanta.

"Five Weeks to Beginning Bridge" is the title. 

It is in two parts. The first part deals with teaching beginners, the reason for this post. 

The second will introduce teachers to the Israeli online teaching program, For those not familiar with BesteBridge if you go through you can gain two days free access to the entire site. We use this tool extensively in all our beginner and advanced beginner courses and have for nearly two years. We find it to be a game changer, so much so that we can predict who will continue with lessons and who will not just from knowing to what extent the student has engaged with BeB. Between classes, home work is expected of all our students. Six weeks are offered free to every student. BeB and a book give a nice value-added feel to the course.

 I'd like to go into the conference armed with real on the ground facts from experienced teachers, those who have taught people to play from trick one. I'm especially interested in hearing from those who go back a couple of decades or more.   I'd like feedback on:

1. Have your teaching methods changed much over the years?

2a. Has the material you are using changed much?

2b. Is it your own, or someone else's (Who's) or a combination of both?

3. If economics did not enter into it, what do you think would be the ideal student to teacher ratio? Remember, we are dealing with brand new students only.

4. Do you give homework?

5. How many lessons is you introductory beginner series?

  6. Of those lessons, what proportion of the time do you spend on bidding and what on play?

7. Since the talk will deal with just those first five weeks, how far into the bidding do you go in the first five lessons?  Opening bids, responses, bidding on the 2-level, overcalls, Lebensohl, etc.

8. What is your "success rate"?

8a. First, what determines success? If someone came to you and said they will be moving to Florida soon and needed to learn, and they did, but you lost them right after, or if they told you they wanted to learn so they could play with family members, and you taught them, and they went and played with family members, would you consider these experiences successful?

8b. Leaving these last two examples out, how do you determine success?  They continue with lessons? They play in social, practice, non-competitive, sessions?They play in novice type games?They eventually play in real duplicate (49er and above) games?

9. What practical advice would you like to share that you don't think has been given its full weight?

10. Do you have a good opening line for my talk?  

Much appreciated.

Jeff Bayone

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