My mom used to knit as a young girl. I just 'retaught' her how (she's 58 now). Anyway, she insisted at first trying to knit exactly as I do, Continental style, and got extremely frustrated. When it seemed we were both going to throttle each other, I showed her pages of different ways to hold the yarn from various books and told her to try them. She tried different wraps, and then tried English style, and immediately held the yarn and needles correctly and had no problem continuing to knit! It was like she clicked in on the way she used to knit (but had forgotten until that point). Miracle!
It took me a few weeks when I was teaching myself how to knit to click in on a way to hold my yarn and needles so I could knit effortlessly. I think I knit pretty strangely - at least I haven't met anyone who does it similarly. I hold it Continental and then I tend to move my left index finger to wrap the yarn around my needle vs. moving my needle to wrap the yarn around it. And I'm right-handed. Works for me. Perhaps your students just need to experiment with different holds?
WIP: GAAA for m&d, purse for grandma (needs assembly), Grannie Smith Cardi (still), 3 quilts, maybe five
In the Wings: felted clogs, socks
Recent FO: dishcloth for swap, booties for cousins babe
KALs: Grannie Smith, Monthly Dishcloths, Mason-Dixon