Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We worked on pronunciation with a focus on the geography of the United States. I played a song with rhyming lyrics about the U.S. states and their capitals as a way of practicing intonation through singing. We also did a reading about meditation and identified some key words for the student to work on."
"I introduced vocabulary by reading so all different things in a house. i.e. chairs, stairs, door, ceiling, etc. I gave the girls a sketch of their study room and let them decorate it. Then they had to label and write about what they put in their room."
"We mainly worked on an assignment of the student's due for English class on Monday. Within the writing assignment, we worked directly on his grammar - usage of paragraph intro & outro and appropriate use of particles & prepositions. We also worked on his critical thinking & expressing of complex ideas over the entirety of a written text - paragraph, idea formulation, and cohesive structures."
"This might have been our most productive lesson yet. In preparation for his job interview, the student and I drafted a response to a possible interview question. He wrote about his experience working in Haiti and the training session that he oversaw with Haitian radio programs. He feels that this was his most successful achievement in the UN so far, and it serves as a good example of his teamwork and leadership skills. For the next class, we are going to continue working on short responses such as these because they will probably be the most useful tool for him in his upcoming interview."
"We started with a review of the previous week's salutations, spellings and forms. Then we discussed cultural notes about ser/estar, saludos, and gracias. Focuses were on the presence of both formal and informal greetings such as hey, hi, and hello as well as the common usage of contractions when speaking (I'm instead of I am). The student practiced her pronunciation by reading a passage aloud that had a higher reading level than the previous week. We also practiced the 'th' and 't' sounds in words and the student has already shown improvement in the fluency of these sounds. Homework for the student was to have one or two English songs in mind for the next session to work on vocabulary and context comprehension."
"Today the student and I started out grading homework. We went over minimal pairs of vowels and consonants and personality vocabulary. Then we moved into the lesson today on stressed syllables and 2 syllable words. We started out with a listening test to identify problem areas before moving into the day's lesson. She is beginning to hear the difference in the sounds as she say them and as I say them. She enthusiastic about making progress and has a keen attitude to improve and learn. We learned strategies for knowing how to pronounce nouns and verbs, and how to approach a word. For homework, I asked her to review the 2 syllable stress, attempt to make small talk and journal about it, and to watch a 1 minute online clip and transcribe the dialogue and identify the two syllable words and the stress in them. I'm confident her pronunciation will improve with continued study."
"At this session we tried a new exercise where the student and I trade off reading paragraphs of a news article and I quiz him for content and vocabulary at the end. Since he enjoys being up on current events in science and technology, we read two articles, one on the discovery of water below the surface of one of Jupiter's moons and another on the recent public demonstration of a prototype for a flying car. The student correctly identified words like "corroborate" and "flourish," and engaged with the articles with his own intelligent commentary. We continued on to some more vocabulary quizzes, where he is excelling at recognizing less common words like "uncouth," "unabated," and "succumb.""
"Things went very well today. We started with a video showing someone reading various commands (sit, jump, laugh, smile), with another person acting out those commands. She practiced writing the words along with a phonetic pronunciation of each word to help her when she reviews the material. Then, we practiced a few new dialogues that focused heavily on asking questions. Pronunciation is our biggest issue to date, but the student is proactive about noting a phonetic spelling next to the actual word in English. I asked that she practice the dialogues, both alone and with her husband, and left her with some flashcards to practice. I also gave her about 10 blank flashcards that she can use for any words that she's having trouble remembering as she practices the dialogues."
"We went over some listening exercises first. We listened to some dialogues and then answered questions about what the speakers said. We also worked on pronunciation in this session, specifically the th- and sh- sounds. We also spent time reading some passages and reviewing new vocabulary words. We also went over how to order food in restaurants."
"I began by asking the student a series of questions: "What is your name?" "How old are you?" "Where were you born?" "Describe the city where you were born." He did a good job understanding the questions but struggled to elaborate, so I will work on building his vocabulary by highlighting words and providing synonyms when possible."
"We went over a new set of vocabulary (spelling, pronunciation, and usage), did a writing exercise using last week's vocabulary, and did some conversation practice. We discussed the student's level of English and our plans going forward, namely for some longer writing practice to extend his writing in terms of complexity. I also recommended some reading materials."
"Student and I went over present, past, and past perfect passive voice. We worked through the problems in her textbook and focused also on applying passive voice to our conversation. She has a very good understanding of the subject and her English is improving a lot."