Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We finished the review for the exam, which included conjugating more verbs; translating; different usage of expressions with "faire"; the weather; and what we do in different types of environment."
"At the beginning of our session (#3), the student expressed her desire to focus on verbs, which she sees as being the most difficult aspect of French for her. We went over her current work on the imparfait tense, reviewing her homework exercise (completing a story in the past, inserting properly formed verbs of passe compose vs. imparfait). We also read over a story from her text illustrating use of the two tenses, and I pointed out another for her to read on her own time to further reinforce this proper usage. In the reading we met sortir used as a transitive verb, with a direct object, conjugated in passe compose with "avoir" rather than "etre", so I introduced the whole concept of transitive verbs to the student, explaining how the passe compose auxiliary verb of "Dr. and Mrs. Van der Trampp verbs" is affected. (Reading the story together also provided a chance to fine tune the student's pronunciation, which is very good!). Regarding verbs, we also reviewed the present tense of what I call the "SSPD" verbs (sortir, servir, partir, dormir), which do NOT include the "infix" "-iss" in plural present tense forms, hence affecting the stem for formation of the imparfait. This clarification was most appreciated by the student, as she had not noticed this before. We also discussed the use of the cedilla and need to add "e" in some forms of the imparfait (all but "nous" and "vous" forms), and I presented the basis behind the need for use of cedilla and "e" to keep vowel sounds soft, relating this to English vocabulary, where "c" and "g" are usually hard before "a", "o", and "u", yet soft before "e" and "i". She did not seem to have ever had this lesson before, and showed interest and comprehension. Next I introduced the student to a language website and showed her how to access many games related to her textbook material. We practiced together various kinds of games, covering some of our former topics like imperative (She's got that now! In the process she met reflexive verbs for the first time, and we also encountered a few irregular imperatives), and object pronouns. She learned how useful this site can be, as practice games can be accessed which are specifically based on each new topic she meets. Finally, we discussed accents a bit, specifically, the circumflex, as the student asked me why it occurs. I gave several examples of French words with circumflex, demonstrating how one can often figure out the English word by inserting an "s" after the circumflex. All in all, a very good session."
"Our first French session with the student was really great! She is so bright and a pleasure! We practiced conversation and writing out creative sentences, using the student's French book as base. We also practiced/reviewed grammar. I look forward to our every session!"
"The student and I focused on material that will be on her midterm tomorrow. This is a cumulative exam. We covered everything, but focused mostly on commands, negation words, indirect object pronouns, double pronouns, the grammar construction hace...que, and the grammar construction regarding accidents. I think she will do a great job!"
"The student and I reviewed the concepts that will be covered on her upcoming quiz, specifically conjugating reflexive verbs, ser, and estar. Her main strength was in knowing the differences between the various types of reflexive endings, so we focused a lot more on the different endings for conjugations. She explained that even if she knows the material well when studying it at home, she can often blank out and forget it once the quiz has started. To overcome this, one strategy I suggested was memorizing the conjugation chart and then writing it on the quiz paper as soon as she gets it so that she won't have to worry about forgetting the content during the quiz."
"We went over direct and indirect object pronouns as well as the differences between por and para. I gave the student sample sentences to convert nouns to direct and indirect objects pronouns. I also gave him fill in the blanks with either por or para. All of this was done orally to work on his listening and speaking skills."