Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We focused on logical reasoning. We discussed various types of questions and focused on overarching strategies related to the conclusion of arguments. We discussed EXCEPT questions in the context of strengthen and weaken, noting that the right answer would be either the one that does not help or does not hurt the argument -- this could be merely an irrelevant or neutral statement, but is often actually a strengthen or weaken question in itself. The student noted that she has particular trouble with assumption questions, so we discussed how an assumption question asks to identify a gap or missing premise in an argument. Thus we noted that such questions are best done by looking at the structure of the argument as a whole first, and then looking from the perspective of the conclusion and seeing what statement would make it a "must be true" statement. We will do more practice on such questions next time in the practice books. We also did a couple of logic games during the session, and she did quite well on the grouping games."
"The student was primarily interested in going over some recent assignments for her linguistics course, so we started off with an assignment on comparative reconstruction. She was having difficulty understanding how best to proceed with a problem on semantic reconstruction. We talked about the subjective nature of these problems and some of the best ways to approach them, and how semantic changes can be classified. Next, we looked at a psycholinguistics assignment, going over her answers for the first portion together. She had questions about how to approach the second portion, so I walked her through the process for working this out until she felt more comfortable with it. We also briefly went over an assignment on historical linguistics, but since she already had a solid grasp of the concepts involved, we then went back to the assignment on reconstruction to make sure she understood it. By the end, she seemed to feel more confident about the assignments and the concepts involved, and had a better understanding of how to approach these kinds of assignments."
"In our first session, the student and I began by discussing her Latin classes, what they were covering, and how her teacher was conducting the classes. We also discussed how this had changed from previous years, with a shift in focus from reading comprehension to more syntax and literary devices used in the text. This move is probably in preparation for the AP exam, which will test those concepts in addition to the students' ability to read and comprehend the Latin. What she seems to be struggling with is identifying the different parts of each sentence, which can admittedly become very convoluted in the Aeneid and other Latin poetry. In this session, we started out by going through a translation that she had already gone through with her class, breaking it down to identify the different syntactical units of the sentence to see how they operate together. She does well at identifying the main verb in each clause, but she starts to run into some difficulty identifying the corresponding subjects in some places and then the rest of the parts of the sentence, so we focused on practicing this. It seems what she needs mostly is help in refreshing her basic Latin grammar, especially declensions, and then some work in applying that knowledge to translate effectively. I have an excellent grammar book that I can bring to our next session that might be of help with this. The student mentioned that she has a Latin test coming up next Wednesday, so we have planned to review for her test during our session next Monday."