Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student is preparing for an exam, so this session was very focused on grammar in order to keep all the different past tenses straight. We did a panoramic review of verbal tenses in the indicative mood, as well as some discussion of the subjunctive. We talked about the difference between the present perfect, pluscuamperfecto, and preterite past tenses, and the formation of regular and irregular participles. We then practiced forming the indicative forms of the past (preterito, imperfecto) and talked about the kinds of contexts in which these forms would be most likely to appear. We also talked about when the subjunctive is used, and began reviewing the formation of present subjunctive for regular verbs. We ended the last 20 minutes of class with conversation practice in which we were able to revisit some of these constructs."
"Did focused study on new vocabulary and reviewed vocabulary from recent chapters. Worked on and completed current homework assignment, and discussed concepts contained therein (vocabulary and idioms relevant to clothing shopping). Strategized for upcoming test-retake opportunity and developed plan for preparing for that, and began reviewing the vocabulary from that test as well as its grammatical content (regular preterite and irregular car/gar/zar verbs)."
"The student wanted to get some direction for his IB final. The final will be composed of a timed-essay composed of either a prose or poetry reading unseen. After talking with the student, on the phone, we decided to focus on poetry, since he felt less acquainted with that. I gave the student some poems to read, along with a few articles on reading poetry, as well as a timed-essay strategy tip sheet. We analyzed a bit of a Walt Whitman poem to launch our discussion of poetry in general, and then we covered some essential literary devices he should know. The main point I wanted to get across was that each different genre of writing requires a different kind of reading and analysis. Poetry can be a challenge to many people, and I attempted to "de-mystify" it and suggest a different way of reading it. Namely, that ambiguity and paradox are inherent qualities in poetry, and that they needn't be dissected, but recognized and discussed. We also briefly talked about what was different with analyzing prose and nonfiction, and gave him some things to look out for in them. I also read a draft of his WIT essay, previous to the session, to get a sense of his writing, made comments, revisions, and suggestions in particular, and talked about his writing in general. The student is obviously a very bright student, a solid writer, and I hoped to have buoyed his confidence, as well as deepen his knowledge, of poetry and essay-writing."