I am a college graduate with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and a minor in Translation studies. I graduated from Florida International University, in Miami.
I have tutored at the high school and college levels for the past ten years. My students have been native English speakers learning Spanish and native Spanish speakers learning English. I am eager to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with more of my students.
My teaching philosophy entails cultivating education after gaining an understanding of the personal learning style of my student. This involves a combination of identifying the concepts which a student experiences as challenging in addition to identifying learners' strengths. I incorporate positive reinforcement of student strengths and dedication of time to areas of difficulty, and together we pave a pathway to a better understanding.
Acquiring fluency in Spanish as a second language is a life-changing experience, as it opens doors in the professional world in addition to broadens one's mind culturally. I am determined to work with students through any challenges we encounter along the path to acquisition. Spanish is a beautiful language, and I promise the learning process can be enjoyable and fun!
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is a combination of identifying the best teaching style to fit a particular student, identifying the concepts which a student experiences as challenging, and identifying learners' strengths. I incorporate positive reinforcement of student strengths and dedication of time to areas of difficulty, and together we pave a pathway to a better understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, my goal is to begin to get a sense of where the student stands as far as initial language competency level and learning needs. I like to take this time to give the student an opportunity to express what he or she would like to accomplish and to identify his or her language goals. Some students may not know exactly what their language goals are, in which case we figure this out together as a team. First impressions are important, and the first tutoring session is certainly no exception. I want my students to feel comfortable with me, to feel comfortable making mistakes as this is how we learn, and to understand that we will use our time in such a way that optimizes foreign language acquisition for the student as an individual.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners when they are not only taught the target subject matter but also given the tools to expand knowledge on their own. In other words, I would not only teach my students a foreign language but also teach them how to learn it/improve upon their skills. Exercises like reading and discussing news articles we find online, watching and discussing YouTube videos at the appropriate language level, and introducing helpful activity websites to students are some great examples of teaching independent learning. These are things that students can go back and do on their own for additional practice.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students of different ages and skill levels are motivated in different ways, but I think that positive reinforcement is something that works across the board to motivate students. Students will lose confidence in themselves and are at risk of becoming overwhelmed by learner anxiety if they think that despite their effort and hard work they are "still not getting it". Thus, giving positive feedback at the appropriate times is a key component to teaching a foreign language. It is also a good idea to identify a student's personal interests and incorporate them in the lesson. Students are more likely to be motivated to learn and put forth their best effort when completing assignments if they consider them to be stepping stones toward their personal language goals as well as interesting and (best case scenario) fun/enjoyable!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I think it is a good idea to keep track of skills or concepts which a student is experiencing difficulty grasping, as overcoming the challenges associated with these concepts is where true progress and improvement lies. It is important not to spend too much time on these concepts, and most likely not an entire session on only concepts like these, as they tend to produce learner anxiety and decrease confidence. I would think about and/or research alternative ways to teach these concepts and incorporate them in future lessons to reinforce the learning material. Language acquisition is a gradual process and time is an essential component to this process. Incorporating difficult concepts into lessons in a variety of ways over an extended period of time will allow students time to let the material soak in which is vital if the concepts are to stick.