The University at Albany’s motto is “the world within reach.” By taking time to learn another language and thus, another culture, you have a more diverse network of people to interact with.
I am a SUNY Albany senior. I have always had a passion for languages. I have been studying Spanish for about 9-10 years. I started learning Spanish in middle school and continued my education in this field through my college career.
I studied abroad at ECELA in Santiago, Chile for the 2015 fall semester. I enrolled with the purpose of improving my Spanish speaking abilities. I traveled alone to Chile and I did not know what to expect. Despite these challenges, I was determined to learn and embrace Chilean culture. I lived with a Chilean host family and commuted to school. I became acclimated to the city by successfully navigating the public transportation systems, visiting historical and cultural sites as well as visiting Chilean friends throughout the city. I viewed each day as invaluable practice and I was able to adapt to my surroundings and immerse in daily Chilean life.
I am engaged in attaining the education and knowledge to support my enthusiasm and motivation for the Spanish language. I want the opportunity to help people improve their language skills. I want to mitigate the perception of learning a language out of obligation because it is a requirement for a job or school. My goal is to motivate students to learn Spanish because they want to. My objective is to promote personal and academic growth to prepare students for all their future endeavors.
SUNY at Albany - Current Undergrad, Spanish, Criminal Justice
What is your teaching philosophy?
The role of the teacher is to inspire their students to want to learn. They are the foundation that can promote change through critical thinking. It is also an opportunity to help people in many different aspects. I want to help students develop their own networks and acquire skills that will help them in all their endeavors.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I would do some icebreaking games. However, I would incorporate the use of the Spanish language into these exercises. This would assess their background in Spanish as well as their ability to speak in a conversational setting. I would ask them what topics they need help with. Then, I would form a plan that would help them reach their objectives.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by teaching them the necessary analytical and critical thinking skills. I would achieve this by asking students to explain their answers. This would show their all-encompassing comprehension of the theme they are studying.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would ask them about their goals and dreams for their future. I would then seek to explain what specific skills can be acquire though the current task. Finally, I would explain how the current task can help build success for their future endeavors.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try and relate it to concepts that they already know or aspects in their life that are familiar to them. I would combine different learning methods (i.e. auditory or visual) to assist in my tutoring session.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I would ask them to read the passage silently. Upon finishing, I would ask them to tell me what they understand and provide a short summary of what they took from the reading. Then I would ask them to point out what they did not understand. Finally, I would ask them to read it a second time aloud. After the second time I would ask them to summarize what they read. I would try to ask specific questions to make sure they understood what they read.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would incorporate games and interactive learning techniques to my tutoring session. I would try to create a team based learning atmosphere. I would also attempt to explain all the possibilities that this subject create in the future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would combine the use of technology,
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would give many examples to explain the subject. I would ask them to supply some examples and apply the subject to something they already know. (I.e. their daily routine.). I would try to teach in a practical manner. Meaning, always relating the abstract idea to everyday life.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask them questions. I would ask them to explain a topic, give examples relating to specific aspects of the topic and I would at the end ask them where their uncertainties lie. I would ask them how they prefer to learn in order to cater to their learning style.