I am a current undergraduate of English Linguistics and will be graduating in fall 2016. I plan on pursuing my Masters and beyond in graduate studies in both Teaching English as a second language and English Linguistics starting in Fall 2017. My concentration includes methodologies in teaching English, both Modern English Grammar and teaching English to non-native speakers. My GPA within the linguistics program is 3.95 and my overall GPA is 3.8. With full marks in writing and speech as well, I can offer a well-rounded approach to written and spoken communication. Lastly, with a background in Japanese, I have successfully completed 15 credits worth of Japanese with a 4.0, and an average of 3.75 in all Japanese language classes, as well as being a supplemental instructor for the introductory class, this helps me both in Japanese Tutoring through both Genki and Nakama textbooks, or to help facilitate communication with Japanese students looking to learn English.
Eastern Michigan University - Current Undergrad, Linguistics (minor TESOL)
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everything should be hands on. I'm not a big fan of "Lecture" based instruction. I believe the best way to learn something is to either do it yourself, or to teach it...so if I can get the student to discover the information for themselves through hands on, fun, engaging activities, the information learned is most likely to stay with that student and they'll enjoy learning along the way!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, we need to get to know one another, perhaps even relating it to our field of study. Icebreaker games are the best! Then we need to feel out what exactly the student already knows and what our best plan of attack will be to help that knowledge grow!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
You need to let the student discover the answers for themselves. You don't write the answers down and tell them right or wrong, you guide them, hint them in the right direction, get those cogs turning, and then the moment they realize the answer is a magical moment when you can see the understanding blossom on their face. These tools only sharpen for every new thing they learn.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keep everything fun, and engage the student. If they are bored, or they are just "not getting it," you need to change your approach and find out what will spark the student's interest and mold the session to them. They like video games or comics? Create a new strategy that can incorporate those interests. Also, always remind them of how far they've come, how much knowledge they've gained and what they are capable of!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Change the methods of teaching it. Approach it from a different angle. There is no one way to teach something...there are whole books on different methods of conveying information.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, you need to find out their level of comprehension and decide if what they are working on is too difficult. Things are done in steps, in different levels of difficulty. Try something at a lower level and see how they respond, and work your way higher. If something is too difficult, it's only going to frustrate and derail the student's confidence. Comprehension needs to be built.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
A fun and relaxing atmosphere is key to making the student *want* to learn. Use games to your advantage... yes you can learn with games! Mock tests are also really amazing tools in preparing a student for a big goal!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Break it down into different components and work on each component separately, in a fun way. Use modified games, poems, articles, current events...whatever is applicable. Help the student relate their subject to something that they like and care about.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Mock tests, faux quizzes, rewards for answering materials on the fly...have the student make a mini presentation...there are so many things to show understanding, even just a discussion. Making students accountable for their learning without putting them on edge is key.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise and positive reinforcement. Did they get something wrong? That's okay, it's just something we need to revisit. But they got something right? Hurray! That's one more thing they've gained through *their* own hard work.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Talk to them, honestly ask them what they think they need help in and what their grades reflect that they need help in, and why they think that is. Students know a lot more than some people give them credit for. A lot of this comes from a lack of confidence or a lack of communication.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
You need to find out what your student likes, what drives them, and also what kind of learner they are. Some students are visual and love diagrams and pictures. Some need to hear, some need to be hands on, etc. You need to find out what's most effective for that student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
After I've gotten to now the student, I generally make my own materials. Sometimes I will source websites that have modified materials already created, but when it comes to games, mock exams, informational sheets, etc., I type them up myself.