In today's world, learning a foreign language is not only beneficial, but it's a necessity. A lot of students look at learning a language as "extra", and sometimes as a chore, but it's a skill that will benefit them for years to come.
It's important to get to know what motivates a learner and what interests them to find out how those things might assist in their learning process. I like to spend the first time meeting with a student to find some ways to spark their interest and show them what learning a language can do for them. The wonderful thing about learning a language is that it can be catered to any topic or interest!
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus - Bachelors, Spanish / Italian
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus - Masters, Spanish
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students learn best when they know that their instructor is invested in them and that their teacher is passionate about the subject matter. I believe every student has the potential to learn another language as long as they know they can be successful.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I like to find a way to connect and establish trust. I want them to know that I care about their success and will work hard to ensure it, but that I will hold them to the same standards.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In addition to building good studying habits and learning about how one best learns a second language, students also need to be self-motivated. I like to spend some time talking about how learning a second language can benefit a student's career and life in the long run and how it doesn't have to be a chore. There are a plethora of resources out there that can appeal to learners of all ages.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Again, finding a way to show learners they can be successful, and putting their skills to use in the real world around them, can really show them the benefits of their knowledge.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The great thing about foreign languages is that it can be catered to any interest or topic, and it is also readily applicable to daily life. One of the things I always try to convey to my students is that when we learn another language, we're just saying what we were going to say anyways, but just with different sounds. Deciphering those sounds can be a challenge, but finding resources that they enjoy using, especially technological ones, can help them to learn, sometimes without even knowing it!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I put a lot of emphasis on verbal communication and listening skills when it comes to foreign languages. Students are constantly being assessed on their abilities because they are constantly performing their new skills.