Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This week, we focused on the uses of the verb ser. We started out by practicing introductions and questions the student had learned last week. Then we began a more systematic review of the verb ser and some of its uses--to describe oneself, others, and objects. In order to do this and to incorporate ser into a conversational context, I also began teaching the student essential vocabulary relevant to the contexts in which we were discussing ser. He learned basic words for describing physical characteristics of people and objects (big, little, tall, short, etc.), we reviewed colors, and I taught him vocabulary related to clothing. We used this to talk about our lives, our physical traits, people we knew, and clothes that we were wearing. We also touched briefly on grammatical gender and gender agreement in Spanish. So far, from our first two sessions, I've been very impressed with the student's dedication to learning Spanish and the care he takes with using correct pronunciation. Right now, the biggest obstacle is simply his lack of any prior experience with Spanish, which means that we have to spend a significant amount of class time building basic vocabulary. However, once he has mastered some fundamental vocabulary and grammar, I believe our classes will transition to being more conversation based."
"Today we focused on mastering direct and indirect objects in Spanish. The student was not very strong at identifying these parts of speech in English so we did a quick review of this before applying the knowledge to Spanish. We first did several practice problems with direct object pronouns which the student excelled at. We then switched over to practicing with indirect object pronouns. Once again the student seemed to be understanding the replacement. Finally, we worked on sentences that contained both so that she could understand the order in which you were supposed to use them as well as when to switch le to se. We ended the session by working on vocabulary from her book for her quiz. She had to use each word she didn't know in a sentence to help commit it to memory."
"We reviewed old vocabulary and verbs by reading passages and translating sentences. Then we practiced new uses of estar, including emotions, locations and states of being."
"The student's French is progressing along very quickly! She understands the language very well, and she is excellent at identifying vocab words. We have gone over several (how are you?, I like/ I don't like. etc.). As she continues to learn English and begins reading and writing, it will be easier for me to assign her homework that mimics the reading and writing exercises she will begin in kindergarten. For now, she needs to listen to the language as much as possible. Any songs she learns in preschool about body parts, seasons, etc., generally have a French counterpart that she can also learn. The more songs she learns, the easier it will be for her to start forming sentences from the words."
"The students and I tried something new on Sunday! Instead of splitting the session for 1/2 hour each, we spent one hour all together. This lesson focused on listening and reading. I prepared a 4-minute listening exercise, asking them to listen to it twice for general comprehension, then once with the text in front of them. They then discussed what they had heard and understood in response to my follow-up questions. Having them together worked well for this activity, as they both grew slightly competitive, which in turn inspired them to practice speaking more than they would have separately. We finished the lesson with 15 minutes of separate reading time."
"This session I came prepared with post-its. The girls chose objects around the house to which the post-its were posted, with the name of the object written in French. I gave them small plastic "envelopes" with dividers (and neon index cards) so that they could create their own French dictionaries using the words on the post-its. We learned colors using skittles. The older girl is quicker and more motivated. For homework, I asked Student 1 (who likes to draw) to draw the French flag, and I asked Student 2 to research a famous French tennis player."