Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we had a mock version of the student's oral exam. I acted as if I was just meeting him and asked him questions about his studies and his plans for the future. While we talked, we created a list of vocabulary relevant to his field. After about 35 minutes of conversation, we paused to go over that vocabulary and create a concrete list of terms for him to memorize. We also reviewed a few grammar issues that arose during the conversation, such as present participles and the future tenses. We restarted our conversation, this time focusing on his plans for the future in order to give him the opportunity to use the future tense. His conversation has grown much more fluid. I have asked him to review the vocabulary we noted for at least ten minutes each day to commit it to memory. Next week, we will have a similar conversation, this time without vocabulary in front of him."
"During our Thursday session I continued to work with the student on uses of ESTAR with "ING" words. On Tuesday I presented 5 new vocabulary words so on Thursday we reviewed those words as he drew pictures to symbolize the word. I then went on to explain that in Spanish verbs that end in IR and ER, we add IENDO to indicate present tense actions (such as comiendo, moriendo, compartiendo). I then had him write five sentences on post-it notes and later use those notes to caption pictures in a book. I did this to assess whether he understood the sentences he created. When he correctly matched the sentences with an image, I was able to see that he understands his sentences and understands how to use ESTAR with IENDO."
"The first student has shown continued progress with colors and numbers. He is able to identify almost every number up to 10 and also has a very solid command of most basic colors. He demonstrates an interest and an aptitude for the language; he is able to learn patterns and guess the next appropriate number in a series. Pronunciation is still forthcoming but I see improvements every week. Studies with both students are going excellent; having covered a lot of ground with grammar I intend to pursue learning vocabulary now to make full practical use of the grammatical rules we have gone over. I am very happy to see both students independently constructing grammatically correct sentences after just 6 weeks!"
"The student took the first portion of his exam yesterday. He said it went well. Today he was to take the oral portion of the exam, and so, wanted to study last night by me reading to him in Spanish and then him summarizing what I read. He did a great job and I'm sure will score well on his exam! I told him and his mother I would be in touch to find out how he did."
"The session was a follow up of the material covered in the last session. Conversation was a priority and we used the material learned to encourage it and apply it. Questioning as well as negation (which was covered as the conversation moved along) was the main theme. Using themes like sports and the weather we were able to carry on with a successful conversational exercise. The student showed progress and interest as well as a good amount of notes. We also covered when the dieresis is used over the U as well as other minor concepts. Extra practice was encouraged in the website and book. Very good progress."
"The student did a great job--he worked on his Spanish project that is due on Monday. He is off to a great start. The project is very complex. It includes research on Puerto Rico, as well as several complex grammatical concepts (subjunctive, present perfect etc.). He has a good grasp of the grammatical concepts involved in the project after we reviewed them together. I look forward to seeing his project on Sunday, and doing a final check through with him then."
"The student used the handouts I gave him to compile a vocabulary list to study from. He mainly concentrated on memorizing words this week and had me quiz him when I got there. He was able to correct a few of the mistakes he was making last week when he would mix up words with others that had a similar sound. We continued to practice from the book and I sent him copies of those pages so he could add to his vocabulary study list."
"Reviewed pronouns and numbers with the first student, introduced her to basic verbs for phrase construction, and useful idioms for navigating shopping transactions. Also practiced basic greeting/social dialog. Practiced conversation with the second student, focusing on making travel arrangements."
"We discussed goals and previous knowledge. The student's conversational skills are already very strong. We covered the preterite tense and briefly discussed imperfect. He is familiar with tenses up to future."
"The student's assignments for today included watching two videos. For one of the videos, the student had to type the conversation and draw a line for any words that he did not know. I checked what the student wrote and provided some feedback on what he could improve on. I also had him double check parts of the video before submitting the assignment. For the second video, I was able to assist with a portion of the questionnaire that the student had to complete. We will meet again in a couple of days."
"The student and I worked on creating a recipe and cooking instructions for one of his favorite home-made recipes in Spanish. I taught him how to translate, how to interpret online translator results, and how to add/ edit accent marks in Microsoft Word. He had trouble with the correct use of the subjunctive, but his use of the formal commands was quite strong. The session was scheduled on an impromptu basis, but ended up working perfectly."
"In this session we worked a lot on the verb "To have". The student has been working on both memorizing its conjugations and putting them into sentences. It is an irregular verb and thus it is challenging and it takes some time to learn it well. Now, we have moved onto another usage of the verb to have for expressing age. Unlike English, in Spanish we do not use "to be", but instead we use "To have # of years". This is a difficult concept to understand but we have been working on many exercises and watching videos to make it more enjoyable. He seemed to struggle at the beginning but hopefully he is grasping the concept. Later in the session he was using the verb in its correct form. I assigned a couple of exercises to help him remember its usage."