Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Scripted lesson on questions in restaurants, vacations, library, stores. Conversations and vocabulary check-up. Reviewed homework and assign another for next session."
"After an evaluation of the student's skills, we went through the 4 points (beyond the basics, such as vocab & grammar) which I would be helping him work on based on that assessment: enunciation, localization, elocution, and circumlocution. The student is a smart, quick, and intelligent young man who is not challenged by his schooling, and is in many ways above average for his age group. He needs specific help in his pronunciation of certain words and syllable forms - partially because of English being a second language and Chinese being his first, and partially because he is not being pushed linguistically (by his environment, friends, family, or otherwise) to speak above the common denominator of his social groups. We will focus on learning more vocab and learning to manipulate both new and old in variant ways, which will be beneficial to his development. As such, as ongoing homework, he will be taking various things in his life that he has an opinion about and describing his opinion in at least 10 different ways per item - not in explaining "why" he likes (dislikes, etc.) an object or other environmental stimulus, but explaining "that" he likes (etc.) the object using language to describe the same opinion in different words. (i.e.., I like hot dogs. Hot dogs are one of my favorite things...) This has the aim of forcefully expanding his usage and manipulation of the discourse he has already learned and shall learn. To start on his general skills, I had him write an introduction and then went through it with him using "fill in the blank" correction suggestion. We shall work on his homework or subject of his choice, as well as one of the 4 items I chose to assist his development each session, going forward."
"The student and I had our first session today. Per a conversation with his father, the goal of our tutoring sessions will be Chinese accent reduction and improved English pronunciation. He is interested in history and the American Presidency, so I brought along some informational pamphlets about the White House for us to use as practice material. The student is attentive, bright and motivated and he demonstrates advanced general knowledge and reading skills. He took very well to all of my notes and showed great improvement in a short period of time. To begin our session, I asked the student to read aloud from the pamphlets as I identified and noted the areas that he struggled with. We will be focusing on pronunciation of the "th" word pair, the letter "s", "ll" word pairs, and smaller words such as "in" and "to". We will also work on proper breathing techniques and word spacing, as well as with the pronunciation of each syllable of words that began and ended in consonants (we referred to these kinds of words as bookends). To help him improve, I would read aloud sentence by sentence and asked him to mimic my lip movements. Each time he stumbled over a word or a sound, I would take out my pen and paper and show him the proper pronunciation, as well as similar instances of the word or sound in the English language. When I felt confident in his improvement, I would ask him to read sentences for me without assistance. In order to maximize the efficacy of our session, I sent the student home with three "homework" assignments. 1. Read the passage about Marine One that we worked on 1 time/day. 2. Recite the sentence "I like to talk like this" 3 times/day as if he has a lisp. Then, recite the word "the" 10 times/day followed by the word "these" 10 times/day. 3. Recite the four sentences on the bottom of the back of this sheet of paper once a day. I constructed these sentences with great attention to the student's most consistent errors and they are meant to help him to build on and improve from what we did today. The student shows a lot of promise, and we will continue to work on his pronunciation next time."
"The student did several of her homework items in the past week, including getting signed up for the May 8 SAT test! We spent our session brainstorming for and starting to draft the two 500-word essays she needs to complete for her school district's best scholarships. She is going to try to have the drafts done over the weekend and will email them to me for comments before next Thursday's session. We are making progress towards her goals of getting into the pre-nursing program."
"We covered vocabulary from the citizenship exam, created a list of words, and had the student write out the definitions. We practiced pronunciation and identified her need to practice vowels. We practiced the exam questions and reviewed the pledge of allegiance. She is making good progress with exam questions and needs to practice on pronunciation. We will continue to work on this."
"I got to know this student and her goals. I familiarized myself with some of her strengths and weaknesses for writing in English, along with the structure of the test she is preparing for in three weeks. I presented her with the essential structure of a persuasive essay, which she will have to analyze and use on her test."