Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Met with the student on Monday. He still had a good attitude and we went over the following: a) Imperfect verb tense in Spanish and its uses. I brought 2 pages of this verb's explanation with the appropriate verb endings for each pronoun. We did exercises that had the verbs in the Infinitive to be changed to the Imperfect. It was a short paragraph with about 12 verbs. b) We contrasted the Imperfect to the Preterite verbs' usage and he was clear on the correct usage of both. c) Corrected his homework: 1) Activity 11, 2) Exercise A, Exerc A & B.The exercises had both Imperfect & Preterite verbs. He was confused as to which verb to use and it seemed a bit difficult for him to figure it out. I clarified it further and assigned another paragraph for homeworkfor him to practice. d) We went over jungle & exotic animals vocab in his book. I asked him to describe a few of the animals using adjectives and colors. He did very well. He knew all his colors. e) We read a conversation exercise. He read a story of El Salvador that talks about how Salvadorians eat iguanas as a delicacy. We were both grossed out!! His reading skills are above average, with correct pronunciation for all words. I see how he tries to do better in every session. Homework assigned: Practica, Ex. 21, pg 161 [his book], Ex B, pg 14 [using both Imperf & Pret verbs], Read Irregular Verb Chart box on pg 160 [his book]"
"As this was our first session, the student and I went over what her current level of Spanish is, what her teacher has been covering so far, and where she's struggling or would like to improve. Because some of the students in class are more advanced than others, she doesn't feel she gets adequate access to ask questions or have the teacher expound upon certain things (e.g. translating irregular verbs to the preterite). As a result she has to plow through the assignments, but without any real understanding of the concepts that she needs for future assignments and exams. We reviewed worksheet assignments from her class; she had completed most of these, and some we went over because she anticipates having to work through them in future classes. She admitted the worksheets weren't always terribly helpful and the information required to complete them usually lives in various handouts she has to sort through to figure things out. We discussed stepping back and really focusing on some basics, particularly around verb conjugation. I'm planning on sending her some extra practice to try -- in my experience the best way to "get" grammar is to plow through so many exercises that it becomes second nature. We will also be doing a little bit of listening comprehension each week, and dialogue practice."
"It was one of the best classes I have had with the student. Before the session, she had studied the flashcards which I had sent. She learned about how to determine the form of the second, or third, verb in a sentence. An example would be: I want (to speak) Spanish vs. I can (speak) Spanish vs. I have (spoken) Spanish vs. I finished (speaking) Spanish. We examined the different forms of the verbs and their grammatical terms: infinitive form, simple/base form, present participle, past participle, past tense form. She bought the book which I recommended. I showed her the chapters which would be good to study: subjunctive mood, direct vs. indirect object, preterite vs imperfect. The last part of our last class we spent talking about what does it mean to learn another language. She already has an advantage over many of her classmates as she also learned to speak Greek. I will miss her and the class. She is a very sharp thinker. I enjoy teaching a student who has been taught to THINK. I wish her and her family the best of luck."