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Private In-Home and Online French Tutoring in McHenry, IL

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Session Summaries by French Tutors

McHenry, IL French tutoring
We spent the first half of our session working on writing a letter to a new roommate suggesting how to divvy up housework and chores (his current vocabulary unit). First we brainstormed the different chores they might share. The student then put his ideas on paper, asking me for help if necessary. We discussed how to convey frequency, such as saying "on the weekend" or "every day." We have definitely discussed that in the past, so all he needed was a little encouragement and a few hints to figure out how to say that. This also led into a discussion of object pronouns. Even though they had only briefly discussed this in class, I wanted to introduce it to the student again. He made a list in his notebook of all the pronouns, and the order of the list matched the order of where you would place them in the sentence. We discussed when to use them, such as for a person or a thing and for direct or indirect. I know that we merely scratched the surface with that exercise, but they will most likely discuss it in class again soon, so I figured it would help his familiarity with the concept. I quizzed him on some of the terms and tried to group them together: dryer, washer, and laundry all share a common word: "linge." I will go over these terms with the student again. For the remaining time, we did a listening activity from his book. We had to listen to it a few times before the student was able to answer the questions. In order to stimulate his interest, I will bring in a listening activity for next time from a French radio program.
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McHenry, IL French tutoring
Today we reviewed present tense conjugations of regular -er and -ir verbs then introduced regular -re verbs and practiced with some written and listening activities. We started on one of the main concepts from the student's online course lesson one: reflexive verbs. We went over the vocabulary listed in her online course book for meaning and pronunciation. For next time, I asked her to finish up a written activity on the -re verb worksheet plus to look over the vocab and explanation of reflexive versus non-reflexive verbs in her book. I also let her know that she can start to attempt the activities for reflexive verbs in her online course and to bring any questions with her next time as we continue reflexive verbs and start other concepts from that book lesson. The student was generally attentive today and has a very good memory for patterns which helps her to remember conjugations.
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McHenry, IL French tutoring
We had a very productive session reviewing imparfait and passe compose in order for the student to get ready for an exam. Her teacher uses a method that follows the tradition of classical language teaching (Latin, Greek) often used to teach French, Spanish, and Italian. She finds it hard to use this approach because it is based on structure rather than meaning, and she feels that she needs to know the exact meaning of sentences before she can attempt to answer a question. I gave her a few tips and clues that helped her do the exercise her own way instead of trying to force her to do it the structural way. There are upsides and downsides to the translation approach, and I told her what those were. Since a person's approach to language learning is very instinctive, trying to change this approach is usually counterproductive unless they are aware of their approach and are willing to use a different one. She feels more at ease with the translation approach, and I will make sure to help her develop the skills she needs to do things her own way. I look forward to helping her with the rest of her program.
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