Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In our first session, I tried to get a sense of what the student's strengths as a student are, and what aspects of his Latin class he was finding challenging. He seems to me to be a very astute student with a strong grasp of the component parts of Latin grammar--he just stumbles sometimes with putting all the parts together. I believe that with a bit more practice and some one-on-one instruction, he will be a extremely successful Latin student. He and I started by looking over two of his recent quizzes and discussing what he thought had gone wrong. He seemed to have a strong grasp of the actual material when speaking with me, but had gotten tripped up by details on the actual test. To help with this, I talked about some test-taking strategies that I had developed for Latin, and some tips for crafting the most accurate and literal Latin translations possible. We then moved on to principal parts. I started by laying out what exactly principal parts are, and how they relate to the formation of different tense and moods in Latin verbs. I then pointed out some patterns in principal part formation that I believe make memorization much easier. He and I then worked through a brief translation passage from his text book. I was very impressed with how he tackled Latin sentences--he seemed to be truly "reading from the Latin," instead of just piecing together words based on their English translations and hoping for the best. On the whole I'm very optimistic."
"In our latest session, the student and I worked primarily on English derivatives of Latin words, as this seems to be the part of the class that he is struggling with the most. Though we don't have his first quiz to go over, he did say that he knows he missed a lot of questions dealing with derivatives, and this is also something that the Latin series tends to focus on more than others. With that in mind, we worked through the vocabulary for the first two stages of his textbook, identifying English derivatives of each word. This will help him by giving him a few choices at his disposal for each vocabulary word. We took a break from these for some translation, but we later returned to review the derivatives we had come up with before. We spent some time going through the epigrams in his textbook as well. This is a bit of translation, though I'm not sure whether it was written by the textbook writers or by actual Romans. As usual, his translation skills are very good. In general, his skills with Latin grammar, translation and vocabulary are actually very good, which I suspect is why he was placed into such an advanced level Latin class. Since he's in pre-AP, I assume they intend for him to go into AP Latin eventually, and these skills will serve him very well on the AP exam. What is giving him trouble right now is the derivatives, which are more heavily emphasized in the Latin course he is taking than in others like, for example, his old textbook Ecce Romani. I think he just needs some practice with different ways these questions on derivatives can be asked. He has the vocabulary to do well on this portion of it, but he's not used to thinking this way. If he can learn, though, this will be a valuable skill for him once he starts taking the SAT and PSAT."
"I helped the student to prepare for a quiz, in which she needs to identify the cases of nouns and tenses of verbs. Some issues that arose were which cases follow which prepositions (ad + accusative, in + accusative for "into"/ablative for "in"), sentences with forms of "to be" (both the thing or person described and the adjective describing them are in the nominative), and recognizing the imperfect of "to be" (eram, eras, eram, eramus, eratis, erant). I'm sending her some extra practice for our next session."
"Today, the student started with her vocabulary homework, and then we continued with a preview of Chapter 28 grammar. The new grammar involves the passive voice, which is a little challenging conceptually (especially since we don't use it as much in English as in Latin). Therefore, we started with a review of how the passive voice works in English before looking at the passive voice morphology in Latin."
"We went over everything that is going to be on the student's test tomorrow. We practiced with exercises with relative pronouns, personal pronouns, demonstrative adjectives and pronouns, and Latin construction on translating from English into Latin. The lesson was very successful. The student was very happy about it."
"The student and I worked on participles and how to form them and use them. We also worked on present subjunctive, active and passive and different types of clauses: cum, causal, etc. He took 3 exams and scored over 90% on each one."