My name is Alicia Roberts, I am a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Spanish. I am passionate about teaching people of all ages how to speak Spanish and understand Spanish in addition to writing coherent sentences that are grammatically correct.
I use the maternal method of training the brain to learn a language the way native speakers of any language learn. I use songs, cadences and stories with my students to create a mental training pattern. In addition each student must learn one sentence a week that uses grammatical precepts and helps them to build in all of the aforementioned areas. The sentences each build in a personal story that aids the student in understand the reason WHY we use certain grammar and triggers the brain to understand what is spoken (training the ear for later lessons). For Example "El Viejo McDonald tenía una granja y en su granja su tenía una vaca." I am sure that upon recognizing "McDonald" you know he had a farm, and on his farm he had a (what?) a cow! You can relate to that right? (yes I knew you would). With that one little line we have covered adjectives, imperfect tense (for past tense that has no ending), possession (his farm), and a new word cow (vaca).
I am a native of Talladega, Alabama where I lived and was raised by Dean Milton and Dr. Catherine Hurst on the campus of Talladega College. My sister, Dr. Dionne Edison, is now with the English department at our hometown college. I have a experience (howbeit years ago) as a News Reporter for 107Q Radio Station in Columbus, Georgia and many years of experience tutoring and teaching in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.
I am here to help you learn without making you feel pressured. It will be an enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, I reiterate that I have a degree in Spanish from Georgia State University and am familiar with research methods that produce the best outcome for my students. I am available to tutor Spanish, College Essay Writing and Public Speaking. The results will speak louder than any testimonial I can post.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy: learn like you learned from Mom. Research from Georgia State University shows rhythm, songs and writing program the brain, and it accepts it as Mom's word!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical session with a student, I will introduce new material through cadence, song and writing. Then, I reinforce it with traditional methods, building precept upon precept and programming their brain to receive the input more readily as we add to the information stored.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by training them through patterns that work for them. They can take that pattern into any arena and eventually create their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe students become highly motivated when they receive immediate reinforcement for each phase completed. Once they conquer a precept and articulate to me (the instructor), the mini celebration will commence; an "Atta boy," a little cheer, or a simple "I knew you could do it" goes a long way.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I reinforce all learning with what a student has previously learned. Even during the first session they are able to compare new input to what they have learned over many years of living and learning. I will draw on those years of previous learning to create an understanding of the new information.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who are struggling with reading comprehension often are moving too quickly. It is not a race. I will instruct them to read the paragraph three times, then slowly, one sentence at a time, and before looking at the questions, decide EXACTLY what the central idea or "word" is that stands out about the paragraph.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies I find most successful are those that include the senses: sight, sound and feel. I encourage my students to move around and make suggestions; however, I maintain structure that pulls in needed information.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Initially, I would discuss their personal likes, music, dance, and reading. Many may not know themselves. However, music is usually a driving force for learning. Interactive learning and mental pictures help students bring the answers to mind.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I am a strong proponent of music, picture and writing combined to train the area of the brain to accept the input. Once the student has a personal "picture" associated with the material (it's worth a thousand words) it's not likely forgotten.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I celebrate my students' accomplishments at each level of input. It costs nothing to give an "Atta boy" or a "see, I KNEW you were ready." It goes a long way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by asking what they want or need to accomplish. Then, I simply ask why they feel they need help. In addition, I ask to what level they choose to commit. Those questions, in addition to understanding their personal "likes," work to create a successful learning plan.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring based on the desired end, the student's attention span, and their level of ability to grasp the concepts quickly. I may leave a particular concept that seems difficult for a student and come back after reinforcing the basics that bring us to the concept. Many times they simply don't understand the "why." I then proceed to teach them the answer.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a tutoring session, I employ dictionaries and grammar sheets. With the dictionaries, I teach my students how to take time to research and LEARN what is being presented. Words are researched, and sentences are created surrounding the words. Stories may be created as well as songs that will reinforce the grammatical, writing, or reading skills we are cultivating.