I am a Spanish/ESL tutor with a BA in Spanish from Dalhousie University, Canada, a certificate of superior level Spanish from Salamanca University, Spain, and over 10 year of living, working, and volunteering in Spanish speaking countries.
I feel that a lesson should include more than just worksheets and memorization. I teach by integrating language into life and add themes of cultures, history, art, letter writing, and any other interests you may have to broaden your vocabulary and knowledge. I design a lesson plan based on each individual student and we work at your pace so you can get the most out of your lesson.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Dalhousie University - Bachelor in Arts, Spanish
surfing (10 years instructing), rock climbing, traditional healing methods (certified Reiki Master Practitioner), animal rescue volunteer (6 years)
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I feel it is important to integrate Spanish in each student's life by going outside of memorization and worksheets. Adding, lyric translation, art history, geography, and taking the time to make sure a lesson is fully understood before moving on ensures goal achievement and personal success with the language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session lesson usually includes a casual meet and greet, a short language assessment, chatting about your goals, and book/resource suggestions based on the assessment to get you started.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I always work to provide continued learning opportunities for between lessons. For example, links to current events articles and foreign language movies.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The great thing about teaching language is that I can switch up lesson plans to keep you motivated. A lesson based on whatever interests you may have will keep you going. Whether it is sports, politics, or music, we can create informative lessons.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are many ways to teach language. If one approach is not sitting well with you, we can try other approaches. I also take as much time and as many lessons as needed for a student to understand a concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
We take a step back and pinpoint where the troubles are with the student's struggles, and work through each one with either additional materials or more time to let the information sink in.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found tailoring the lesson plan around each student's interests and reasons for learning the language make for a more successful experience.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would approach the tough subject with varying ways of learning and remembering to see which way clicks with the student most.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would rearrange the material and have the student teach it back to me or put the material in with other subjects to make sure the student could correctly identify it, etc.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I make sure the student knows that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and we can work on subjects for as long as the student needs. Also, we can change up lesson plans as many times as needed until the student feels confident.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start by asking the basic questions of what are your goals, what level are you learning at school, etc., and then I let the student chat about their opinions on how they have been taught in the past and what they like/dislike about the subject so I can get a better understanding of where the student is at and what they need.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I take time every lesson to let the student voice their opinion about the material. I always watch to see if we are going at the correct pace, and I use different approaches to the material to see which style helps the student the most.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
After assessing the student's level, I suggest a course book that best fits their language level and that also includes chapters on culture, history, etc., so the student can have the book to go over between sessions. I also provide material from my books, audio files on the Internet, and movies from time to time for a more well-rounded lesson.