I have been studying German Language & Literature for more than four years. In my sophomore year of college at Bard College at Simon's Rock, I worked as the class tutor for the introductory German class. After transferring to New York University in my junior year, I became the language program intern for Deutsches Haus at NYU, where I assisted in children's classrooms and administered Goethe-Exams in addition to performing administrative tasks. In the fall of my senior year I worked with a German publishing company, and gained translation experience; the following spring, I was invited to participate in a graduate seminar in the German department with the award-winning Japanese-German author Yoko Tawada.
Currently, I am enrolled in two last classes to complete my second major, Art History. Having completed extensive coursework in this area, I am equipped to tutor although admittedly have less experience. Looking ahead, I hope to complete graduate coursework in German, particularly in Translation Studies, and have applied for a Fulbright scholarship to teach in Germany for the 2016-2017 school year.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, German Language and Literature; Art History
reading, museums/galleries, playing with pets, cooking
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching needs to be conducted in a way that works best for each student. With language in particular, this takes many forms, all of which I try to incorporate in my sessions: conversation, use of charts and diagrams to clarify concepts, games, etc. Above all, a tutor must be patient and accommodating with students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session is where the student and I become acquainted with one another, and where I can gauge his or her strengths and weaknesses. I might have students complete an assessment of their skills or ask if there is anything in particular they are struggling with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Something I try to be firm about is not giving answers to students, but rather helping them to find it for themselves. For instance, in a fill-in-the-blanks exercise, I might refer to gender, number, or case in order to point to the missing word. Additionally, it is important to clarify why an answer is correct, so that the student is equipped to employ the concept at hand independently in an exam, homework, or conversation.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe that anyone is capable of learning anything if both student and teacher put in the necessary work. On my end, this means trying new and creative methods when it becomes evident that the student is struggling. If I have known them for a while, I might be able to recall an instance when they had a breakthrough or tell of how far they've come.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
As a student, I benefited largely from the use of charts and tables to clarify grammatical rules; this has proven just as helpful for those I've taught. Often used to show which article is appropriate when, tables lay out the logic behind article selection and are easy to memorize. I find conversation, or even simply speaking words out loud, is helpful as well. When asking a student to fill out a worksheet, for example, I might not ask just for the words to be on the page, but also for the student to read them to me. This is helpful because speaking and listening (even to oneself) are effective memorization tools, and this also offers an opportunity to practice pronunciation.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like not to make students feel as if they are being tested straight off the bat, so my first step in these types of evaluations is to ask if they are having any problems in particular. If they don't mention any specific difficulties, I might have them complete a worksheet so that I can make my own assessment.