A photo of Iris, a tutor from Southwest Petroleum University

Iris

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I am a full-time NYC DOE teacher working at a public elementary school in Brooklyn. My primary teaching responsibility is to teach non-heritage kids from K to 5 Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language, while my secondary teaching assignment is to push in to support ELL students who speak Spanish, Arabic or Haitian Creole at home. Being the only non-native English speaker at my work place, I am comfortable using English as the medium of instruction and speech clarity is my strong suit. As a former STEM major, I am very good at explaining complicated concepts in a structured, organized and logic manner.

I have been providing private tutoring service in New York City for more than 3 years. The age range of my students is from pre-kindergarten toddlers going for an enrichment program to adult learners expecting to reach a working proficiency. I have experiences working with Mandarin Chinese learners with various learning objectives: high students looking for a test prep guide, college students looking for a compatible conversation buddy, American born Chinese hoping to learn how to type and read Chinese characters. I believe tutoring should be goal-oriented and pragmatic, and I place great emphasis on scaffolding and differentiated instruction. Therefore I would like to help you design a customized learning schedule and make best of your previous learning experiences. If you have trouble developing interest and motivation, I am more than willing to share with you my insights on today's fast-changing Chinese society as an active China observer from the perspective of a native Chinese speaker, because I believe many overlooked aspects in the contemporary Chinese culture are as fascinating as the more well-known ancient Chinese culture.

Thank you very much for reading this. I am looking forward to working with you to achieve your study goals.

Iris’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Southwest Petroleum University - Bachelors, Resource Exploration

Graduate Degree: New York University - Masters, Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language & Teaching ESL

Hobbies

biking, reading, movies, soccer, jogging

Tutoring Subjects

English

ESL/ELL

Mandarin Chinese 1

Mandarin Chinese 2

Mandarin Chinese 3

Mandarin Chinese 4


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am convinced that, with carefully planned instruction, viable strategies, and suitable teaching materials, learning Mandarin Chinese, even when a student has passed the critical period, is achievable and can still be fun and engaging as opposed to intimidating and monotonous, contrary to some popular stereotypes.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

If the tutoring is short-term and the student simply wants one or two lessons to deal with some upcoming tasks, such as an exam or a short trip to China, I assume they would bring with them specific questions and problems. Therefore, I would listen and help them solve their questions. If necessary, I would also offer practical suggestions based on their situation. If the tutoring is long-term, after the student gets to know what they need to know about my qualifications and my language learning experiences, first I would ask for their specific learning objectives and their preferred learning style, as well as their expectations from the tutoring. Then, I would work with them to set a learning schedule with both short-term goals and long-term goals. I may also introduce them to certain helpful online Mandarin learning tools if they don't know about them yet.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would let them know independent learning has a lot to do with finding and using extra learning resources that fit their learning style, as well as how much time they are willing to spend on understanding their academic difficulties where they are struggling, trying to figure out solutions to their academic questions on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If they have a lack of interest due to some negative impression towards the target language, I would help them develop and increase their interest in the target language by introducing them to new perspectives on Chinese language and culture. If they are already quite interested but simply have trouble staying motivated, I would help them find some meaningful and rewarding short-term goals first.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

To scaffold on their previous learning and to use the concepts they're already familiar with to make an analogy to understand a new concept or skill better.