A photo of Alex, a tutor from Université de Pau

Alex

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I am originally from France (born and raised in the very South West), and moved to the U.S. four years ago.
In 2011, after finishing my undergrad in English (literature, civilization and linguistics), with a minor in Teaching French as a Foreign Language, I had he opportunity to move to North East Ohio to teach French in a small university. In 2013, I was back in America, but in Delaware this time, where I started a Master's program at the University of Delaware, double majoring in French Literature and Second Language Pedagogy. While studying, I also taught French at UD for two years, co-teaching French 3 and 2 during my first year, and teaching my own classes of French 1 and 3 my second year.

After graduating in May 2015, I stayed at UD over the summer to teach English as a Second Language at UD's English Language Institute.
Finally, I moved to Baltimore in August 2015 where I taught Advanced French Speaking and Writing for a semester at the Johns Hopkins University. I also taught a night class for the Alliance Française in Baltimore.

Apart from my professional and academic background, I love to read (17th and 20th century French lit, or really any good 20th and 21st century American novel), and watch probably too many tv shows (ranging from comedy to drama with the sometimes guilty pleasure of bad reality tv). I love to travel and always look forward to my trips back home to see my family in France.

Alex’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Université de Pau - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Delaware - Masters, French Literature and Pedagogy

Tutoring Subjects

Conversational French

French

French 1

French 2

French 3

French 4

Languages


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I like to have a student-centered environment, where the learning is the active one during the session, and I am just here to facilitate the discovery of the language. Having the student themselves figure out how the language work is the best way for them to acquire an understanding of the language. I also like to do task-based exercises that are relatable to the student's interests and needs, and in which the student gets to try out the language and play with it.

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

Get to know each other, introduce ourselves and learn what motivates the student to learn the language, so we can set goals together and create a timeline of what we may work on together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My philosophy of teaching is that the student needs to discover the language and its mechanics by themselves. I am just here to show them new grammar, new vocab, and guide them so they can understand how it works without giving everything away. The student needs to be active in their learning, and I believe that is the way to become an independent learner.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Always making the activities fun and relatable. Knowing my student's interests is very important so I can create activities that will make sense to them and engage them.

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

I try out another learning method. I give other examples or break down the concept so we can work through it step by step, until they are able to produce it. I always make sure to ask the student to tell me when to stop so we can recap and move on when another step is made.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I will have them listen to me reading the text out loud, and write down what they understand (words or expressions). After that, I will have a set of questions that will go from broad meaning of the text to more specific parts of the text. By breaking down the text in several steps, I believe their reading skill will improve.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Always making learning French a fun experience.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

By making it relatable to what they need and what they like.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Ask them to give me another example, or quiz them.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Looking back to what we have previously worked on, and showing them their progress is a great motivation tool. Showing them what they are able to do with the language is a big confidence builder.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking them what they think they struggle with, and by pointing out recurring errors or patterns that they might not be aware of.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I always tailor my lessons based on what the student needs to work on.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

A lot of writing. I always try to link oral communication with written communication. I also like to create my own materials with my own examples related to the student's interests.