As a highly motivated, warm-hearted and patient teacher, I wish that you succeed in your learning. I have collected over fifteen years of accredited teaching experience in Germany and Argentina with student of all ages, not only in private classes but also in large and small groups as well. I have regular and extensive participation in training and I remain creative and updated. I am a graduated Interpreter and Certified Translator for English and Spanish and I have several certificates of German as a Foreign Language.
I like cooking - mainly Mediterranean Cuisine - cinema - especially classic movies- literature, swimming, dancing and long walks, preferably along unknown cities. I enjoy music and occasionally singing.
My motto: "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible". St. Francis of Assisi
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Universidad del Salvador - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Universidad del Salvador - Current Grad Student, English Conferencie Interpreter
Cooking / Reading / Walking
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching means a great pleasure and always a new challenge to me. In my lesson planning I take into account your interests and your pertaining syllabus. Your motivation is paramount! I appreciate the effort you make to learn. Fun is an important ingredient that comes across in my classes. They are never boring! They are based on what you already know, and then we “climb up the learning mountain" together. I am on your side, and I am always “all ears” because you are the most important person in this process. I am here to pay you all the attention you need and deserve. I can put myself in your shoes and explain a subject so clearly, that you would go back home relieved and reassured. A proverb: “Nulla dies sine linea” - Not a day without tracing a line. Do something every day to keep up your skills! Don’t let pass a day (meaning also a longer period) without practicing what you know, without tracing a line at least (meaning in the field of painting or drawing, but it can be extensively used). Be persevering in what you do or want to learn!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session we get to know each other. The student has to find out whether he or she likes me and believes I can be his or her best teacher. I have to understand the student’s needs and aims and start a schedule of activities leading to the accomplishment of his or her goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I apply the student-centered teaching methods that shift the focus of activity from the teacher to the learners. These methods include active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class; it is a cooperative learning, in which students work on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability; it is an inductive teaching and learning, in which students are first presented with challenges (questions or problems) and learn the course material in the context of addressing the challenges.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The word motivation has at least two meanings: - the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way - the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Our work in the class has to make sense and help students reach their goals. Motivation means to be aware of why are we doing what to do in our class at every moment. Students should also be made responsible for the goals we set together. The class has to have a good pace – not too slow, not too fast – and also be divided into certain stages, for instance: 10% Introduction, 20% grammar, 40% speaking, 30% reading comprehension. It should make fun and involve the student reality whenever possible. The teaching materials should be attractive and make an impact whenever possible. The teacher should not be repetitive; he should keep a balance of alternatively introducing and reviewing subjects in a varied way. The introduction of a new subject is always inspiring, refreshing. Besides, students are thankful when they have a chance to review what they had already learned a couple of months ago.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I make a diagnosis of his difficulties. Sometimes students don’t understand one thing because they do not have the necessary background to that or they do not have practice. There is a gap between what they know and the new concept that has to be filled in. And this is one of the main tasks of a tutor. Sometimes students have listening comprehension difficulties, because the tapes are too fast (the problem is, they are faced with difficulties they still cannot cope with). In that case they need to train this skill again and again, if possible, in a playful way. I take then some extra minutes in every class to practice that. I take a variety of graded, attractive activities from different sources that give the student confidence and the chance to practice again and again, but always in a different manner.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would start reading short articles below the student’s level at the beginning, so that they can have a successful experience soon. It is interesting to read something related to the students’ preference, age and environment. I will always choose articles that offer different activities in which you have to go over it in order to answer the question or solve the problem. To improve the motivation and concentration, I would apply the guessing technique before they read, showing them first a picture they have to carefully observe and guess what the article is about or reflect on the article’s title. "Never read a book without a pen in your hand." ~ Benjamin Franklin. I would encourage the students to mark the books at the spots they need. I would recommend they read a whole paragraph or a whole section before the student highlights or underlines something. The students should not read word by word and should not look up every word in the dictionary. They should try to understand the meaning through its context. There will be always a word that they do not understand. They should read lots of articles. Sometimes the definition of a word will be clear given the context of the sentence. The more they read, the better they will get at guessing the definition of a word given its context. They should also try to explain to me what they understood or what they remember from what they have read. I will prepare open questions and extra activities so that I can see if they understood what they have read. At times students should read out loud, maybe in front of a mirror (we have more senses engaged in what we are reading). We are seeing and hearing what we are reading. This will also improve the student's pronunciation and fluency.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy is to be open and show students that you are there to help. You need to make a connection with them. You have to be absolutely committed to the students’ aims. They should also know that they can trust your knowledge and that you have the authority, professionalism and the necessary experience. The tutor should find out what type of learner the student is. Whether he is a visual learner or somebody who prefers hearing to your explanations. The tutor should encourage the student to ask questions all the time and plan weekly study times. He has to use his time wisely, especially if the students have a test. The tutor and the student have to know as soon as possible the whole information required about the test. The student has to find out the Professor’s expectations. The tutor should recommend the students study early and prepare assignments in advance.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would recommend that they do the best out of it, because there is no other way than to pass the exam. Sometimes you really need to “drill” your students a little bit so that they wake up to reality. I would use other channels of knowledge to motive a student, if there was enough time. For example, if they have to study about Spanish History and they do not like it at all, I would show them pieces of good movies related to that particular period so that they could imagine and feel how life was at that time and they can develop some closeness to the subject. Or I could reach the subject using different approaches, comparisons with our present time, and pieces of literature or personalities that illustrate the subject in an interesting way. Sometimes it is impossible to go over the whole subject in a couple of days, so you have to grasp some available summaries or draw convenient charters with time-lines or get abridged books so that the student has at least a chance to pass the exam.