Learning the French language and culture and sharing it with others is a major interest of mine. I recently returned from an immersion program at Le College International de Cannes in Cannes, France, and completed my Bachelor's in French studies and culture. While studying for my degree at Slippery Rock University I worked for the Academic Services Department as a French tutor. This gave me the opportunity to develop a method of remediation for students studying the French language. I look forward to help you grasp the concept of communication and comprehension of French.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I provide differentiated learning techniques designed to fit the student's specific needs.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would evaluate their specific needs and devise a program of study to achieve their goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Begin with leading the student in an organized program of study to help them understand the techniques of learning. I assist with their coursework/homework, answer questions, and explain any confusion on the subject at hand in ways that best fit their style of learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It is hard to find motivation when you struggle in a particular subject. The best way to keep a student motivated is to be encouraging, helpful, and understanding of them. The key is to be motivated yourself. If you appear to have no interest or enthusiasm for the subject, it will be reflected on the student. I would celebrate their accomplishments, (this subject being French); memorizing a certain verb and conjugating it without their notes, translating/interpreting a sentence or paragraph, understanding the structure of a sentence and in doing so constructing it, etc.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break it down in an organized fashion. Every student learns differently, so first I need to understand their way of learning. Some are more visual, or hands on, while others may be more aural. With 7 different learning styles (verbal, aural, solitary, logical, visual, physical, and social), I as a tutor need to find their style and instruct them in that method. If one of my students did not grasp the concept of sentence structure and their learning style was physical, I would have them write out the sentence word for word from English to French, section the sentence off into parts (i.e. subject and predicate), then I would explain each section as they rewrite it in correct form.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
It is best to start off small. Before the student should get to any advanced reading material, they should practice on a beginner level book, i.e. children's book. It also depends on the age. For a child or an adult beginner I would assign them a short story with basic French vocab and sentence structure for them to interpret. Once they have grasped beginner level reading, they will build up from there to intermediate. The more vocabulary, understanding of verb conjugation, and sentence structure they know, the easier it will be.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, to learn their level of understanding of the subject. Second, I find the learning technique that works best for them. I will test them on how much vocab they know, have them write out sentences, fill in the blanks, word matching, translate/interpret a composition in French, etc.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would make it fun for them. Make a game out of studying while learning, for example crossword puzzles in French, computer games, translating a favorite song in French, watch French films or even have French subtitles on, and eat at a French establishment and practice ordering. It depends on the student's interests that will keep them engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would give them a short practice test after each lesson we go over. Make sure they have enough worksheets/practice problems to complete to keep their mind refreshed each week.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would encourage them and commend them for their accomplishments of grasping a particular topic or lesson. I would reassure them of a prior accomplishment of theirs if/when they become discouraged again.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It depends on how the student learns; everyone learns differently. I can adapt my tutoring techniques to my students learning techniques. If my student were more of an auditory learner, as hearing and speaking is their main way of learning, we would converse more in the language rather than writing it down and I would have them practice by listening to song lyrics/watching films in French.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use worksheets, flashcards, stickers, a whiteboard with markers, scrap paper, pictures, music, short stories/poetry in French, and laminated cards for mix and match.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It is determined by what area they struggle in more, so we work more effectively in those areas. I will make sure we put a little extra work in those trouble spots until they fully understand it. I use repetition in my tutoring techniques; I’ll have them write sentences and words multiple times, verbally read them aloud, or review flash cards.