Hola! Me llamo Elena. I am an American, who at an early age developed a love of foreign language. Learning a language has changed and enhanced my life. I speak Spanish, French and some Hebrew. A second language opens many doors, and I have friends all over the world. I have worked in both the corporate and education world, and have decided to focus solely on helping students with their language needs.
I am passionate about language, anything international, and bring patience and great understanding to all of my students. Whether you are struggling, or want to learn a new language, I would be delighted to be your "tour guide". I welcome both students as well as adults looking to learn a new language. But then again, we are all "estudiantes". Learning never stops.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Temple University - Bachelors, Spanish Education
Graduate Degree: Temple University - Masters, International Business/Marketing
Travel, piano, cooking, mosaic artwork
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is to be patient, share the relevance and excitement of Spanish, and to ensure that my students are comfortable asking anything, as many times as they need, in order to ensure understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
1) Start with a few personal questions not related to Spanish to show the student I am interested in their life, e.g., sports, music, food, etc. 2) Ask what the biggest challenges are with the topic. 3) Ensure that we have a safe place, where anything can be asked. 4) Ensure student knows there is no such thing as a stupid question.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This is done by giving them the "recipe" or ways to organize the topic. There is a language or nomenclature to learning a language, and I will ensure they understand this to enable independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would continually ask to see their hopefully improving grades. I would also add things that show the importance of Spanish: soccer, famous Hispanic people, and job possibilities with a second language.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would keep reviewing, and try to find the tools or nomenclature to break through lack of understanding: relate it to English, build codes and memorization tips, etc.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would ask them to first try to attain the basic message of a sentence. Then I would ask them to go back and ensure all vocabulary is understood including nouns, verbs, and the use of clausing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1) To ensure there is a never a stupid question 2) Show absolute patience 3) Allow them to experience little victories along the way, e.g., homework, tests, papers where they are doing better.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would share that the topic is extremely relevant and show examples of other people who have exceled, and their involvement in using and learning the topic.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1) Repetition 2) Use of acronyms 3) Exercises outside of their normal books and workbooks 4) Relating to fun expressions to help with memorization 5) Teach to their teacher's tests to ensure the student is prepared
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
1) I would allow them to celebrate little victories, no matter how small 2) I would immediately reinforce their understanding, depending on age, with little gifts: stickers, candy, high fives, etc., with parental permission 3) I would continually show them people involved in the topic, and how the topic is important to the world
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
1) I meet with both the student and parent, but do a deep dive with the student to help expose the challenges. 2) Sometimes a student is so lost, I need to determine if we start from the beginning, where they may have tuned out, causing the problems 3) I do a series of mini check tests to see what they know 4) I would evaluate their current performance, tests and projects, which will also shows me the challenges being faced
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
1) Based on progress, or lack thereof, I change my tutoring methodology 2) Students can be visual, aural or oral learners, and I can soon determine this and adapt accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
1) I use the current book since I have no control over changing that 2) I bring in additional materials that I find to be supplemental and easier to understand; this could include copies from other books, worksheets, videos, internet tools, and any other material over and above their classroom materials to further bridge the gap.