I recently graduated Cum Laude from Southern Oregon University with a BA in French Language and Culture and a BA in Theatre Arts. I have worked primarily with teenagers and young adults teaching foreign language both in the States and abroad using a teaching style highly influenced by my extensive theatre background. I believe in fun, interactive lessons that take studying from a chore to an enjoyable activity. Examples of some of my lessons are: practicing tongue twisters, improve games, paper airplane construction, and summarizing and analyzing modern popular movies like Harry Potter. That said, I can also easily adapt my lessons to fit students' needs and individual learning styles.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Oregon University - Bachelors, French Language and Literature/ Theatre Arts
SAT Verbal: 800
Languages, Travel, Art, Literature, Theatre
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
When teaching languages, my first lesson is always an 'introductions' interview style lesson. This allows me to gauge the level of the student by allowing them to go into as much depth as they are comfortable with their answers, as well as allows them to demonstrate their skill with question answering and listening comprehension.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I always encourage students to "learn through" a subject. Love cars? Read an article about cars in your target language. Finding a way to incorporate learning into things you already love is an excellent way to study independently. I also encourage taking frequent breaks. Personally, I find a on for 30 minutes, off for 10 minutes structure works well for me, and allows me to sustain longer study sessions than trying to cram in 2 hours at once.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated. For example, pledging to learn 10 vocabulary words at breakfast everyday is an easy habit to begin and sustain. I also come back to 'learning through'. If you're bored with your current studying, try to find a way to link the subject you need to study back to something you already like.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, I think it's important to encourage the points they do get right. 2/20 is still better than 0/20. Second, I would try moving through several different learning styles (auditory, visual, tactile) to see if modifying the teaching style helped clarify the issue.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Breaking down individual sentences to understand meaning can help with reading comprehension. For native English speakers, designing exercises where the student must live in the character's shoes can help improve understanding of a text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is essential to create a safe spaces in which a student comfortable making mistakes. I find one of the biggest hurdles in learning is our own fear of being wrong.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
When teaching languages, I believe strongly in 'learning through'. If you love horses, read an article about horses in a target language, then use new vocabulary to write your own sentences! I personally struggled in math, but I found a way to love it by connecting it to art, a subject I am passionate about.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I think an effective and interactive way to gauge a student's understanding of the material is to have them create their own lesson, teaching the teacher (or other students) what they have learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Practice, praise, and more practice. Simply encouraging a student and helping them appreciate where they are successful (even when there is still lots of work to be done) can often build enough confidence to be a motivational force towards improvement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I think students often understand their own weaknesses, so I take their opinion heavily into account. Otherwise, I take notes on repeat mistakes that a student makes during conversation and exercises and attempt to incorporate those ideas into future lessons.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I try to vary my teaching materials depending on the student's preferred learning method (visual, auditory, tactile). I also tend to create individualized lesson plans specifically targeting the issues a student needs to improve upon.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a wide variety of materials and methods in my lessons. Some examples of lessons are: analyzing movies, translating song lyrics, practicing tongue twisters and pronunciation poems, inventing stories around silly photographs, etc. I always try to use at least one verbal, and one visual aspect in each of my lessons.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that fun is an essentially part of the learning process. By disguising learning under a cloak of play and laughter, students can gain new knowledge in a fun, effortless, and natural way.