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Caitlin

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I am ESL teacher with over 10 years of experience in education, ranging from public schools in the United States, to universities and boarding schools abroad, to adult education back in the United States. I obtained a certificate in English language teaching to adults in 2003 then completed my masters in TESOL in 2014. I offer a student-centered environment, focused on the student's needs and goals with constructive feedback. I enjoy creating materials and resources that are a good fit for my students and make the class time interactive but also introduce the language in a new way.

My interests include reading, learning about new cultures through traveling and studying, watching movies, attending festivals and other cultural events, watching sports, singing, theater, and music. I consider myself a well-rounded, outgoing person who enjoys getting to know others and learning about new people and places.

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Caitlin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Indiana Wesleyan University - Bachelors, intercultural studies

Graduate Degree: The New School - Masters, TESOL

Hobbies

reading, singing, traveling, movies, festivals

Tutoring Subjects

College English

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

High School English

Phonics

Reading

Q & A

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

I believe that students learn best in an interactive, communicative environment that are student-centered and tailored to the students' needs and ultimate learning goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

It's important that a teacher point students to resources that are available to him or her, particularly online as it relates to language learning. There are many websites that are interactive and provide feedback so students can see their progress in real time and at their own pace.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would remind students of the goals that were mentioned during our initial meeting and the progress that has been made since then. I would also provide feedback on both strengths and weaknesses that I have noted in our sessions together.

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

If needed, I would reteach the concept in a way that is tailored to the student's strengths and weaknesses, making the activity or teaching time as interactive as possible. If needed, I would break the concept down into more manageable pieces that can be easily understood.

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

I can introduce reading strategies that help students interact with the text, whether that's activating prior knowledge of the topic, asking the student to identify main idea and details using proper nouns and key words, or asking comprehension questions and keeping a reading journal while reading.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

To evaluate a student's needs, I begin with a conversation to get to know him or her. For a language learner, these questions help me to assess where he or she is at in the language learning process, ranging from basic questions to more complicated questions that allow me to determine the student's vocabulary and grammar skills. Many times this can be done verbally, but if a written assessment is needed, this can also be done during the initial meeting.

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

I like to use a small whiteboard, a computer if needed to show supplemental materials, a variety of colored markers, and sometimes flashcards or other objects to help me reinforce a concept. Often, the more visual a lesson is, the better a student will understand and grasp the concept.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe students learn best in a communicative environment that is student-centered and focused on helping them achieve their goals, both short and long-term.

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

When I start working a student, it is important that I build a rapport, setting a foundation for the learning that will take place. This includes getting to know each other, assessing needs, and learning how to best help the student.

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

If a student is struggling with a subject, it is important that they see the short-term and long-term benefits of mastering the subject. This can be achieved by bringing in authentic materials that the student can use, technology, and activities that help the student gain a better understanding of the material.

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

I like to use comprehension and contextual questions along the way, role-plays, and, if needed or applicable, written exercises. If it is needed, this can be done and the material broken down into smaller pieces to ensure that the student understands the material.

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

It is important that a student see that the teacher understands and acknowledges his or her strengths, and praises the student for the progress that is being made. At the same time, the teacher should also be sensitive to weaknesses and show the student how he or she can improve, but in a way that is encouraging.

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

I am able to adapt to students' needs by using a variety of resources, whether they be coursebooks, online resources, or materials that I have created for language learners. It is important to note if the student is learning the language for academic purposes, business, or just for everyday life skills so the materials can be appropriately chosen and used in the session.

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