Link to LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendan-smith-9a7a01112?trk=hp-identity-name
Hello! I'm Brendan. I'm a sophomore at Brigham Young University studying sociology. I enjoy hiking, being with family, and all things music. I specialize in teaching Mandarin Chinese. I have been taking Chinese classes ever since I was 13, but what got me seriously interested in the language and the culture was when I lived in Taiwan for 2 years in a service capacity. During this time, I had the opportunity to serve in a number of cities in southern and western Taiwan and speak constantly with native Chinese-speakers. I gained a love for the language, the food, the culture, and the people there so I decided to continue my studies as I returned to the United States.
Since being home, I have been taking advanced Chinese grammar and culture classes and loving it! During this past year, I have also had experience teaching new language learners Mandarin. They, like I had previously done, were going to serve in Chinese-speaking parts of the world. I helped them go through an intensive 9-week program aimed to help them learn the language and culture of the area they would be serving in, so they could be functional when they got to their areas of service. I found through this experience that every student has different needs and strengths and my job as a tutor isn't so much to lecture as it is to create an environment in which the student is willing to express questions or concerns and be desires to increase their skills. I believe that it's easiest to help a student when you have a shared vision and goal for what you can accomplish together and work hard to reach it. I help my students accomplish their goals by aiding them in discovering what methods best help them become passionate and proactive about learning and then practicing the implementation of those methods with them, so that when they don't need me anymore, they will be equipped with the tools they need to keep learning on their own.
I appreciate your consideration! I hope to be able to help you achieve your learning goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Current Undergrad, Sociology
AP World History: 4
Writing, recording, and performing music; hiking; exercising; thrifting; reading
10th Grade Writing
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Writing
9th Grade Writing
AP Chinese Language and Culture
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Writing
Mandarin Chinese 1
Mandarin Chinese 3
Mandarin Chinese 4
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I might ask a few questions to gauge their level of learning, after which we'd get right into it, learning and discussing their questions to help them get a feel for how the sessions will normally go. I feel that the best way to break the ice is just to get right into learning!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
They might hate me for it, but one way I've found that is really effective is to return their questions with a question, one that will help them think about the problem a different way and hopefully lead to them finding the answer to their own question.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I would try to find readings that they can really connect with, or are at least interesting to read. That gives them something worth comprehending. I would then invite them to keep a dictionary and a small notebook with them as they are reading so that if they can't figure out a word from context, they can write the word and it's definition in their notebook, so if they run into the word again, they will have that resource to help them expand their vocabulary and increase their reading comprehension.