I am interested in working with ESL students who are new to Pittsburgh and the U.S.A. When I have had the chance to travel internationally in the past, I always appreciated talking to locals and learning about their country and their language from them. Moving to a new country takes so much courage, and I am always glad when I get the chance to meet someone who has come to the USA from another place, and I love helping them understand our culture and language. I would like to work directly with students who are learning English as a second language. This could be all the way from a beginning stage, for example, to be able to ask for things at a store, or for more advanced students who would like to improve their English by clarifying some grammar rules, in order to advance at work. My preferred way to work is to have students set the goals they would like to achieve, and work directly from that, so that the student is not wasting their time. I have experience teaching adult ESL students and am comfortable with teaching to improve reading, writing, communication and grammar.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I want the student to set the goals for their instruction.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would talk to the student and have them describe what they want to work on. Then I would have them write a small sample, and read a short essay.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would have the student keep a journal where they could record things they come across that they don't understand and we could start each session by going over this journal together.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would have them set the direction and goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to teach it from a different angle- also I would have them write it down, read it out loud, and try to explain it to someone else.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The most important thing is to find material that is at the right level and also interesting to the student. Some students might prefer to read fiction but some might prefer true stories.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
To take time to figure out what they really need to learn, to find out where they are and what the next step is. It's overwhelming to "fix" every mistake at once, so I take small steps.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would have them teach it to someone else.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would give them some time (a week or so) and then check for understanding. I also like to keep a list of "mastered", "almost mastered", and "working on" concepts so the student can see the progression.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would have them re-read old writing to see progress.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask them what they want to work on, and set some very specific goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I use a lot of different ways to teach the same material and if the student needs more time, I can move very slowly, or move on and come back to something.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Reading material- anything from menus to magazines and newspapers. Grammar books that have proved helpful. Worksheets that address a specific issue.