A photo of Amy, a tutor from Eastern University

Amy

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I specialize in languages. I have a Master of Education in TESOL as of August 2016 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I speak Spanish and love learning about second language acquisition, especially from the personal stories of clients! Learning a second language or even bettering your first language skills is a tough process, but one that I enjoy exploring.

I am into everything arts; if you name it, I'll try it! My current favorite things are cooking creative vegetarian dishes, miniature clay sculptures, and modernized English Paper Piecing (quilting). I also enjoy distance running; I have run 3 ten-milers and 3 half marathons, and I completed my first full marathon in May 2016. Running makes way for more cooking and eating, so you can see how my interests align!

I spent time abroad in Argentina in 2013 and spent 2014-2015 working as a social worker for Spanish-speaking mothers. I am a trained interpreter and confident in my abilities to communicate, write, and read in Spanish. As for ESL, I have over three years of experience. I love experimenting with different tactics and strategies to see how a student best learns; while English is a difficult language, it can really be fun to learn!

I have taught at the K-12 and adult levels. I teach adults at an international English school and at a volunteer ESL program, and I taught Spanish to a group of elementary school students in an after-school program. Being an introvert, I love the one-on-one conversations in tutoring because I get to learn more about the individual and specialize what she or he learns; while I LOVE being in the classroom, I get the most energy from these smaller sessions!

I look forward to working with you!

Amy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Eastern University - Bachelors, Sociology, Spanish minor

Graduate Degree: Eastern University - Current Grad Student, M.Ed TESOL

Hobbies

Cooking, crafting, reading, distance running, board games, comedies

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Conversational Spanish

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

High School English

Languages

Other

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

We learn best with goals in mind. Keeping our own goals in front of us helps to direct learning in the direction that will be most beneficial. I collaborate with students to create a goal and work to create a plan of action that will help the student arrive there. Each person brings a unique perspective to the subject they study, so tutoring also becomes a learning experience as we uncover that perspective together.

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

In the first session, I want to know what the student knows. This is the first step toward building the student’s confidence in the subject and creating a goal moving forward. It is also important to experiment with some simple tasks based on the subject in the first session to see how the student learns and best responds.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In some ways, my job as a tutor is to put myself out of business! I want the student to become as self-sufficient as possible. For me, this means that I offer more questions than answers so that the student can process the content him or herself. Students who learn how to think within the subject area will be able to more competently conquer it on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Student motivation must begin intrinsically, which is why I set goals during the first tutoring session. In addition, I bring a variety of tasks to keep the student thinking and challenged throughout.

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

Difficulty is a piece of learning that exists for every person in every subject; the key is to think about the concept or for the tutor to present the concept in a different way. Explaining each thing piece by piece helps to find out where the confusion lies and can help reduce the chance of having the same difficulty again.

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

Reading comprehension begins with the ability to find key words and phrases. I like to break down reading into simple questions, such as "In one word, what is this about?" Identifying the key information in the text helps to simplify the comprehension process and empowers students with the skills needed to successfully read any text.

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

Beginning to work with a student is about getting to know their motivations and their learning style. When I begin to work with a student, I want it to be about them and their goals so that the trajectory of our future meetings is on course with what they would like to accomplish.

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

Knowing what the student already knows about the subject is a key to empowering him or her to engage with the most complex or difficult parts of the subject. Learning is also all about application; knowing how the information being learned is useful can help motivate a student to learn and use it.