I am a college graduate holding a degree in French, Spanish and Linguistics (the science of language). I also have a Diploma in Education and am accredited to work in U.S.A. I studied additional courses at the Venezuelan Institute in Barbados and at UNAM in Mexico. I have taught for 38 years.
In order to make myself more proficient, I visited Bogota, Colombia, Caracas, Venezuela and Martinique and Guadeloupe on different occasions. In order to make language-learning more meaningful, I organized and executed trips to Sabana Grande, Caracas, Venezuela over a period of 15 years. I had one student, Katrina, who went on five trips! Exposure to the culture and to young people was really exciting for students on these trips.
I work with the Caribbean Examinations Council as an Examiner and as an Assistant Examiner - Spanish. I have also been an oral Examiner of both French and Spanish. In 2015 and 2016 I participated in e-marking scripts - Spanish Essays and other questions when needed. I have a very high success rate as I understand how examinations are marked and I see the common problems candidates encounter.
I LOVE a challenge. For example, a student who had never studied French before but had to go to Canada for medical reasons passed a 5-year course in less than 2 years under my tutoring with Grade 2 (Grade 1 is the highest).
In my spare time I love to exercise outdoors - walking or going to the beach. I keep up with current affairs by reading, especially Time or Newsweek magazines. I also love music and I can play the piano. Of course, meeting people of different cultural backgrounds and traveling are also very interesting.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of the West Indies - Bachelors, French, Spanish, Linguistics
exercising, current affairs, music, cooking
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to help students achieve their goals by getting into their minds and taking them to their desired destination while having fun and fully grasping control of material/content and skills required to use this knowledge effectively.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would get to know the student, get to know his/her experience thus far in the subject, become familiar with materials used. and, if possible, see work done so far.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help a student become an independent learner, I need to increase his/her level of motivation and make additional materials available to the student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, positive feedback is vital. The student must have a sense of achievement and want to pursue the subject further.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Firstly, I would try to locate where the difficulty lies and take time out to do required pre-learning or practice. For example, in learning a language, interference from the student's L1 may be the source of difficulty.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As the word said, understanding what one has read is key here. I would have the student answer higher-order questioning about the passage, starting from basic facts then proceeding to interpretation and deduction. I may also have the student reproduce the passage in his/her own words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know how that student learns best by trying different techniques, such as oral, discussion, written, and listening skills. Also, by knowing the student's experiences so far and how this subject can be useful in his/her life in the future.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try puzzles, games, songs, etc. Find out his/her personal interests and try to relate the learning experience to these interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing by various types of tests - Multiple-Choice tests, Cloze Tests, Open-ended Tests, such as Essays/Paragraph writing, etc.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By having the student achieve success in small steps.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would evaluate a student's needs by examining the syllabus, seeing where the student is at, his/her strengths and weaknesses, and working a schedule.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By reinforcing areas of weakness and using the style best suited to that individual student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
That depends on the subject matter. Textbook, songs, puzzles, etc. Whatever is used must be relevant to the concept or skill being taught.