I am a motivated, friendly tutor who enjoys helping others learn. I currently teach English as a Second Language at Spokane Community College. I recently completed a Masters Degree in English from Eastern Washington University. I have experience teaching beginners who are new to English and have also worked with more advanced college students at the university level. I enjoy learning about other cultures and languages, and I speak basic French. I have also studied Japanese, German, and Spanish. When I'm not working, I love to do things outdoors - hiking and walking. I also like to make music. I play the flute and the keyboards.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Pacific University - Bachelors, Humanities- emphasis modern languages (French)
Graduate Degree: Eastern Washington University - Masters, English: Teaching ESL
I enjoy learning about other cultures and languages, and I speak basic French. I have also studied Japanese, German, and Spanish. When I'm not working, I love to do things outdoors - hiking and walking. I also like to make music. I play the flute and the keyboards.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that instruction should be personalized to each individual student. Developing good relationships with students by getting to know what they are passionate about, and understanding their unique strengths and weaknesses, is key to good teaching.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session with a student is for needs assessment and relationship building. I would start by asking them to tell me a little bit about themselves and their learning goals. Next, depending on their goals, I would ask them to read and write a little bit for me to assess their language abilities.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students will be encouraged to become independent learners if they feel somewhat confident in their abilities. I would work on building their confidence with each lesson - frequently praising their positive work and doing activities with them that show their progress and success. One way to track progress is to create mini-goals - such as giving a writing assignment where they write 50 words (they should count their words) and working up to writing 100 words. Providing opportunities for homework assignments is important for fostering independence as well.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Celebrating mini-successes (such as number of words written) and providing frequent feedback and praise are both ways for helping students to stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having difficulty with a concept or skill, I think the best approach is to slow down and break the skill/concept into smaller, manageable chunks. It might take longer to grasp, but going slowly helps. Thinking of another way to explain the concept can also help.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students are struggling with reading comprehension in my ESL classes, I go through one paragraph at a time, and help them with/ask them to look for/underline the important words or phrases that answer the comprehension question. Also, pre-teaching new vocabulary helps. Also, explaining to them that they don't have to know the meaning of every word to understand the overall meaning. Sometimes we can infer meaning from the context.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Strategies I have found successful when working with a new student are: 1) Getting to know the student well and asking them questions about their learning preferences. 2) Trying different things at the first lesson in order to accurately assess their abilities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students, particularly adult students, are most excited and engaged when they are making progress toward a goal, whether that be a specific learning goal or another goal that they have for how they will use what they learn. Knowing a student's interests and goals and utilizing this information when designing lessons is critical for student motivation.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Simple assessment methods such as asking comprehension questions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Showing learning progress through mini-goals is the best way to build confidence. Also, frequent praise when they master a new concept.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by asking them directly what their learning goals are and by doing mini-assessments - asking them to produce something in the language.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use all types of materials for tutoring - picture handouts, mini stories and reading assignments, songs and music, videos and any materials that are important to the student, for example a book that they really want to read as a goal.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by doing a needs assessment and skills assessment at the first session. I also try to assess their learning style and strengths/weaknesses as I get to know them, adapting instruction as I go.