Welcome! Thanks for taking your learning seriously. You already have most of tools you need...I'll simply fill in a few gaps for you.
I have a teaching credential for K-6 Elementary from Indiana and have the experience and methods to teach Elementary School subjects. I am also working a substitute teacher in a local school district, so I stay abreast of the California standards. I have served as the long-term ESL teacher here in Northern California.
I currently work as an HR Consultant and Trainer full time, so am currently only available weekday evenings and weekend mornings and early afternoon.
Dave Williams, MS.Ed.
Let's face it -- learning a language can be both fun and challenging. But no fears. I've both the training and credentials (earned teaching license for 6-12 French) and experience, having taught French at a High School and tutored at two Universities: UC Davis and the University of Notre Dame. As a tutor, I have worked with variety of levels from beginning to 4th year. As to my approach that has proven effective, I:
* Am positive and encouraging
* Create lesson plans and units that focus on your specific learning needs
* Offer a variety of tools, tips, tricks that have proven effective in learning foreign languages
I am available in the DAVIS and SACRAMENTO, California area for on site tutoring. I can also tutor remotely.
In my free time, I enjoy hiking, yoga, live Classical and Jazz music performances, writing fiction, cooking (and eating) cuisines from a variety of countries, traveling, and hanging with family and friends! I am also a polyglot and have formally studied and learned Swedish, Icelandic, Sign Language, and German. I'm currently teaching myself Korean.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Davis - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: Indiana University-South Bend - Masters, Education
Writing, Live Music (classical, jazz, pop), Cooking, Exercise, Travel
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I look at your strengths and what you already know, and gradually build from there. I have been in your position of learning a foreign language from scratch, so I recognize the challenges and understand what it takes to get over them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
We'd chat mostly.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would model for them how I approach a question or problem. (In other words, as we looked at a question, I would "think aloud" and share with them the process.)
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'd give constant positive feedback showing that you already know quite a bit.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Once I identify exactly what they don't understand, I'd select an appropriate tool to address the problem. It might be a simple Mickey Mouse rule, a song, or mnemonic device to help them remember. It might be an interactive game to practice and drive the rule home.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In the beginning, I'll ask them questions that get them thinking about the theme of the story and that they can personally relate to. For example, "Have you ever wanted to give up?" or "Have you ever done something kind for someone? What was it and how did it make you feel?"
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I observe and get to know them, looking for strengths and weaknesses. I smile a lot. I encourage them a lot.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I assume there is a big chunk they missed. So, I go back to the chunk they missed and slowly, gradually, re-teach. I often say I struggled with it in the beginning too, so they know they are not alone. Then, they will get it with practice.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I'd ask a question aloud on the concept. Or, I'd have them answer a homework problem related to the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes with success. It's internal. So, I set them up to succeed, by knowing what their misunderstandings are, and then filling in that knowledge for them. When I have them do exercises, I always have one or two examples that they can model. Then, I'll do the first problem again, modeling how to do it.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Usually, I will ask a few questions on each concept. Their responses to one or two questions (per concept or skill) usually gives me the info I need. Or, if they have it, I'll look over a past exam or homework they've completed. If need be, I'll ask a follow up question.