A photo of Cassandra, a tutor from Portland State University

Cassandra

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While studying as an undergraduate at Portland State University I spent several years tutoring fellow classmates in Spanish and also mentoring international students in English language and culture in the USA. I have lived abroad in Mexico, as a student and also as a tourist. This immersion experience helped me to fully understand what Mexican culture is all about and is what gave me the extra push to Spanish fluency and cultural competency.

Cassandra’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Portland State University - Bachelors, Sociology

Hobbies

Hiking, photography, camping, riding bikes, kayaking, reading!

Tutoring Subjects

CLEP Prep

CLEP Spanish

Conversational Spanish

English

ESL/ELL

Languages

Other

SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Social Sciences

Sociology

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


Q & A

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I would practice each skill area with the student: reading, writing, listening and speaking- the best part! If there are areas to improve after an initial assessment, then we would focus on those weaker areas to build maximum confidence!

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, by what they think they need improvement on, and then secondly reviewing their work, and thirdly my own assessment of the two areas.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

We would use the student's textbook, YouTube videos, sound recordings to improve listening skills, and music of different genres for cultural enrichment.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every student has a different learning style- what works for one student may not work for another.

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

In a first session, I would start by introducing myself and having the student introduce themselves as well. We would practice some basic Spanish while getting to know one another.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Lots of encouragement is needed to stay motivated while learning a new language! It isn't always easy, but if you have someone telling you that you are on the right track, then it is much easier!

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

We would go over vocabulary in a given text they are not understanding- write the words and their meanings, and then use them in sentences to enhance comprehension.

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

Encourage them to immerse themselves in the culture! Especially for language learning, look for events in your area, or visit a store with traditional foods and goods specific to the language you are learning.

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

We would include the skill or concept in a real-world situation to improve comprehension.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Create a love for language, and foster their learning by answering any remaining questions about Spanish or culture.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

We would focus on the student's weaknesses, practicing different learning techniques (from reading and comprehension to improving pronunciation and listening). We would highlight their strengths as well, to give them the confidence to know that they are making improvements!

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Using the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, we would go over these areas, and then the student would have the opportunity to express if they felt they still had questions in a specific area.

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

We would begin with a homework assignment given to them that they are needing help on, and then from there I would assess them based on their skills and give them an additional area to focus on improvement. We would work together on this area as well as their homework if they still feel they need help.