I am a trilingual educator (English, Spanish and French) and enjoy when I can share a love of languages with my students. Face to face is a great way to learn and improve your language skills. I believe in being creative and fun. A student learns more when they are engaged and enjoying their learning experience. I have spent many years as a full time public school ESL teacher and now am ready to enjoy working more closely with my students as a private Tutor.
On a personal note, I enjoy swimming laps in a pool for exercise. Another love is to take long walks at a nearby college campus that offers lakes, streams, forest, geese and turtles! Lastly a favorite hobby includes : mosaics (tables, hangings), origami, and cooking.
Undergraduate Degree: American University - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: American University - Masters, Education
I love to travel to learn about other cultures traditions, art and cuisine.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to model, encourage and inspire. A student needs to see and hear correct language. Then they can imitate and practice until it becomes their own. I also feel that it is very important to inspire and encourage students to express themselves and to use the new information in a personal way so they can make it their own. A student needs to discover what their skills are and develop those talents. Only then can they feel pride and confidence to further their learning in a positive and exciting way.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would need to know what level of language they currently have and where they want to go. What are their needs? We need to pinpoint and focus on sharpening the skills needed to achieve their goal. I would bring different resources so we could see which kind of learner they are and how best I could serve them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would offer a diverse lesson full of visuals, oral exercises and new information to stimulate. I would start with what they know to reinforce and give confidence, and then proceed to the new concept at hand to practice and understand. I always try to personalize so the student stays engaged.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty with a skill or concept, I would offer various examples and try different approaches until the skill is understood.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who are struggling with reading comprehension need to reinforce vocabulary. Once that is done, we can chunk information, so the concept is not too complicated. Next, we could break it down to sequence events. In that way, we would better understand where the problem lies in understanding the material at hand.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is important to initially take stock of the student and make sure they know that you are there for them. You want them to succeed and you are there to help. They need to buy into you as well. A strong foundation or bond needs to happen.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would question the students as to character, setting, and plot. Where does this story take place? Who is the main character? What is the plot or problem of the story? Can the student express these answers orally? Can the student express himself in writing? I often ask the learner if he has experienced this problem, and if so, how did he deal with it?
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You can build a student's confidence by asking for understanding all along the way. When they answer correctly, praise them. Then go to the next step. If the student is young, you can offer a reward system. You also need to allow the student to be creative and to reverse roles and have them ask you the questions. Or the student could propose a different ending to the story. All of these methods help the student to feel confident in using a language in different settings, in different ways.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student's needs could be evaluated by orally questioning the student in the area. A follow-up could be in a written test, multiple-choice or open-ended. The test needs to be specific and focused so the teacher can see where the needs are.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would adapt by using different materials to address the student's needs. If they need to drill verbs, I could bring flashcards. If they need to practice tenses, I could present situations for the student to express today, yesterday and in the future. I always try to make the exercises relevant to the student. I also try to include: listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises in every lesson.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use flashcards, visuals, textbooks, worksheets, manipulatives, and charts in a tutoring session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by little by little releasing the responsibility to him so he can take charge and own the materials. As he learns more and gains more confidence, I would increase the difficulty of the subject and ask more of him as a learner. For example, I could ask him to write a report for me on a certain subject and present it orally. I may record it so he can see how well he presents, speaks and pronounces.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students often get excited when they actually do a project. For example, if a student was having problems with verb tenses, I could have him make something. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What do you do to make a sandwich? First, he would explain in present tense. Then I would ask him how did he make it. Then he could describe it in past tense. Then I would ask him how he would make it in the future. He would then use the future tense to relate the experience. Students get excited when what they are talking about is real.