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Jorge

I just graduated from Reed College – a small liberal arts college in Portland, OR – with a degree in French Literature and Language. I am passionate about literature, art, and the humanities. During my four years in college, I tutored students from a wide range of age groups in English, Spanish, and French. I have spent hundreds of hours giving students feedback on their writing. This feedback has ranged from discussing a brief assignment for a foreign-language class to editing a senior-year thesis over one hundred pages long. I also spent my last year in college writing a thesis under the supervision of a French poetry professor. I enjoy reading work by others and helping students learn languages, from the most basic level of composition to complex grammatical concepts. In addition to this, I have also taught ESL (English as a second language) to non-native speakers. I look forward to continuing to work with students of all ages and backgrounds.

Undergraduate Degree:

Reed College - Bachelors, French Literature and Language

AP Calculus BC: 3

AP English Literature: 5

AP World History: 3

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 700

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 700

SAT Subject Test in Spanish: 800

AP Psychology: 4

AP Spanish Language: 5

Writing, reading, traveling, learning foreign languages, literature

American Literature

College Application Essays

Conversational Spanish

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Other

SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

SAT Subject Tests Prep

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

I usually ask in advance for a quick description of the material with which the student wants help so I can prepare a lesson plan. For instance, if a student in a first-year French language class is learning the difference between "ne... pas" and "rien," knowing that in advance will allow me to come up with several examples of these respective concepts and gives me the opportunity to prepare several ways of explaining them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think this is something I evaluate on a case-by-case basis. Some students are more predisposed to learn by reading, while others prefer to use examples from textbooks. After gaining some clarity about the student's study habits, I encourage certain exercises and ask that the student continue to work between our tutoring sessions. Especially for students in language courses, I encourage them to work daily.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

This is also something that I try to evaluate after the first tutoring sessions with a student. One of the most effective ways of learning a foreign language, in my view, is having a wide range of resources from which to choose - news articles, music videos, interactive websites, or phone applications. I would encourage students to try one or many of these tools so that they identify what interests them most and motivates them to continue learning. For students in need of a writing tutor, I think that writing as much as one can is the best way of finding a point of interest in an essay. Thus, I would encourage the student to write until he, she, or they find(s) something interesting in the assignment that they want to pursue. I also think being open to students' ideas is key to helping them stay motivated.

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

I would try to provide as many materials as I can and test different tutoring strategies. No concept is too difficult to master, and having confidence in one's intellectual efforts throughout an assignment is a very important thing to foster. I aim to foster confidence in students in each of my tutoring sessions.

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

This is a difficult question, and one that should be addressed with patience. Using several examples is usually my first strategy. I ask the student to pause at key moments in a text in order to look for key words in sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes, one needs to read a sentence more than three times in order to understand the message it carries, and taking the time to do this individually or with a tutor is of great help.

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

I think providing good examples and moving through each of them slowly is usually the best way to begin tutoring a new student. This allows me, the tutor, to identify what I think are the student's strengths as well as the places in which there needs to be improvement. I also prioritize being open to the student's own concerns, and I think communication between the student and the tutor is essential to all learning.

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

I am very passionate about reading and writing, since I've spent the last four years of my life talking to my peers and professors about literature, art, film, photography, and so on. I try to find points of interest between the student and the material with which we are working in order to highlight what's exciting about learning.

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

This depends on the student and the kind of examination for which the student needs to be prepared. If the exam consists of listening and writing, then my tutoring session would focus on examples that deal with these two skills. I draw from different resources when I work with a student and always tailor these to what the student needs or wants to know. This means that I usually like to ask in advance the name of the textbook used for a class so I can become acquainted with the kinds of exercises with which the student is working.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I think focusing lessons on a few examples is the best way to begin a lesson. From there, I can begin to identify the student's strengths as well as the skills that need more attention and work. Once I accomplish this, I ask that the student continue to work with similar exercises so that he, she, or they gain(s) mastery over a concept.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that learning is a very personal process, and that a good instructor should listen to the student, address the student's concerns and questions with consideration and detail, and provide the resources that will help the student learn most effectively. I also think that learning entails gaining an appreciation for the material with which one is working and does not simply end once an exam is over.