Tutor profile: Stephanie S.
What strategies would you use to help a middle school student with reading and comprehension?
The first strategy I use with each student is to build a good rapport with them, so they know that I care about them and that I want them to succeed academically. I find that if the student feels cared for and important, they will, in turn, be more motivated to study and improve. And this will build their confidence with all school subjects. I would read various books to the student, with them following along on the page, and pause frequently to make sure the student understands the basic plot and characters. I would also suggest books for them to read, based upon their age, interests, and reading level. And I would encourage the student to read for enjoyment every day, for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The better they like reading, the more successful they will be in all of their subjects. Many students have not been exposed to good books that spark their interest, so they need to learn that books can be exciting, inspiring, and adventurous. It is also important to have the student write summary sentences and/or paragraphs about what they read, to be sure they understand what is going on. This review writing helps reinforce their comprehension, and it gives me insight into their vocabulary and spelling abilities. I would also ask each student to read aloud to me for a part of each lesson, so that I can assess the words or concepts they are struggling with, and then I can assign specific exercises that address and strengthen these areas.
Subject: English as a Second Language
What are some tips you would use to help an elementary age ESL student?
One of the most important tips with ESL students is to speak slowly and clearly, and to annunciate well. If the student cannot understand the tutor, they will be confused and unable to follow basic instructions, and will quickly lose focus during the lesson. It is also helpful to use colorful visual aids, gestures, and fun props, to engage the student’s attention and make the lesson interesting and creative. And since learning to read, speak, and write in English is the main goal for the student, it is vital to introduce the phonetic sounds, write them down for them, and then repeat each one until they master them. The student needs to clearly understand each new word or phrase, and must feel comfortable asking for instructions. I like to encourage the student to repeat each word several times so they practice how it feels to pronounce it, and then they will feel more comfortable speaking.
What are some key concepts to cover for a student taking French 1?
One of the concepts that is important to cover in French 1 is learning about French culture and geography, including the many countries in the world that use French as their primary language, and learning about French customs. Another area to cover is introducing vocabulary: such as greetings, introductions, counting up to 100, the seasons of the year, days of the week, and months of the year. And then with each lesson, more vocabulary can be added and practiced. And with each new word or phrase, it is imperative to teach correct pronunciation, and explain the sounds of the French alphabet. It is also important to teach French grammar, and give the student opportunities to ask questions about verb tenses, feminine and masculine nouns, pronouns, adjectives, etc.
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