Tutor profile: Sarah C.
What are frequent areas of difficulty that students generally need help with in learning Spanish and how would you help tutor them?
Verb conjugation, reflexive verbs and the subjective are several areas of difficulty that I have personally seen among peers and friends. Reviewing their homework together and walking through specific questions and examples are always a good way to start. Going back to the core subject material at the beginning of the chapter and rereading and reviewing it with the student will also be helpful, as a lot of times students will need to reread a section and relearn it in a way that is best for them. Being interactive and having them read sentences aloud, as well as participating with them in workbook skits and reading prompts can also be beneficial as it provides a more hands on, one-to-one learning experience. After assessing the beginning of a session and observing the way in which a student tends to prefer learning or seems to learn best, I will then tailor my tutoring to their needs. Generally, reviewing the core concepts of a subject - such as verb conjugation, can begin with reviewing the basic elements of verb conjugation with the textbook examples and showing them the way that I have successfully remembered and studied verb conjugations as well. This can be helpful as it also provides more hands-on learning and can provide them useful tools and insight into memorization and learning a new language. Creating charts, diagrams and flashcards, especially while learning verb conjugations and reflexive verbs can be extremely helpful to students. Using several verbs to begin with, possibly from the textbook or verbs they are struggling with on their homework would be good to start out with. By first having them create a simple chart demonstrating the different forms, i.e. "yo, tu, el/ella/ested, nosotros/ ellos/ellas/ustedes" would be helpful. This way, the student can always come back to this while studying verb conjugations. Having them then conjugate several verbs based upon the correct form listed in the chart would be a great exercise. Going through writing exercises like this, in addition to reading aloud and practicing skits with them would all be great tools to use in teaching ver conjugations. The same goes for reflexive verbs, and similar methods can also be used for the subjective. The subjective may require a little more reteaching, reviewing and relearning the core basics of a chapter as it is a little more confusing than most of the verb conjugations in Spanish. All in all, I always want to ensure that I provide a safe and positive environment for my students and provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback when needed. Asking the student questions throughout the lesson is also key, making sure that they are being taught in a way that is best for them and that they are understanding what you are teaching them in the best way possible.
How would you coach a student on organizing and writing a general essay?
First, I would recommend that the student brainstorm ideas and answers to the essay prompt by creating a simple brainstorm chart or diagram. From there, I would coach them to create a rough outline of the essay to properly order and prioritize the topics of discussion relevant to the essay question. Introducing the basics of essay organization would be something that I would do off the bat - advising them to write an outline based off first, an introductory paragraph briefly restating the prompt and providing their answer, generally then followed by three to five supporting paragraphs, ending with a concluding paragraph restating their answer and reasonings for their answer(s) to the essay prompt. I would provide them with examples and recommendations on how to organize their essay depending on the specific subject matter, however, I would utilize the aforementioned basic essay organization as a general starting point. When applicable, providing examples or references can be an excellent way to support an essay prompt with facts or real life examples, which I would recommend they also include a short description of in their outline. This can help in the overall creation of organization within the essay, making it much easier for the student to then cohesively write the essay once they are ready. I would then assign the student homework after working on their outline together, providing them with essay writing and organizational practice. During our next meeting, I would then review the essay with them, reinforcing the positive aspects of their writing and organization, while also providing necessary feedback and constructive criticism. The student should always feel like they are in a safe and positive learning environment, and should also be given honest and constructive feedback in a positive manner. From the beginning and throughout the process, I would always remind them to always stay on topic!
Subject: English as a Second Language
What are beneficial tools to use while teaching an English as a Second Language class?
Props, games and skits are very beneficial tools to utilize while teaching an English as a Second Language class. Props in general are very useful as they provide something visual and/or tactile that can more actively engage students in a lesson. They are also a great way to demonstrate vocabulary, enabling English as a Second Language students to recognize and identify objects in a visual and hands-on manner. Games are another great tool to use in a lesson and can be paired with props as well. Introducing games after the subject material is first taught and demonstrated by the teacher can be another great way to engage students in a fun and participatory manner - that can help in creating a more student-centered classroom where students are able to practice their knowledge of a certain subject and/or vocabulary. Skits are also an excellent way of teaching and allowing English as a Second Language students to demonstrate and practice their knowledge of certain subject matters. They are helpful in letting students practice communication amongst one another, as well as promoting peer learning - enabling students to learn from one another which can be an excellent way for some students to learn.
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