Tutor profile: Christopher A.
What are the basic tenets of a good tutoring session, especially online?
I find introducing myself first is important by saying who I am, what I do (e.g. I am a tutor,) while providing a blueprint for what the student can expect in the session. Friendliness and undiverted attention while looking straight into the camera are important. Building a rapport and curbing student's anxieties by demystifying the writing process is central to reducing anxiety, which is quite common for students (e.g. teaching them about the pre-, during- and post-writing stages.)
Subject: English as a Second Language
How does one best help students (especially non-native students) feel at home during a tutoring session?
Being culturally sensitive and aware is the first step. Understanding that writing experiences and styles vary across cultures and that not all students come from backgrounds where writing pedagogy is identical is key. In addition, letting students be able to write about experiences that mean a lot to them (whenever possible) is huge as it strengthens that student's identity through writing.
How do tutors best assist students of various backgrounds in the field of English Composition?
Doing so requires patience first and foremost, and it requires allowing students to contribute in a learning environment that fosters students to use their voice whenever possible. Bridging gaps in knowledge, including cultural ones, instead of viewing them as obstacles to overcome is key to fostering a strong learning environment.
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