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LEARNING TIPS

JULY 2008 TUTOR LUNCHEON

  • For those who have access to and are able to use a computer, integrate computer use into the lesson
  • Taking pictures: my student had to leave pictures behind in Mexico. I gave a lesson around using a camera and taking pictures, using expressions such as “say cheese”, etc. Also descriptions of pictures; happy, laughing, sad.
  • Meeting at local coffee shop helped build confidence in speaking English. Ordering food; speaking in sentences.
  • Use e-mail and SKYPE (software program that allows users to make free telephone calls over the Internet) to communicate to reinforce English and for practice (informal form of homework)
  • Make a pie, cake or sandwich with student as a lesson.  Prior to the food preparation, teach vocabulary such as chop, slice, cut, roll, spread, sprinkle, the names of the ingredients, etc.
  • Use Velcro with magazine pictures and/or drawings with matching vocabulary.
  • Make student responsible for: time, location, regular participation. Let them know to contact you if they are unable to make it to a lesson.
  • Books from Resource Library are useful!
  • Some native language use is helpful to clarify or illustrate something.
  • Tutor Coffees with Judi Kreinick helpful.
  • My student wanted something to work with on her own with, so I found a work book in Spanish on amazon.com that teaches English grammar.
  • Be practical. If your student is bored or troubled, ask directly what the problem is-solution may be very simple; scheduling or transportation.
  • Start each meeting on a personal level. I tell something or make comments she can respond to.
  • Brief review of last session. Refreshes the student’s memory, eases back into learning.
  • Learn facts about student’s life or background. Build exercises or conversation around them, not “from the book”.
  • If they attend Hennessy ESL classes or other language classes, suggest they tell you what they are studying so that your lessons can reinforce the learning.
  • Simple kitchen cooking or preparation to teach simple words and ingredients.
  • If student is working at a job, ask them to share something that happened there.
  • Start with a familiar topic.
  • Ask them to talk about their children.
  • Be direct in questioning, practical.
  • Help student be prepared for tutoring session:  Quiet space, no distractions, etc.
  • Discuss things student “sees around town”: planes (fire), traffic signs, road signs, “click it or ticket”, measurements/preparation for recipes, newspaper articles with pictures.
  • Begin and end with something student does well.
  • Have student take deep breath before transitioning from day’s events to tutoring session.
  • Repeat back to student for confirmation; reinforces student confidence.
  • Physical movement to reinforce language. (Total Physical Response)
  • Stay flexible with lesson to accommodate student’s needs.
  • Keep lesson itself short to facilitate communication about things that may come up that were unplanned.
  • Set up a telephone time and call student; use English only.
  • Teach verbs and colors by asking student to go around the room doing things: stand up, go to kitchen, come back, pick up glass, put glass on the table. Ask questions: what color is something, point out different colors, etc.
  • Keep an open mind when it comes to lesson plan structure.
  • Try to build in the unexpected; first part of each lesson—what does the student need today?
  • Write a story about student’s family.
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