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May 2013 Tutor Coffee

Fifteen tutors attended the May 20th tutor coffee at Valentina’s Bistro & Bakery, with a good mix of new and tenured tutors. They were Eva Bagno, Emi Sakai, Ruth Ann Radcliffe, Linda Villegas, Kathy Mann, David Hardy, Sonja Anderson, Dora Cividino, Norema Strongin, Helen Krantz, Larry Flood, Chris Newsom, Ellen Hagan, Shari Coats, Judi Kreinick.

It was great to have so many of you interested in sharing experiences and enjoying a good time together.

Below is a recap of the highlights of our discussion.

Using adult-oriented books is very helpful for many of the students, rather than using children's books. There are many adult-oriented short story books in the PiELL library.

For those students who want to read to their young children, the Grass Valley and Nevada City libraries have a lot of bilingual books in the children's section. This helps them with their English while they're helping their children read.

Long and short vowel sounds.......Norema Strongin has made up vowel sound sheets and will be happy to share what she has done.

Establishing a comfort level with your student really helps the student with their confidence. Find things they like and are interested in, which will help them speak more freely. It can be very helpful to focus on vocabulary that interests your student.

Getting your student's buy-in on their goals helps them own their progress.

Ask your student if s/he likes the book/materials you're using. If not, find some different materials. There's a bunch to choose from in the office, online, etc.

Do a variety of things during the lesson to make it interesting and fun.

Recommendation from Ellen Hagan and Emi Sakai re how to get your student to talk more.........Prepare a list of 7 - 10 questions that your student knows s/he will need to talk about at the beginning of each session; example "What did you do with your family over the weekend?, What did you do at work during the week?" You can model this by telling what you did during the week or over the weekend, etc. When the student knows s/he will need to talk about these things, s/he can practice during the week.

Dora Cividino said that her student uses the "Pimsleur" audio learning series to help her with her English, and she likes it very much.

Sonja Anderson talked about some great crossword puzzle websites she uses where you can input the specific vocabulary that you want to use and the website genies then create a unique crossword puzzle just for you and your student.

Those websites are:




If anyone has any questions or needs clarification on any of the above suggestions, please contact either one of us.

Shari Coats
Judi Kreinick