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November 2011 Tutor Coffee

Tutor Coffee notes by Ellen Hagan

Attendees: Shari Coats, Marlee Chamberlin, Bev Stout, Dora Cividino, Ellen Hagan, Karen Attly, Stanley Schwartz, Nelda Foster, Mary Tassone, Julie Carroll, Nancy Guenther, Arthur Katz, Leon Bauer, Nancy Creech, and Pam Jessup.

15 people attended the tutor coffee last Wed. 11/9/11 at Peace Lutheran Church. We introduced ourselves, described our learner, and told a bit about our experience as a PiELL tutor. It was good to hear that several of our new tutors are off to a good start with their learners. Other tutors have been working with their learner for many years and had wisdom to share.

Here are some of the ideas that were expressed:

  • Conversation practice is very important. For pronunciation practice, Focus on Phonics was mentioned. Bev Stout is using the new digital recorder. She records something on it, then leaves it with her learner for homework practice.

  • For comprehension, stories about culture in English and Spanish, magazines, easy novels, and children books that could be read to the learner's children might be appropriate. One of our tutors writes stories he believes will be relevant to his student, then asks questions about the story.

  • White boards are useful for drawing pictures to explain ideas and writing words and sentences.

  • More people are using websites to gain material for lessons and to provide practice for the learner. Recommended sites include: www.englishclub.com, linq.com, livemocca.com, and usalearns.org. There are more listed at piell.org.

  • The Bananagrams game is a fun way to practice vocabulary and spelling. You use tiles to make your own crossword puzzle.

  • Step by Step (Paso a Paso) was recommended as a good book for beginners whose native language is Spanish.