Greetings! My strongest asset is that I know what it's like to be a language learner in a foreign country. In high school, I was an exchange student in France. My "textbook" French only took me so far! I remember wishing with all my being that the native speakers would speak slowly! Later in life, my career took me to Italy and Panama and once again, I wished the natives would speak more slowly and distinctly! So, with beginners especially, I make it a point to speak slowly and clearly to accommodate the student's level of comprehension. Then, as the students become more comfortable, I speak with them more and more like a native.
My tutoring methods are student-centered. A wise professor once told me, "Teach the student, not the textbook!" For beginners, I do make some use of a textbook to help them master the basics. I also supplement with authentic materials such as local newspapers and magazines. With more advanced students, I incorporate more conversation practice discussing topics of the students' choice. I also introduce more complex materials such as crossword and word search puzzles. If possible, I like to go on "field trips" to the post office, or a restaurant, so the students can practice their English with native speakers.
I have several years' experience volunteering as an ESL teacher. I have also taught adults through a language school and at the local community college. I see myself as not just an ESL teacher, but also as an ambassador of sorts for the United States. I want students to have a positive experience whether they remain in the U.S. for a few months, or for the rest of their lives. Finally, it is my goal for students to achieve the level of competence and confidence they want for themselves.
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