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And So Begins a New Season

Welcome,   This digital space will serve as a journal, an archive, and a vat of advice or conclusions from my tutoring experiences. I'm setting out today to begin actively pursuing tutoring opportunities through Wyzant's program, hoping to connect with students in the Decatur, GA area who are searching for some language help.   What to expect in the posts to come: -Successes in lesson planning and activities -Failures (shameful though they may be) -- this may actually end up being the most beneficial of them all. -Tips I've gleaned from my own teaching in the past -Narrative journeys through the lessons and their intricacies   I look forward to collaborating and swapping stories with readers. So by all means, shoot me a message at any time and I'll be happy to talk!   Peace, Eric N.

Teacher of Language Skills ESL

I am a NYS Certified and accomplished teacher with unique skills in enabling students of all ages to feel free to express themselves in the foreign language, building fluency and confidence with each lesson. Students feel comfortable working with me one on one. I have taught grammar, phonics and vocabulary, reading and writing with much fun and success through the use of sitcom television shows, songs, cartoons, fun stories, activities and games.

ESL website #2

Here are more websites that I have sent to students after lessons for extra practice:   Here are some vocabulary activities you can do for homework. Just study the words where they give you the answers. You can't do the whole activity because you don't have classmates.  You could do them with a friend though: Study these animal idioms (expressions, sayings). Think about if there are any animal idioms in your language: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/animal_idioms.html Study these collocations/ expressions: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/%91A%85%85%85.of%92%20language.html http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/make_or_do.html http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/collocations%28lose_take%29.html Try to do this activity, if you remember your Shakespeare: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/shakespeare.html This might be fun to read, also. It's about the origin of the words: http://www.eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/word_origins... read more

ESL Websites

I am a tutor for students requesting help with English as a Second Language.  As part of the homework, I have sent out emails with the following websites for the students to practice on:   Here is a website you can test your English with. It scores it and gives links to other websites that will teach you lessons on the topics. It looks really great but some of the links don't work - but don't be discouraged. Let me know what you find out, ok?  When you've studied the topics, it tells you which "particular" test you should take under "choose lesson test". Those particular tests are much shorter, like 5 questions only. http://www.easyenglish.com/index.asp Here is a test for your reading comprehension - but I think some of the questions are English English. It's still a good way to give yourself some idea of your abilities and needs. http://www.englishclub.com/esl-exams/levels-test-wc.htm There are a ton of... read more

Facebook for Language Learning

One of my favorite tools to use when starting lessons with students is Facebook. It's great because most students have smart phones and can open the app right there. And, you get your students to talk about people they know, or people they would like to know more about (celebrities and such). For my Spanish students, we open up a friend's page and just like that we create sentences and ask questions about: -names -age -where people are from -where they live -what they like to do, read, listen to, watch etc. -what they did in the past -relationships (family, marriages, friends etc.) -how they are characteristic wise or condition wise For Spanish specifically, it is a great opportunity to use the verbs: -ser -tener -vivir -estar -hacer -gustar -llamarse -ir   Since English speaking students sometimes struggle with the different uses between ser and estar, and the use of tener with regard to age, it's... read more

PORTUGUESE: why do more and more people want to learn it!

PORTUGUESE: the language of BIG BRAZIL!   BRAZIL: the land of SOCCER!   SOCCER: love it or hate it, it is a worldwide passion!   Brazilian Portuguese is FUN: and Brazilians are all about fun, soccer, beautiful places to visit, friends to make!   Even if you are all about business, BRAZIL is the land of opportunity! (Check it out, Google it!)   Whatever your purpose or ambition, Brazilian PORTUGUESE is going to take you on a journey of success, new projects, travels, dreams...   Vamos aprender juntos! Let's learn together!   Leticia S.     :)    

Great Online Site For Reluctant Readers

If you are struggling to encourage a reluctant reader to read for at least 30 minutes per day, this website may help.  I began using this with Beginning English as a Second Language (ESL) students but have found that it also works well for K-6 readers as well.  Here are the instructions for accessing this FREE site:     Go to http://larryferlazzo.com/englishbeg.html#stories a. Under the heading marked Stories, click on Tumblebooks b. Click on Tumblebook Library c. Click on Story Books or Non-fiction Books d. Choose a book and then click Read Online

Tutor coming to San Diego soon

I am new to Wyzant and want to introduce myself to the community here.  I lived in Mexico for the past 18 months and am returning to San Diego at the end of September.  I have a TESOL certification and have been Teaching English a Second Language while living here.  I am also a Speech and Language Pathologist and so I have many skills to help with tutoring especially for English/Language and study skills.  I am also a Yoga Instructor and this may also be helpful when preparing and reinforcing lessons.     I want you to feel free to contact me for tutoring but you need to know I will not be around until the end of September.  I will not respond to tutor posts until I am closer to the date of my return to San Diego but certainly if you want to work with me you can contact me and we can plan for an after September date following the procedures set up by WyzAnt.  I look forward to helping out.  Anita

Are You Ready For College?

Many English learners move to English speaking countries for college, but studying at the college level in a foreign language can be a daunting task (i.e. seems really difficult). The ability to read, write, speak, and listen to English at the college level is essential. Here are some simple tests you can do yourself: Undergraduate college level: Read articles in newspapers and magazines like National Geographic and Time Magazine. Do you understand most of the vocabulary? Do you understand what the article is about? Can you summarize in your own words what the article was about? Record yourself speaking about an academic topic. Vocaroo.com is a free internet website where you can do this. Now listen to what you recorded. Are you verb tenses consistent (the same) throughout? Are you able to use academic transitions like "in contrast", "moreover", "however", "in conclusion", etc.? Do you use academic vocabulary... read more

Experiencing different cultures

One of the many reasons why I love teaching ESL is getting the chance to learn about different cultures. I have had the chance to tutor students from around the world. Each student is unique, and I can always learn something new from each one! It is also very important for me that I know the customs of the international students. I think it is important to have an open mind and way of doing things, because each culture does things differently. My goal is to tutor someone from every country in the world :) Hope to see you soon! Sandy

Prepositions and Idioms

Why do we say we're "on the train" or "on the plane"? We're traveling inside the train or plane, aren't we? Why don't we say we're "in the train" or "in the plane"? We don't for the same reason that we do say we're "in the car." But why don't we say we're "on the car?" The car is a mode of transportation like the train and plane, isn't it? The answer is: Usage. Usage dictates that even if it isn't logical or strictly grammatical to say something a certain way, we do it anyway, because that's the phrase that the culture has agreed on. When a phrase is always used the same way by speakers of a language, it is known as an idiom. A lot of idioms are prepositional phrases.The preposition that begins the phrase may not always seem the best one to use, but English language learners should memorize them if they want to go with the flow--that is, if they want to sound American. Here are a few more: "In the mood;"... read more

Make or Do?

ESL - English as a Second Language In English, some things need to be easy to remember, and my English Learners like this little trick. When you Do something, you can't touch, and when you MAKE something you can ... That is the simplest way to memorize the difference. These two verbs are very similar in meaning. In French or Spanish, there is no distinction between the two forms. If you think about the results it will help you. Make often has the meaning of produce, create, or prepare. Do is usually the correct word when we are talking about a general activity; that is, we do not specify its nature. Do is usually the correct word when we are talking about work. (In this sense it is often used with the -ing work activities: cooking, shopping, washing-up, sewing, cleaning, etc.). In other cases, there are no clear rules. If in doubt, use MAKE. Be aware of the following common expressions: Do ... business ... good ... harm... read more

A quick grammar lesson

It seems to me that even most adults have an issue with grammar. I fairly often see the same mistakes repeated in essays and normal everyday chat. This isn't just an issue associated with younger children with little or no grasp on grammar, it's a common issue that I see even with graduate students. I. First, is the "Their, They're, There" mistake. Their implies ownership. They left with their jackets on. They're implies an action. Today, they're going to the mall. There implies a place. Please place that book over there. II. Second is the "You're and Your" mistake. You're implies that you are going to do something. Today you're going to take the dog for a walk after school. Your implies ownership You left your pencils on the floor. III. Third is the "It's and Its" mistake It's means it is or it has. It's going to be hot outside today! Its shows possession. The cat... read more

The TOEFL Test

Many international students have a fear of taking the TOEFL test because it can determine whether they are able to get into the college of their choice. The most important issue to remember is that this is a test of how well you can understand, read, write and speak English. The purpose of the test is to make sure that you have the ability to understand what is going on in the classroom. This helps you and the professor. It helps you because it makes sure that you know enough English to do well in a classroom, and it helps the professor because they know that you have the ability to do the work in their classroom. One of the best things you can do if you are afraid of taking this test is to hire a tutor. A good TOEFL tutor will help you not only raise your score on the TOEFL, but they will talk to you about strategies that you can use to do well on the test. Also, if you have test anxiety (a common situation when taking a standardized test) a tutor can help you deal... read more

Trouble with English, Try This...

Are you having, or may have had, trouble remembering the 8 parts of speech? Try the acronym IVAN CAPP: Interjection Conjunction Verb Adjective Adjective Preposition Noun Pronoun The first is “I” for “Interjection.” Interjections are the easiest of the 8 parts of speech to remember. Here are some examples: “Ouch! That really hurts.” “Wow! I got an ‘A.’” “Man! That was a really awesome wave.” “Ouch,” “Wow,” “Man,” are all interjections, but you don’t always have to use exclamation marks with interjections. When you use exclamation marks you’re yelling; however, if you don’t want to express so much emotion, then substitute the exclamation marks with commas. Here are the previous examples but with the comma substitutions: “Ouch, that really hurts.” “Wow, I got an ‘A." “Man, that was a really awesome wave.” (This would also count for one of the comma rules.) Next time with IVAN CAPP “Conjunctions”... read more

English is Easy

I have over five years of experience teaching ESOL abroad. As I wrote in an earlier blog, English is the language of the world. I can illustrate "go" by walking or moving a toy car across a table. Or I may use the word "progress" to speakers of Romance languages. I teach ESOL using the Berlitz method which is highly successful. English is easy! Nouns do not change whether at beginning of the sentence (the subject) or at the end ( the object). Therefore word order is not as important as it is in most foreign languages. Even at the start, students find that people understand them. Having only the Present Tense, students are already communicating.

Three Important Ideas I Keep in Mind when Tutoring

I have tutored several adults in English as a Second Language through WyzAnt. Over the past year, I have also led an enjoyable, weekly, two-hour adult ESL conversation group at the Brooklyn Public Library. These experiences have some things in common, two of which I'll share here. The best ESL activities ask students to use more than one of the “Four Skills”: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. An exercise might focus on one of these skills, such as speaking. However, if another skill, perhaps reading, is also involved, students learn more quickly. This "integrated skills" approach also helps adults to learn in a way that resembles how young children learn language. My ESL teacher training program has taught me that individuals learn best in different ways. Tutoring with WyzAnt confirms how individual learning is. One size does not fit all when it comes to learning! This wisdom applies to adult learners as much as to children. Some prefer to jump... read more

Fluency

Dear ESL student: Perhaps you would like my help to improve your English. You have learned to read and write English in your home country. Perhaps you have a solid foundation with a good knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary. I am guessing that you want to be able to speak more naturally and be understood easily in your daily life in America. I am guessing that you would like to "fit in," and enjoy the easy give and take of casual conversation. Is that so? I would like to help you achieve that. One aspect of this is what I call "fluency," that there is a flow in what you say, that the words seem part of a stream of ideas and feelings. I would like to help bring you closer to that flow of meaning, where we are listening less with our minds than our hearts and our imaginations. With your prior knowledge of grammar and with my help, you can think and speak more in phrases instead of individual words. The words begin to flow together. There... read more

Tutoring English

Have you ever stared at a word for so long that its meaning disappeared? Have you ever tried to write backwards across a page? If so, you can begin to understand the task facing English language learners, for whom everything about English is strange and new. Some may even have to learn a new alphabet before beginning to understand the sounds we make and the words we write. I am filled with admiration for these students, who are willing to take on our arcane rules: why we use "the" in front of some nouns but not others, why some adjective phrases take hyphens but others don't, why we turn nouns into adjectives and don't even change the spelling! As a teacher and writer, I no longer take anything about English for granted. Textbooks don't even begin to cover every rule or exception. Each session is a flight into a new question, something I promise I will research in order to bring a coherent explanation to the next session.

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