Well, students, here I am! I am fresh from Wichita, KS and awaiting tutoring opportunities in the Seattle, WA area. Just to get the ball rolling, I will create weekly blogs that include little snippets of knowledge relating to foreign languages. Here's this week's: a good quote in several languages... (Quote form brainyquote.com) "Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm." ~ Hippocrates auf Deutsch: "Machen Sie eine Gewohnheit zu zwei Dingen: zu helfen; oder mindestens keinem Schaden zuzufügen." in Italiano: "Prendere l'abitudine di due cose: aiutare; o almeno di non nuocere." en Español: "Haga un hábito de dos cosas: ayudar; o al menos no hacer daño." en francés: "Faites une habitude de deux choses : aider; ou au moins ne faire aucun mal." Can you see some similarities in the different languages? Let me know and have a great week!
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Are you looking for a great way to practice your speaking skills in French? Go to www.sharedtalk.com! There you will find native speakers of French (among many other languages) with whom you can practice your speaking skills. This is a great way to improve your listening comprehension, too! Try it out! It's free and all you have to do is sign up!
The ELAs are coming. Is your child ready? Well, if your child was not practicing reading, vocabulary and math for a few hours per week, there is a great chance that you need a tutor to explain the subject curriculum one more time. As the time goes by, the memory fades away. My students play games that help to train their memory, speed and attention. Education is a year long (including summer time) process that is built up by understanding simple things that will help your child to gain a better knowledge and understanding of next grade math, language, and other subjects. Please do not procrastinate! Alexei M.
In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin described a technique he frequently used to improve his writing and language skills: Whenever Franklin came across a piece of writing that he felt was extremely well-crafted, he would read the passage repeatedly until he could write down word-for-word—from memory—what he read on a separate piece of paper. He then would compare what he wrote to the original passage he read, would make whatever corrections he needed to, and would repeat the whole exercise several days later. If there’s some aspect of your language skills you’d like to improve (writing, speaking, or listening, etc.), give Benjamin Franklin’s exercise a try: Improve your listening skills by writing down the words you hear in a foreign language movie or song. Watch your favorite foreign-language TV show, and try to imitate your favorite character’s accent or vocabulary. Or, if you want to work on you foreign-language writing and expression skills, buy a translated... read more
One thing I found helpful when I was initially getting the hang of Russian was to keep a language diary for a few weeks. My diary started when, in an effort not to get rusty at Russian during the summer between semesters, I started reading some Russian poetry and parts of short stories in the original. The diary wasn’t anything fancy. I simply wanted some more Russian-language practice and to practice expressing my thoughts in writing (no matter how simple the thoughts were). I did this by typing my entries in Russian into a Word document. I usually wrote about 2 things: 1) what I remembered about the poem/story’s plot 2) what I thought about the poem/story I’d also bold and put into red coloring new phrases and vocabulary that I’d learned, found useful, and wanted to remember. Your diary can serve whatever function you’d like. You can write about your day, or some little event that happened one day. Or you can keep track of useful phrases or words you learned... read more
I remember that there was once a time when I underestimated the power of flashcards as a learning tool, and now I they’re all I use to memorize new language vocabulary and sometimes grammar concepts. Though they can be tedious and boring to write out for a large vocabulary list, flashcards have been worth the extra effort that I’ve put into making them. Here are some of the pros (listed in no particular order) that I’ve found in using flashcards: - You can easily make them—and on your own time. I love printed lists, but I noticed that they take me more time and effort to make than flashcards. I find that I get too particular and too hung up over small details—the words need to be a certain font, I like for the English side to be a certain color, etc. Also by the time I’m even done making up a list to print, I usually have to wait for a computer at the library to print my vocab list, and then end up waiting behind someone who has 7 print jobs. Flashcards, one the... read more
I think www.wyzant.com is doing a great job bringing together students and tutors. Even though some tutors charge up to $70/hour and higher, it is hard to see my qualifications until you try. Therefore, I charge $25/hour so that the potential students would try me out and see how good I am on the background of professors and teachers. I am trying to bring affordable tutorials to my students for them to know that good tutors are not the most expensive ones.
Hello everyone! Yes, my job is to help students get high levels in challenging classes. Even if I do a wonderful job at helping them and get A's in all their classes, I am still only doing half of my job. The other half of my job is just as important. It starts with preparation, and ongoing learning on my part. I am excited about Physics and Math because there is always novel developments in science and technology, and... there are always new methods of teaching! I must constantly be improving my teaching, knowledge and communication skills, in order to help my students maximize their own potential. So it is not just about students learning what they need to learn. It's also about me learning as much as I can to help myself do a great job at teaching them. It's all about the student, but it has to start with me doing my part professionally. I always like to learn new things, and I hope to help cultivate that attitude the passion of learning in each student that I work with... read more
My new student is an amazing boy who wants to learn Russian and no one even force him to do so. He doesn't have anybody who speaks Russian in his family or friends, but he wants to know languages because he likes it. That makes my job so much easier :)
Learning the Russian alphabet is essential. It can be an easy language to learn to speak because: 1. its is written as it is pronounced, no hidden meaning and very few exceptions 2. there is no verb "to be" as used in English, "I am" 3. there are no definite or indefinite articles alike "the" or "a/an" However, its also a very hard language because grammar can be near impossible, as there are so many cases, like pejorative and locations, etc. I feel that with a good teach anyone can learn to read and speak in a matter of a few months.
One may always be grammatically correct or use a wide variety of vocabulary in a foreign language. However, this means absolutely nothing if one cannot pronounce words and phrases correctly. When I was learning Spanish in school, my teachers rarely corrected my pronunciation. It wasn't until I traveled to Spain that I learned how to pronounce words correctly. Emphasizing pronunciation is something I feel a lot of foreign language teachers/tutors overlook and don't emphasize enough in their teaching. Here are some tips for foreign language tutors and teachers to emphasize pronunciation more in their lessons. 1. Start lessons going over the alphabet in the target language I always begin a lesson by going over the alphabet. It is the most basic lesson, yet crucial lesson for beginners. Beginners can become familiar with the language without feeling overwhelmed. I have homemade index card with the letter and the sound underneath. On the other side of the card I have a... read more
The Russian language is one of the most beautiful and complex languages. It is based on the Cyrillic alphabet which makes a lot of foreigners confused due to the fact that there are 33 letters and some of them look like the ones in the Latin alphabet but they sound differently, for example: Russian "?" is read [v], "p" is pronounced as [r']. Here is a piece of advice: when you are just starting to learn this language, the Russian alphabet is the first thing you will encounter and from this very moment you must forget the alphabet of your own language and not draw any parallels between the two alphabets. This is quite important and requires a profound practice. Once you've memorized the letters and their sounds, you may proceed to the reading stage. But always keep in mind that hearing a native Russian speech is a significant part of the process because it forms your pronunciation skills, allows you to read syllables and words properly. It is necessary to use tapes or CDs,... read more
The main thing I have taken away from being a tutor is that the tutor-student relationship is reciprocal: each of my students has had something to teach me. I recently tutored a baseball player in Spanish and I discovered a lot of aspects of the game that I didn’t know before. I also became familiar with a lot of baseball terms that were new to me. I have also been taking private Russian lessons and the experience is very rewarding. I have learned so much, not just about the Russian language, but also about its culture and customs. For instance, I didn't know that they celebrate Christmas on January 7th! This brings me to the primary reason I enjoy studying and teaching a foreign language: the cultural exchange is invaluable. You can never know too much about a foreign country, and the more you know the less likely you are to experience “culture shock” when traveling abroad. I can’t imagine going to Mexico and not being able to speak the language. There is nothing... read more
This is an old joke. What do you call a person that speaks one language? American! If you grow up in the United States, there's a good chance your experience with learning a second language (other than English) wasn't a pleasant one. There are probably dozens of reasons why. You hear responses like, "Everyone speaks English," "I don't have a chance to interact with people that speak a different language." "Learning a second language is hard!" These responses have some truth to them, but when I first began to study Spanish in Mexico while I was in college, it was a great experience! Learning a second language can open up a whole new world for you. You can actually see things in a slightly different perspective, and that helps you get along better with all types of people. You can make a lot more friends if you speak more than one language, for obvious reasons. But on the practical side, think about what you learn in school that will be helpful in terms of getting... read more
Creating Confidence When Speaking a Foreign Language Studying a foreign language? Feeling tongue-tied, unable to spit out what you're trying to say? You aren't alone. One of the biggest challenges in learning a foreign language is training our tongues (literally) to speak in a way that is rather unnatural. Ever tried to roll an "r" in Spanish? Or (for me) speak a lick of French? It is exhausting, at best. One way to ease your fear of speaking a foreign language is - you guessed it - to SPEAK the language! And I don't mean go out in public and ramble at any random person you meet (although in some scenarios, a version of this may be highly recommendable). Instead, have you ever thought of RECORDING yourself speaking the new language? Listening to our own voices pronounce new words and phrases not only creates confidence in our speaking skills, but it allows us to focus on our pronunciation, and the intonation of our voice. Most computers nowadays have built-in... read more
Zoia is a native Russian. She was born in Riga (Latvia) during Soviet Union, but her parents are originally from central Russia. She got a Bachelor Degree in English and Literature from Latvia State University in 1989, a Master Degree in Education (Counseling Option) from California State University in San Bernardino in 2002. Currently Zoia is in her 8th year of learning Spanish expanding her professional horizons. Zoia is an author of an autobiographical-immigrant book, the chapters of which were being published for a few years in the magazine Nataly in St. Petersburg (Russia), a newspaper in Riga (Latvia), and in Russian newspapers in California (West Hollywood) and Colorado, USA. At this moment the publication of Zoia new stories are getting ready in Minsk (Belarus) in "Women Magazine". For quite a number of years Zoia has been also doing evaluation and translation of Russian/Soviet educational transcripts and diplomas, providing professional language services... read more
Hi, I am Zoia. I have been teaching ESL/ESOL to all kinds of immigrants for Adult Education in California for 11 years. I have worked at the same place for 11 years. Concurrently with this work I have worked at Mt San Antonio College, at Rio Hondo College, and at Victor Valley College, teaching English to immigrants. I have taught all levels, from low beginning to advanced. I have taught students from Latin American countries, mostly from Mexico, of course, because, where I live, in Southern California, the Mexican students are in majority among other cultures' immigrants. I know Spanish on a good level already, and I dream to teach it one day in not a very distant future. I am a life-long learner. Now in my ESL classes (I teach mornings and evenings), I have Chinese, Vietnamese, Iranian, Russian, and Spanish-speaking immigrants. I have an attractive and very positive personality backed up with a strong character, and that's why my students always love me. I believe... read more
I would like to share my experience with WyzAnt. I am a stay-at-home-mom. Most of my time I love to spend with my family. I have two small and wonderful children. Spending time with them is my top priority. So when I was looking for part-time work I came across the WyzAnt website. I was so excited to find an opportunity that will allow me to teach my native language and still be a mommy. I registered myself as a tutor and began to wait for tutoring opportunities. At first, it seemed I was not getting any opportunities to be a tutor. I live in a very small town and not many Americans here are interested learning Russian. After a few months of silence I got an email from a person who was interested in learning Russian. We sent emails back and forth and for some reason our schedules didn't allow us to start. So I waited again and after a while I got a student who was serious about starting Russian lessons. We meet at Barnes and Noble and spend about an hour learning... read more