This post is about television...the boob-tube....the object of the couch potato....the nemesis of many students. We all know that television (including netflix, hulu +, roku, and even DVDs) can be real time-wasters. When we need a brain-break, or just need to chill out, the TV can be so attractive! Yeah, I know what I'm talking about because I've been there too. Here's a quick tip for advancing your Spanish language learning: the next time you are in the mood for an old favorite movie, try switching the sound track to your foreign language, but leave the subtitles in English. As you listen to the dialogue, your brain 'receives' the meaning via subtitles. What you are listening to, then, is "comprehensible input" which is absolutely key to effective language learning. In addition, you hear and internalize the sounds of the language, which will benefit your pronunciation and your comprehension as well... read more
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I discovered my passion for the Spanish language on a church trip to the Dominican Republic ten years ago while serving a group of amazing people there. At the time I was a junior at Western Michigan University and was majoring in Creative Writing. I had only taken a few years of Spanish in high school and was very shaky with speaking. However, something amazing happened while I was there! I found myself being able to communicate and slowly understand. A little boy named Jorge was sitting with my friend and I one night and slowly repeating "estrella" when it suddenly clicked. I have little Jorge to thank for igniting that passion in me. I went on to double major in Spanish and Creative Writing, then continue to get my Master's degree in Spanish literature. Through the years I have lived in Santander, Spain; Queretaro, Mexico, and finally Barcelona, Spain for the past five years. My husband (who is Spanish) and I just moved back to Michigan and are starting... read more
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States and the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world! It is the official language of nearly twenty countries spoken by more than 500 million people. Spanish is the second language of international communication, and is increasingly used in economics, politics and cultural relations. The rapidly growing number of students studying Spanish throughout the world have reported these reasons and benefits: 1. Better job opportunities 2. Improved memory 3. Aging more slowly (it has been scientifically-proven that learning a new language can delay the age-related decline in mental function, particularly as experienced in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s!) 4. Conquering that special person's heart (why not learn to speak with your loved one in their own language?) 5. Sense of personal accomplishment 6. Career advancement 7. Making more money 8. Reaching new markets 9. Making new... read more
It can be tasking and tedious trying to learn a foreign language. Students often ask the question, "Why do I need to learn a second language?" "What purpose does this serve in my life in a primarily English speaking world?" For those that are motivated to learn a second language, the answer to these questions seem obvious. For those that are not, this is harder to grasp. I believe that we need to stop focusing so much on what the PURPOSE of second language is, and what productive function it will have in our lives. Rather, if we focus on what excites us about that culture, and seek information about the language for the sake of learning, the purpose and function of second language skills will become more apparent. We live in a world with a wealth of information at our fingertips. Even if you don't have the privilege of going to a country where the target language is spoken, I encourage you... read more
Many of my students dread conjugating verbs. They dread it even more when the verbs are irregular and have the same meaning!! The verbs ser and estar both mean "to be", so what is the difference between the two?? Ser is used to describe things that are permanent or often unchangeable. For example, Yo soy de Estados Unidos.(I am from the United States). The form of ser used in the sentence is soy. You can not change where you are from. Ser is also used to describe characteristics, professions, religions and nationalities. Estar is used to describe things that are temporary. For example, Yo estoy en Florida para las vacaciones(I am in Florida for vacation). I am vacationing in Florida, but I am not from there. There is a little rhyme that is printed in the textbook, Realidades, which helps you remember when to use the verb, estar. The rhyme goes, For how... read more
Many students have a fear of learning a foreign language. Instead of approaching acquiring a new tongue as an exciting challenge, many approach it with the question "Why do we have to learn this?" Learning a foreign language can be a wonderful experience. Here a few of my "Dos and Don'ts" when approaching foreign language learning. DO keep an open mind and be positive about learning something new. DO recognize the similarities of your native language and the new language that you are learning. DO review your notes from class everyday and practice at home. DO find a language/study buddy in your language class. DO think about your future and how a new language is going to benefit you with your future goals. DON'T be negative. DON'T be prejudice about a foreign language and its culture based on stereotypes. DON'T stop trying even when there are words that you do not understand or there is a chapter that is... read more
Speaking only from a Spanish stand point, there is a fast and easy way to help students prepare to go to school if they only have a few minutes to spare each day. Flash cards always helped me with all my subjects throughout my undergraduate years but especially with Spanish. Buy some note cards and write down the tenses you are struggling with and some examples. You could even write some vocab words or create a table with each conjugation and tense. Punch a hole in the corner of each note card and place them on a ring. This is the longest part. Once you have this done, flip through the ring a couple minutes a day. With any language, repetition is key! Rebecca
I recently got a tip about this language-learning app from Duolingo and have been test-driving it on my iPhone for a few days in Spanish, a language I've never formally studied. And I like it, quite a bit in fact. As an ESL and German teacher of many years, and someone who has dabbled in a variety of other languages, I put a lot of thought and study into the process of learning language. Duolingo covers many of the important bases by incorporating key principles into its design: Activities for all four facets of language study: writing, reading, listening, and even speaking (you speak into your device's microphone and it judges your pronunciation). Moving gradually from passive recognition (What does "Adios" mean? - choose from word bank) to active use (What is "Goodbye" in Spanish? - no word bank). Overlapping reviews, incorporating grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons into new lessons. An emphasis... read more
I have been doing this stuff for as long as I can remember. Learning Spanish, speaking Spanish, teaching Spanish. Each stage has been interesting, a growing experience, full of its own frustrations, but not without the opportunity to have met so many wonderful people. Some great people have come along side me to teach me Spanish and that has allowed me to make friends who couldn't speak English, giving me one of my greatest lessons, real life experience! Now its my turn to pass this same gift on to others. I don't want to be like all the other teachers, albeit most of mine were great, but I don't want to get lost in a textbook or stacks of worksheets. I want to always remember and to remind my students that Spanish is a real life experience and not just some insurmountable task that they've been struggling with. Something I am always asked by students is, "How soon til I become fluent?" I wish that I could tell each of them, "Just finish all your homework and... read more
Although learning is an awesome thing, it can be a difficult and frustrating journey for many students. This difficulty, however, is often times quite normal although most feel it means that a child may not be able to learn or that he/she is so frustrated that learning is no longer taking place. This is where the experienced tutor steps in; for frustration in learning is a part of the learning itself. I have taught and tutored many students and have seen first hand how this frustration can leave some students, and their parents, feeling helpless and hopeless. But there is ALWAYS Hope!!! What they have failed to realize is that as the brain learns difficult concepts, it can only take in parts at a time, little parts at a time. So although it may seem no learning is taking place, it actually is, just in smaller segments. In fact, the most frustration comes right before a new concept is achieved. This is when most give up. Had they stayed focused for perhaps one or two more... read more
Hi all, Thanks to those of you who take the time to read this. I would love to start a dialogue with you so feel free to write to me with comments. This past school year has been a big one for me. I completed my graduate practicum in the fall, in a self-contained ESL and Sheltered ESL classroom in a high school. It was a challenge and required a lot of work but it was worth every minute. The things I learned are invaluable in terms of relating to students better on a personal and professional level, learning how to reach them and motivate them, figuring out other ways to teach the same lesson to someone who did not understand the first time, teaching students how to advocate for themselves and so much more! I had to prepare a huge binder of evidence for the Department of Education, just to prove myself again (and again and again). I did it! Then I had to begin studying for the Comprehensive Exam for my Master's Degree. I was going to originally try to take it in December... read more
Spanish, French, English, Language Arts and Test Preparation Tutor. Contact me today to schedule a lesson!
Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie
I'm an educator, photographer, family therapist, I enjoy helping others succeed. I look forward to tutoring and getting to know WyzAnt students.
Have you taken a full year or two of a foreign language, and wish to have an enjoyable way to increase, improve, and expand your vocabulary and comprehension of the language in 'real' life? Here is an easy and rewarding way to do so. First, let's figure what you usually 'need' for foreign language study: material in the language you're studying; a way to look up or translate unfamiliar words and expressions; a program that provides 'thematic' content, like 'a trip to the mall,' 'a visit to the beach,' or 'preparing a party.' But wait a minute! Are those 'learning units' really interesting? They don't do much for me. But here's an idea worth trying. Look for a complete season of a TV show or mini-series that is available on DVD, AND comes with BOTH subtitles and dubbing in the language you're studying. You can easily get that information from the product page. Then rent the DVDs. You might even buy them and it would be less money that the software programs that cost in the... read more
Hello there!! I am so excited and ready to teach! I hope my students are ready to have fun and learn!!
Congratulations on making it this far! The first step to becoming a better student is realizing the need for help. Some students believe that because they ask for help that they are dumb or not as good as everyone else. In fact, the complete opposite is true! Admitting that you need help with a subject is the smartest thing you could do, and it will set you on a better academic path. I myself went to tutoring in high school, and I finished high school with a 4.0! Sometimes a little one on one time with somebody that can put the lesson into terms you can understand can really make a difference in your grades. Tutoring is meant to be helpful and challenging to the student, because a tutor's entire goal is to see you succeed academically. I tutor because I love seeing the look on a child's face after they have turned their grades around. I love building confidence in students and helping them reach their academic potential! With that being said, I am extremely excited for this... read more
I recently purchased an iPhone and came across a few vocabulary builder applications. However, what happened to using regular index cards to study new vocabulary? When I started to learn Spanish in high school, I was a huge fan of flash cards. Not only were they inexpensive to make, I could take them wherever I went. When learning a second language, it is important to acquire new words. Cannot have much of a conversation if you have a limited vocabulary! I am currently sitting in on a Catalan class at East Carolina University and flash cards have become my new best friend. Instead of creating flash cards that just have the Spanish word and the translation in English on the reverse side, why not draw an image instead that conveys the meaning? You could also include sample sentences using the word on the card to help you understand how it is used in actual conversation. Please let me know if this helps with the second-language learning process!
Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer... read more
Greetings! Today's post is about learning styles. One of the most important things that helps teachers provide better instruction is the knowledge of a student’s learning style. My belief is based upon the teachings of noted educational theorist, Dr. Howard Gardner. Dr. Gardner posits that there are “multiple intelligences,” that define our individual learning styles and complement each other (by working together) through our learning processes. His 1983 book, Frames of Mind, detailed his initial findings in this area. In my educational practice, I attempt to identify my students' learning styles by doing extensive diagnostic testing in the very beginning. In my tutoring classes this may consist of having students to write a paragraph or two in the target language we are studying or work some basic math problems. Diagnostics also include inquiring about student preferences, because students generally do better in the areas that they like. After diagnostics, I set a plan... read more
Greetings! Today's post is about romance languages. I love languages; more specifically, I love the languages in which there is a SVO (subject-verb-object configuration) and I love languages that have a lot of Latin (much of which is derived from Greek) cognates.*In short, I love the languages that were promulgated and dispersed by the many Roman conquests. In many of these languages, the word “bella,” means beautiful and “a, e, i, o and u” are vowels. As a college student, I learned that Latin and/or its derivatives permeate the English language via legal terms, literary references, mottoes and quotes, as well as in taxonomy classifications in the sciences and that having a strong knowledge of Latin root words can elevate one's study skills for the GRE, SAT and ACT exams. The phrase, “romance language,” refers to the following languages which we most frequently think of as Roman Empire-Latin language derivatives: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. The... read more