As a Language Arts tutor helping students prepare for and improve their scores on high-stakes tests such as the ACT and SAT, there are a strategies, study methods, tricks, and of course, loads of practice that I prescribe.
Oftentimes, a student who's perfectly capable of getting a good score on these tests may lose out on precious points because of seemingly trivial oversights.
Below are a few easy-to-implement steps that can safeguard a student's best score from being needlessly lowered:
- Be regular in putting in study time. erratic and sporadic bursts of studying, followed by a lull, cause you to 'unlearn' important strategies that you may have picked up in the course of your studies. Put in regular hours of study to ensure that all the skills
you learn are reinforced and become second nature to you.
- Box it: loose sheets of paper, vocabulary words scribbled on random notepads, and textbooks strewn everywhere - having your study materials...
What topics or content should we include when teaching students about culture?
With the increasing diversity in American classrooms, it is not enough for teachers to embrace color-blindness and the Golden Rule of treating others the way we want to be treated.
In order to connect with their students, teachers need to understand what their students have been through in their home countries and environments, prior to entering their classroom as students.
· Therefore, cultural awareness has to go beyond a list of holidays, shared recipes, or songs. For, culture goes beyond ‘content’, and includes behavioral characteristics, attitude, views on spirituality, beliefs, values, etc.
· Teachers also need to look beyond cultural stereotypes, whether these are negative or ‘positive’, for example, and “Asian American students are very good at Math”. These and other cultural stereotypes hinder the teacher from getting to know the students’
· The teaching...
Building a wide and varied vocabulary helps the student attain good scores on Tests like the ACT, SAT, GRE, TOEFL etc. But that is just one positive outcome of a versatile vocabulary.
Another way one is greatly benefit by a good vocabulary is the increased ability to express oneself. We can communicate more effectively and convey our ideas more accurately with a good vocabulary.
So, how does one go about building an enviable vocabulary?
Word lists, vocabulary exercises, etc are one method. Another method is to read a lot of well-written texts - fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, articles, speeches etc. And, whenever you come across a word that is new to you, mark it. After that,
re-read that portion of the text to see if you can understand the meaning of the word in relation to its usage. If yes, write down what you think the word means.
However, if the meaning of the word is unclear even after re-reading, make a note of the word in a small notepad or vocabulary...
I have been fortunate to tutor kids and adults, teens and housewives, office executives and retirees. I have imparted my knowledge of English, Math concepts, and effective communication skills to students from South Korea, India, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.
My journey so far has been interesting, challenging, and many a time, hilarious.
But one thing has always stood out - the willingness to make mistakes and learn from them.
So, I advise one thing for all learners, particularly language learners - be open to making mistakes. Laugh at yourself, take tips from others, and finally practice, practice practice!
Whether it's Mathematics or Reading and Writing, there is no substitute for practice. The more you use a particular skill, the more effortless it becomes.
So, here's to all my past, present and future students. All the best! :)