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I'm interested in tutoring ESL or English. I'm a certified teacher and have been teaching ESL for twenty years. I would like to work in the New Haven area.

Have you ever received a graded essay handed back with the phrase, "Needs more structure," or "structure needs work?"   Creating a structure for any written word, whether it is poem, essay, news brief, or novel, is an integral part of the message you intend to convey. Using long, convoluted sentences as means to convince the reader that your argument is very simple will usually only give the opposite impression; simple arguments are best conveyed with short, simple sentences. (For example, the opposite is true in Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," in which he uses didactic and complex language in an effort to "convince" the people of England that the solution to their hunger and poverty problem is to eat their starving infant children; his complex sentences reflect the sarcastic and satiric nature of his essay, reflecting that he does not see cannibalism as a real solution.)   Structure also helps you keep... read more

Students are often frustrated when trying to learn a foreign language because they can't organize the material like they are used to doing in other subjects.  Language is fluid and we are able to finally understand foreign words when we let go and allow the right side of our brains to take over.  Much of understanding is intuitive and contextual, so give yourself permission to guess what is being said or written.  The key is to think through the words and let them come alive in your brain, so you can use them later.  That's how you learned your native tongue.  Grammar should be a supplement to your language acquisition, not the main player.  I always recommend online courses with pictures, sound and familiar scenes between actors...like a play on stage, but in German.   You know the German word Kindergarten because you have heard it so many times in the context of your life.  That is how you can learn new German words....find a program... read more

This example illustrates how to use WSS to determine an appropriate number, k, of clusters, the following example uses R to perform a k-means analysis. The task is to group 620 high school seniors based on their grades in three subject areas: English, mathematics, and science. The grades are averaged over their high school career and assume values from 0 to 100.   # The following R code establishes the necessary R libraries > library(plyr) > library(ggplot2) > library(cluster) > library(lattice) > library(graphics) > library(grid) > library(gridExtra) > library(cowplot)   # Import the CSV file containing the grades > grades<-read.csv("grades.csv", header=TRUE, sep=",") > grades<-as.data.frame(grades)   # Let's take a look at the structure of the dataset > str(grades)   R output: 'data.frame': 620 obs. of 4 variables: $... read more

What's Your Mindset? It May Shape Your Future! Successful students: "I go to tutoring and I practice a lot. I do many extra problems before each test. I am ultimately responsible for my own learning and success. I need to spend as much time as I need until I can work through all of the problems that will be on my test. The material is hard, but that means I need to dedicate more time and energy to learn it." Advanced: "My teacher doesn't teach well at all, but that's okay with me. I have my textbook and can check out additional books on the subject matter to study myself. I don't even need my teacher. Everything I need can be found in either the library or on the internet (KhanAcademy.org, PurpleMath.com, etc.)." Unsuccessful students: "I go to tutoring, but I don't like to practice and work on additional problems, especially if I have to do them all by myself. I blame my teacher and tutor. They suck and demand too much from me. I... read more

As we get closer and closer to the end of the academic year, a lot of math students will be studying for exams.  Some of these tests are comprehensive exams that cover everything from day one to the day before the test.  I believe that as tutors, we need to help those we teach with ditching old, faulty study habits in favor of successful, incremental approaches.   What is the biggest bad study habit you might ask? Cramming...   Cramming, at best, will help students remember the material the day of the test and promptly forget it the next or, at worst, actually degrade their academic performance.     Researchers at UCLA have found that excessive "cramming" actually makes students perform worse on average than those who adopted daily study habits.  This was published in the Journal of Child Development in 2012.  In another study conducted by Time.com in 2011, the average student who crammed for the exam only passed... read more

The topic bridging sentence provides a smooth topical transition from one idea to another for the reader. It is a segue of ideas and allows for a logically relevant transition. The topic bridge sentence also challenges you as a writer to relate and connect your ideas between paragraphs in order to have a cohesive paper.Topic bridging sentences are the first sentence in body paragraphs of an essay. Approach Ask yourself: What is the main idea of the preceding body paragraph? What is the main idea of the following body paragraph? How are they related? Similar pattern/trend Share a feature Chronologically related Devices Basic Topic Bridge Sentence “In addition to <main idea from paragraph one>, such and such also was influenced/affected by <main idea from paragraph two>.” Complex Topic Bridge Sentences Connect the ideas from the two paragraphs in a more global fashion. Explain how... read more

Everyone on Wyzant wants to teach. All have something important to offer. I believe I have something that is unique. Instead of just presenting material, which we all do, I not only present the lessons that build skills I've added something. That something is the step by step process, that is in print, and is 85% visuals and 15% copy. My students can then go back to an Illustrator or InDesign lesson at any time and review every topic covered during the lesson. We all know that copy heavy textbooks are problematic, videos are just next to impossible to follow, and audio only, well you see my point.            I have just published a book on how to create a digital color wheel  This book was created because -- Graphic designers and design educators face many common challenges in their professions. First, althoughit is not normal for any working professional in the field of graphic design, advertising, fashion,... read more

A conjunction is one of those words that can be kind of elusive. First off what is it? Well, a conjunction is a word that provides context and lends emphasis to the parts of a sentence. Often they connect two sentence clauses with the help of punctuation, or "set up" the meaning of a particular kind of clause. Some conjunctions are coordinating meaning they link two closely related independent clauses. They add slightly different meaning to each clause and coordinate the reader's understanding. Examples of coordinating conjunctions include: and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so. Other conjunctions are subordinating which means they connect an independent clause to a dependent clause. These conjunctions imply a particular relationship between the two clauses. Examples of subordinating conjunctions are: because, since, so that, although, though, after, before, while, if, unless, as if, as though. By recognizing the purpose of these parts of speech, you... read more

As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memo_of_understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to talk to... read more

I was just contact by someone in a city near me (25 miles) who would like just some phone conversation/tutoring for her French exchange student.  I told her that I would adjust the rate($15/hour) since all she is asking for is some pick-me up conversation in her native tongue, and a little help learning the American English. Would anyone else have some ideas for me about rate for phone conversational English/French? 

Translator: https://translate.google.com/ Google Translate is a great way to translate words and short phrases from your native language to English   Vocabulary Builder: http://www.eslprintables.com/vocabulary_worksheets/ Build your English vocabulary with fun worksheets               ****This is a "living" blog post that will be updated periodically.

In anatomy there are often several long processes. The processes can often times be very difficult to remember. One way to remember the processes is to make funny sentences that use the first letter of each word of the process. For example blood flow through the renal would be renal artery, small artery, afferent artriole, Glomereulus, epherent artriole, peritubule capillaries, small veins, renal vein. This could be remembered by Ryan Should Ask Genys Elephant "Please Say Rymes". This one of the tools I enjoy using to help others learn.

Games are a great way to make use of the language, especially for beginners, regardless of age! It's something I try to do at the end of each lesson, the last 10 to 15 minutes of the lesson.   Hangman - really gets beginners practicing to say the letters Cheese Dip - perfect for the younger ones, they will love to practice spelling words with those cheese letters and mice Go Fish - practice using tener, numbers and colors Guess Who - students practice describing using the verbs ser and tener and colors, body parts, and food Operation - practice body parts, the verbs doler, tiene dolor, el dolor esta... plus of course body parts and also use of estar Hedbanz - practice using ser, tener, estar, plus a wider ray of descriptions than "Guess Who" since there is more of a variety of objects, indoor items, outdoor tools, animals, vehicles etc. Would You Rather? - can be used to simply describe the ridiculous things happening or for more advanced... read more

In my experience with elementary level students, I am constantly amazed by these kids imagination. However when it comes to math i find myself frustrated that their minds wander so much. Sometimes i want to just be like, "Super man and unicorns are not a part of math! pay attention!!!!" Reality is, that just doesn't help. I began trying to revamp my ways of teaching so that super man could join us in our lessons. I found that using examples that incorporate the child's imagination works wonders. They being to laugh and enjoy themselves when I am tutoring them and the best part is....THEY PAY ATTENTION! The fun examples also help them to remember math concepts when they go to take their tests. It is a win win for everyone. A basic example could be "superman already saved 4 people last week but this week he saved 5 more people from a burning building! So how many people has he saved?" We have taken a basic 4+5=9 math problem and made it fun for them. Sometimes... read more

In mathematics, word problems have been known to pose challenges for elementary school students, middle school students and even some high school students. In addition, a vast majority of students also have difficulties with solving problems with fractions. If we mix a word problem with a problem with fractions, then we end up getting an even tougher problem to solve. How can we expect those students who have not yet mastered language to make meaning of word problems? Let's dive right into a math word problem which will illustrate this.    Problem: Tashira has a piece of lace material that is 3/5 yard long. She used 2/3 of the material to make a quilt. How much did she use to make the quilt?   When a student reads this problem one of the questions she/he may ask is, "Where do I start?" The student may have difficulty with translating the word problem into its mathematical representation. The next difficulty is that if the student decides... read more

Our understanding of the relationship between memory and learning continues to improve. Why not benefit from the latest research by incorporating some of these findings into your own study habits? I help my students come up with creative ways to do this all the time, and wanted to share one of the more helpful summaries I've come across about what works and what doesn't.    Here are a few highlights: Link new information to things you already know Actively participate in your own learning Create both a visual and a verbal memory for the same information Whenever possible, study in an environment that is similar to the testing environment Spread studying out over several days, rather than cramming Avoid multitasking when learning difficult or dense material Review information you're trying to memorize right before you go to sleep Quiz yourself frequently to practice retrieving these memories, making them stronger in the process   You... read more

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