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There are a few teaching strategies I've come up with - not invented, but rather discovered - in my time as a tutor that seem to keep the student both interested and focused. Of course, these may not work for other subjects. I teach language, a beautiful art in and of itself! One strategy is to start with the building blocks of language- the atom, or proton, or electron, or quark (I suppose this is now the smallest accepted particle of matter): vocabulary, both nouns and verbs, with pictures. Then sentence structure, and finally grammar. With the student, I build the language with them as one would build a model airplane. The key is to keep them involved. Language instruction in any kind of lecture format simply does not work.   The other strategy is something I use with more advanced students, or even ones with some basic foundation of a language. Starting with a text in Spanish - be it Unamuno or Cervantes, we start reading together. Throughout, we stop at vocab... read more

Look for the Latin roots in Spanish and French words that may also be found English. This helps one remember vocabulary and appreciate the connection between languages!     Here are some examples!   1. Aprender is 'to learn' in Spanish (apprendre in French), which corresponds to the English word 'apprentice.'   2. Escribir is to write in Spanish (écrire in French), which corresponds to the English word 'scribe' (escribe = he writes).   3. Dormir means 'to sleep' in Spanish (dormir in French as well), which corresponds to the English words 'dormitory' and 'dormant'.   4. Abrazar is 'to hug/embrace' in Spanish (embrasser in French), which corresponds to the English word 'embrace'. Keep in mind that in French it means a "kissing embrace" versus a "hugging embrace".   And there are many more! Please add to the list!   It is important to note that the Latin... read more

Are you interested in learning Spanish but need a more structured course to help you get started? I have a great beginning Spanish curriculum that is ideal for the school-age or adult learner. The focus of the curriculum is to learn the basics to actually communicate in the language. Lessons are fun and are infused with language and culture. Contact me for more information on the classes I offer and how I can cater to your individual learning needs.

Hello everyone! Hola a todos!   Learning a second language like  Spanish or ESOL can be boring and frustrating sometimes. You just get sick of reading your textbook or completing worksheets that your teacher gives you. But believe it or not...there are several ways to make learning a second language fun no matter what age you are! You're probably thinking right now..."how?" I'll tell you how. First, think of something that you like to do in your free time like listening to music, watching a movie or reading. Say if you really enjoy listening to music...look up one of your favorite genres and see what pops up for Spanish or English music in that genre. For example, Spanish pop/rock - the Colombian artist Juanes will pop up. Check out some of his songs on youtube. Once you find a song that you like, look up the Spanish lyrics online, print them out and then try your best at translating them into English. See if you can figure out what the song means because... read more

I'm new to tutoring and to WyzAnt, but I know I can make tutoring and lessons fun just by using the knowledge I have and what I have learned from my classes in Education.  Spanish is about communicating and the best way to learn Spanish is to use it in real-world applications. So, here are my top 5 suggestions on how to make lessons fun in Spanish:   1.  Put down the text book! Talk to the student as if you are having a real conversation   2.  When learning about everyday objects around the house have the student create labels in Spanish and post them on things such as:  Door, bed, slippers, toothbrush, ect.  So, that they will see them everyday and learn the words as they use them.   3. Find a book, comic book, or any other type of reading that interests them instead of just have them reading straight out of the textbook.  If it's a topic they are interested in they will want to read it!  They can read it to... read more

Structure is necessary, it keeps things organized but unplanned topics can also present great learning opportunities. If the student is excited about something, we talk about it! There are always chances to learn new vocabulary words and even hit up some practice with grammar. After all, conversation is just that, going with the flow and seeing where things go. Be spontaneous amidst the structure.    Another aspect that is helpful and fun is to center lessons around my students. It's their life and their experience they'll want to share, so we work around that.    Kids games are fun even for adults! It's okay to play "Ispy" (Yo veo) when we are learning colors or talking about specific vocabulary. We even play scrabble for those who really want a challenge. It's a wonderful opportunity to see how many words you already know and learn new ones when I play words you don't recognize. Jeopardy is also another great game I like to include. If... 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 you... 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 that... read more

Hello everyone,   Spanish is definitely as exciting language to learn. And as a native speaker not only do I enjoy teaching it but I also love teaching about the cultural history of the Spanish speaking countries.     I can teach other subjects to most dedicated to elementary students but that doesn't mean I can't teach middle or high school students.   Feel free to send me a message with any questions you may have. I ensure you that I will reply to them in a timely manner.   Sincerely,   Ms. Rosa

  It's already the second month into the new year... pretty crazy. But, I'm not freaking out, and for me that is a pretty big deal! I used to just say, "Oh my gosh, two months already passed since this and that, etc etc." But then I recently I ran across a little saying that changed my perspective for the better.   "Don't count the days; make the days count."   So simple, but so good, no? We all know that time is limited and irreversible. We all have things we wish we had done. But what I didn't get was that bemoaning lost time only means more sand slipping through my fingers. Instead of having a backwards perspective, one of my resolutions for this year is to allow myself to start fresh.   I want to live more intentionally, to move in the direction of my goals. If starting today I make each day meaningful and rich, I won't really concern myself with how much time has passed. In fact, doing something meaningful... read more

To keep your students engaged, you must make the lessons fun! There is enough pressure on them during school, at home, and most other places they'll go. Your job is to help them grow, which is much easier to do if they're enjoying themselves! Here are 5 tips to keeping your students engaged during your sessions:   Incorporate technology: Whether you use something as basic as a timer to as fancy as a tablet connected to a handheld projector, the opportunities are endless! Especially younger students will enjoy your savvy instructional techniques!  Track their progress: Set goals at your first session and collect baseline data. Decide on checkpoints (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc) and at those checkpoints, revisit those goals. Using Common Core State Standards or other learning objectives will help you make a checklist to correspond to your student's goals. He/she will then be able to add check marks or stickers to each goal accomplished. When progress is... 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 not... read more

Hello, my name is Miss Walker and I have been teaching and/or tutoring Spanish in one form or another since 1999.  I have taught homeschooled, private schooled, and public schooled students grades K-12 as well as adults. Are you serious about learning Spanish or any other foreign language?  If so, the absolute best way to learn any additional language, after you have learned some basic grammar and vocabulary, is to be immersed in the language.  By that I mean, surround yourself with nothing but speakers of the language you are trying to learn.  Below are several suggestions to help you accomplish this. 1.  TRAVEL TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY The absolute best way to immerse yourself in a foreign language is to travel to a country where they speak the language as their native language.  If you can actually live in the country, that is the ideal situation to aid you in gaining language fluency.  While there, force yourself to not... read more

You don't need to spend hours memorizing new words or making simple concepts more complicated than they need to be to learn Spanish. The best way to learn Spanish is to focus on the similarities between English and Spanish. The fact is that whether or not you realize it, you already know some Spanish.   One book that I highly recommend is Madrigal's Magic Key To Spanish. This book takes you step by step to make you highly proficient in the language. I am not saying that this is a substitute for any class, but it is an excellent complement for nearly any Spanish class. I used this book after not taking Spanish for a while to make me proficient again. I also continue to use it when I don't like the class textbook and need to show a more clear picture of the concept.   Here are some examples of how to make Spanish easy in which Madrigal's Magic Key To Spanish illustrates:   Do you recognize what any of this means?   Oceano Atlántico Oceano... read more

I frequently work with students who wish to improve their conversational Spanish skills. I strongly believe learning to actually speak the language is the hardest part for most students, because it is almost impossible to practice unless you have someone with whom to practice. I have certain students who I see on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and only tutor them in conversational Spanish. For me, keeping these lessons interesting can be a challenge, especially with shy students.  To combat this, I recently purchased a conversation starter game called Rory's Story Cubes. These are ridiculously great and have been a huge success among my students. Not only do the cubes give students the opportunity to use their imagination, they are also a great way to practice Spanish! I have challenged students to tell stories using only the past tense, or only the future tense, or by incorporating a command into each sentence. By putting stipulations on what they can and cannot say, you can help... read more

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