My job as a tutor and teacher is to help you achieve your goals (or the goals you have for your children). I’m not just a “grammar machine” (much as I love grammar!); I’m a guide. But it has to be you who chooses the destination. Do you want to feel more confident in conversations? Strengthen your writing? Increase your vocabulary? Go to Harvard? Your first session with me will always be a discussion of these goals, as well as your interests, hobbies, and learning preferences. I’ll also ask you to take a quick level assessment before we meet, so I have an idea of where you stand. Then, based on your goals and your current language level, I’ll begin to formulate a plan of action and to gather any necessary materials. The second lesson is where we start to take off.
Learning is a two-way street. Students aren’t just receptacles for facts and vocabulary; they’re active and productive agents of their own learning as well. As much as possible, I allow student interest and goals to dictate the flow of lessons. This means that I rarely work from textbooks unless a student specifically asks for it, or unless I feel it would be beneficial.
When working with young learners especially, I encourage creativity, self-expression, and a sense of language ownership. Lessons within this age group include lots of drawing, singing, writing personal texts, and games. Nonetheless, these are all focused around a particular grammatical or lexical point and work to reinforce the knowledge in the way that works best for children—through play!