Experience with tutoring international students. SUBJECTS Writing, Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Literature from basic level, to high school & college, Exam Essays, and Study Skills. TEST PREPARATION PSAT, PACT, SAT, ACT, SSAT/ISEE, CBEST, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, CHSPE. My background: UCLA, USC.... [more]
Grammar, or the rules of a language, is really the basis for teaching & learning English these days. Students cannot expect to hear or read correct grammar out in the world. So with my selected texts plus my own grammar hand-outs, I make sure that the information is presented clearly, carefully, & directly.
The SAT Reading section is basically a comprehension test with repeated types of problems. What I do with a student is identify the problems in the reading passages, explain them, and classify them. Students start to see the possibility of answering correctly more & more often.
I have been in Elementary Education for over 17 years in one capacity or another. Working at local schools as a Reading Tutor, I covered Language Arts, especially Reading. First, I discover what specific areas students need to work on -- grammar, usage,reading comp., & writing skills. Usually it's the case that a student is behind the class and needs the missing blanks filled in. Once I teach those, then we continue on, finally staying abreast of any classwork & assignments. I have also prepared students for the standardized tests, which are challenging. For this age group, primary through middle-school, I've helped many students improve and succeed.
For teaching Study Skills, I introduce students to good habits - organized notebooks and written work, keeping a study time-table, sometimes even making sure they have the right school supplies! I look for one good study habit to expand upon. Having tutored in English for over 16 years, I have always, at the same time, explained how to be more efficient and well-organized. A major problem I solve is making sure that students turn in assignments on time. I will email or call them to follow up on this. Often, students need to set up a study place, and sometimes they need more quiet where they do work. In no other area do students show greater variation in their needs and productivity as in Study Skills. We discuss what works and what doesn't, always attempting to increase the possibility of more concentration and out-put.
I have tutored several students successfully through the CBEST Exam. In most cases, she or he had unsuccessfully attempted the exam, and more than once! Since all my lessons are tailored specifically to each individual, I look for "missing pieces" of the puzzle in a student's knowledge.Quite often, I find that I should solve students' grammar confusion. Other times, I must review writing techniques, such as pre-writing, bubble charts, outlines, and so forth. I can get right down to business, uncover students' weak areas, offer constructive advice, & confirm strengths. Writing sample papers & then my detailed corrections are the key to improving scores and then passing this Exam. I come to CBEST preparation from a very strong background in traditional grammar: I have taught for the SAT for years in either one-on-one tutorials or in small classes of 5-10 students at a time. Again, when I correct any sample essays on typical exam topics, I do so word-for-word, with all punctuation corrected, as no comma is left behind! This technique is quite novel to most students! but they soon rely on my corrections & advice for improvements in their writing. This seems to do the job of getting them through the CBEST.
For tutoring most students for this exam - also called the SSAT - it's best to go through a good workbook. But I also check to see if the student has any gaps in his basic knowledge, such as grammar forms, some Prefixes & Word Roots, etc. As there is now an essay on the exam, students can plan,write, & revise practice papers for me. This seems effective; and of course, whatever students review with me for their exam is quite useful when they start in high school.