Christine K.


Christine K.

Tutor

Darien, IL 60561

Will travel 3 miles

$60 per hour.

4.97 601 ratings

Curriculum for Struggling Readers, Writers, ESL, and TOEFL test prep

I became a tutor during my undergraduate studies. During this time, my children were in elementary, middle, and high schools. Over the years, I frequented their schools as a volunteer and realized that the number of students struggling with reading, writing, and English had continuously increased. Initially I went back to school to facilitate these student populations with English, but I began teaching adult English learners through a local tutoring program and expanded my knowledge of learni... [more]


American History


Vocabulary


Grammar

Grammar is one of the most difficult aspects of English. In school, students are required to understand grammatical forms and structures conducive to reading and writing academically. Often this type of learning is flooded with drills and rote memorization. Students have been taught these skills early in their academic careers, but knowing the rules of English grammar and utilizing them in context can be very confusing for many learners. For example, I took cooking in high school and with the instructor?s help, I did very well following a recipe and understanding ingredients, measurements, and timing. When I began cooking for myself, some of those early recipes did not turn out exactly as planned. As students enter high school and college, they are expected to write many academic papers. Taking the grammatical knowledge they learned in school and applying it to context can become a very difficult task. Students need to connect grammatical form, meaning, and application naturally. One of the best ways to accomplish this skill is to utilize authenticity. We will use content that is pertinent to a student?s assignments in school or within student interest to strengthen English grammar. We will practice with real conversations and address grammar within reading, writing, and review that utilize English for authentic purposes. We will also build a grammar notebook that students can utilize for future assignments.


Reading

One of the biggest obstacles toward academic success is reading. If reading skills remain challenged, all educational activities suffer. Unfortunately, by the time students realize that the problem is reading they have slipped much farther behind their peers. A good reading program addresses phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, reading fluency, and high frequency words. These are the skills possessed by good readers. When students lack the very basic skills needed for reading comprehension, reading becomes an unpleasant task. I have been tutoring a program for the past 5 years that helps struggling readers catch up to their classmates. I have seen students improve their reading skills within six months of weekly tutoring. The return on investment advances spelling, reading fluency, and comprehension. Half the battle is the phonemic awareness necessary to comprehend words that improve reading fluency, which lowers anxiety for struggling readers. The curriculum I utilize is the Action Reading Program. It teaches students comprehension, spelling, decoding, reading fluency, and the phonemic awareness necessary for great readers. I have seen the rapid results of this program first-hand. I adapt instruction to the learning needs of each student; therefore, learning is dependent upon student attendance and the motivation to learn. I meet most of my students once a week for two-hour tutoring sessions. At this rate of instruction, the Action Reading Program should be completed in approximately six months and then we move on to reading and writing within interest based content.


Writing


Geography


English


Government & Politics


Literature


Proofreading


TOEFL

The TOEFL IBT is a measure of academic English proficiency. Most colleges require this test for undergraduate and graduate admissions. This test may also be necessary for employment in professional fields and medical residencies. A higher test score equates to advanced opportunities for English language learners. Many universities require a minimum score in individual areas for admission. Understanding these requirements and the structure of the test are the first steps toward achievement. The test is divided into four sections, which are reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English. We concentrate on each domain and focus on areas that require improvement. This familiarizes students with the structure of the test and shows us which areas need more attention. We learn and practice with academic materials and structures within the TOEFL venue. I also teach test-taking strategies appropriate for the TOEFL and supply materials for students to utilize during and in between our tutoring sessions. I design lessons that integrate the skills needed throughout the test to provide students with opportunities to strengthen their English proficiency within all areas of the TOEFL. The first time we meet I will assess your English strengths and needs. I do not charge for this first session. This first meeting will help me write an individualized plan for maximum achievement. We also will discuss your history with English and the TOEFL, as well as your individual score goals. Some learners that have already taken the TOEFL only need to review within the TOEFL structure, while others require a full program with a calendar of daily assignments. I will provide the topics and materials for the independent and integrated essays, as well as weekly reading and listening tests, which I will review and administer feedback outside our sessions. I will also supply speaking outlines, which are very useful tools to maintain strong answers in the speaking section. We will work in Google Documents, so you have a copy of our work from every session for your independent studies. We will also utilize videos for listening, speaking, and writing, concentrate on accurate phonemic awareness, vocabulary acquisition, and also focus on English grammar with both the writing and speaking sections. To insure a high return on your investment, I also answer questions and provide support via text and email in between our sessions. I have been tutoring the TOEFL for many years and have learned that the road to higher scores is dedication to learning, so I take our student/facilitator partnership very seriously. I have tutored individual learners and two to four student groups, which lowers the per student hourly rate. I work with students in face-to-face venues at the Darien and Woodridge libraries and have tutored many TOEFL learners online across the U.S. and internationally using Google Hangouts and Documents. I look forward to helping you with the TOEFL. Don?t wait! Let?s get this done!


Spelling


ACT Reading

The reading section of the ACT test measures reading comprehension that determines if a student is prepared for academic reading as a college freshman. The text passages offer differences between what is stated and what is suggested, which mandates inference and logic as the two skills necessary for this portion of the ACT. A student is given 35 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions regarding four reading passages within Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Prose, and Humanities. As a junior or senior in high school, the structure of this test does not sound very difficult, but it can be very confusing because the questions require a higher level of critical thinking. Another difficulty lies within the broad subject base of these passages. For example, the Natural Science passage may be in Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology etc. A student must utilize their accumulated knowledge and critical thinking skills within each reading passage to answer these multiple-choice questions. Test taking skills, as well as vocabulary acquisition are also integral components that need development for the ACT. As your ACT reading tutor, I will focus on the development of these analytical skills to enhance reading comprehension. We will utilize real passages from each of the four subject bases as our venue for learning. We will also review vocabulary in context and test taking strategies that provide the best results for individual learners. I have worked with individual students, as well as 2 to 4 student groups, which lowers the per student rate.


ACT English

I can help with ACT reading, writing, and the English grammar sections of this test. We utilize a student?s accumulative background knowledge as a baseline to build comprehension of classic literature, world events, and critical thinking. The development of inference, finding the main point, navigating figurative language, and logical reasoning along with test taking skills, higher-level vocabulary acquisition, and structural writing are also addressed to increase scoring and college readiness. Our first meeting is free. During this meet and greet session, we assess skills to develop a plan that fits the needs of an individual student. We also discuss goals, previous learning, time limitations, and an ACT reading, writing, and English program that also requires independent work between our formal sessions. I tutor test preparation as an ongoing process, which is dependent on the time left before the test and student commitment, rather than a quick fix for a higher score. I have tutored individual students in this area, as well as 2 to 4 student groups, which lowers the per student rate.


Phonics

We are never too old to learn phonics! Phonological awareness makes strong readers. I teach a curriculum that gives students the basic skills needed for a good reading foundation. This curriculum includes phonemic awareness, which is the study of all the sounds of the English language, combined with decoding, reading fluency, and comprehension. I am a firm believer that phonics instruction combined with a whole language approach gives students a great foundation in reading. I can incorporate reading materials that students are working on in school or books that interest the student. I have seen results in as little as three to six months. Students begin to discuss stories and cultivate their interests in books. Phonological awareness takes the stress out of reading and allows students to focus on academic content and critical thinking.


ESL/ESOL

I have a Bachelor?s degree in English Language Learner studies and have been tutoring ESL to adolescents and adult learners for 5 years. Although learning for each student is different, I feel that ESL depends on Sheltered Content instruction, which focuses on visual, oral, and kinesthetic (active) scaffolding. I also utilize a student's native language for comprehension through language translating software to increase overall comprehension. I base instruction on scientific research and focus on the interests/needs of my students by preparing lessons that address goals set by individual learners. Some of these goals incorporate function and the authentic language needed within the structures of American culture. Alternate goals address the academic language needed for success in school. My experience and training in this area, along with my love of culture, have given me the teaching skills necessary for student success. I have also developed a special program for English learners that give students the foundation they need for achievement in English as an additional language. This program focuses on phonemic awareness, decoding, pronunciation, reading fluency, and comprehension. I utilize the foundation presented within the Action Reading Program, with modifications for English learners. I feel that phonemic awareness and the physiology of speech are two baseline pivotal aspects of language acquisition. Our first session is free. During this meet and greet hour, we will assess English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, talk about goals for learning, and distinguish if we are a good match as tutor and learner. Language acquisition is a very personal endeavor. Language risks are necessary for solid achievement, so I feel that building an environment of well-being and trust maintains consistent accomplishment. This first meeting will also help me write a plan for individual learners. Each learner maintains different strengths and needs, therefore, I offer this no cost session to begin our learning partnership towards stronger English language skills. I have tutored individual learners within specific content and test preparation areas, as well as 2 to 4 student groups, which lowers the per student rate.


Social Studies

Social Studies is one of my favorite subjects. In elementary and middle school, it is an umbrella term, which includes history, government/citizenship, economics, civics, sociology, geography, anthropology, and cultural diversity. In high school, these subjects are offered distinctively to give students specific direction with their learning. I especially like social studies because it gives students practical knowledge within the social sciences domain. One of the majors within my Bachelor?s Degree was Social Sciences. I enjoyed the research within these classes and have since become a huge fan of historical fiction. As your Social Sciences tutor, we will combine historical fiction (reading) with the topics discussed within a student?s grade level social science curriculum. I will need the title of the student?s present textbook to design a plan that enhances this material within the interest of individual learners. Social Studies is a broad subject area that can be fun to learn with the proper motivation.