Jun 16, 2011
We had our first meeting tonight and I decided to spend a large portion of the hour interview mode.
I asked her to tell me what she hoped to get from the tutoring sessions and she explained that pronunciation and expanding her vocabulary were her main areas of particular interest. This is especially important to her because, as a shop owner, language barriers make it a challenge for her to conduct daily business.
At the same time she explained that her husband, who is arriving end of month, knows even less English as she does and would like to come twice a week.
** I'm digging up as many childrens' books as possible & going to scour the internet for simple vocabulary & pronunciation exercises.
***I've also asked Young Mi to bring her wholesaler list with her next week as she tells me that there are frequent errors in her orders for her cafe since there are difficulties in communicating with the woman who takes her order by phone. We'll practice how to pronounce certain trouble words.
We spent half the time outside in the back yard. Basic small chat about Korea, about owning a cafe, about eachothers' children, names of plants, etc. The next half we spent looking at a few childrens' books of Bareks' that I had dug up. (I worried a little that she might feel insulted that I was using something so basic at first, but when I asked her if this was alright for her to read she seemed very happy with it; or else she was being accommodating to me. haha)
We read from 2 of the books and she would stop at a word she was either having trouble pronouncing or did not understand and we would spend time practicing or I would try to explain what it meant.
On a side note, I have GOT to make it a point to improve on ways for me to cross the language barrier when it comes to explaining the meaning of words or concepts. Remembering to keep explanations as simple as possible and to speak slowly are key but I've stumbled & stammered a couple of times with Young Mi already so I will need to prepare myself to be able to communicate with someone who has even less English background as she does.
Over all, Young Mi said that she found the first tutoring session very helpful and she seemed very happy with the "skeleton lesson plan" we talked about.
So, so far, I've been successful in my attempt to be helpful! :)
Tomorrow I tutor Erik for the 3rd to last time before summer vacation. I made a deal with him to write me a 2 page short story in french and if he does he gets to play video games on his last day instead of speak french. (What he doesn't know is that I have a french video game here. lol )
Starting next week I will have 3 students!! :/ Wow!~ haha This tutoring thing blew up very quickly!!!