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Tutoring a 10 year old that's behind the school curriculum.

 
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Mamainak



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Tutoring a 10 year old that's behind the school curriculum. Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I recently got an offer to tutor a 10-year old (ESL), mostly to help him out with keeping up with the school curriculum. It's their 4th year of learning English and they are currently on present continuous, learning more prepositions and possessives. But he doesn't even know what 'Who' and 'Where' means and doesn't know the days of the week...He can't put a sentence together.

Our first lesson lasted 1 hr 20 min instead of 45min because I didn't have the heart to stop in the middle of homework. In those 45 minutes I just don't have time to teach him things he's missing in his foundations, I simply have to help him do his homework so he doesn't get an F. Parents can't help much as they are not good in English and they have a baby at home...

I understand his parents just want me to help him get a pass but how is he supposed to learn anything else? He'll never be able to actually USE English. Everything I told him he had to learn off by heart and I had to write down, phonetically, how to pronounce some words.

Should I suggest to his parents that he could use another lesson per week, to try and catch up on some basics?

I have found some flashcards that I'll burn to a DVD so the parents can print them and go through the words with him every day.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1305
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Country?
It sounds like you will probably be asked to take him more often if he took that long to do his homework.
How about a picture dictionary in his language and English with a tape for English pronunciation.
How about getting a CD player or iPod or some other device to listen to tapes or CDs or downloads of songs he likes in English and you provide the words so he can read along.
What does he like? Video games? Movies? Sports? The more you get to know that, the more you can talk to him about those things in English and show him Youtube clips in English.
Tape your lessons so he can over them again before he turns in his homework to the teacher. She/he will not believe that he did the homework by himself and really knows it.
You might try to get the beginning books they studied to start from the beginning again and work up with him to his grade level for 5 or 10 minutes a lesson and get paid for two hours.
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Mamainak



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sally,

thanks for your reply.

The country is Croatia. Maybe I should point out that in Croatia (just like in the most of South-Eastern Europe) school curriculum, as well as homework, is pretty hard on kids. I had an opportunity to compare Croatian educational system with UK's and the difference is huge. Whereas in the UK kids do most of the work at school, kids here have to do a lot of homework, from every subject.

So, besides English homework, he has to do 4-5 more homeworks every day. It doesn't help that he's not very interested in it...

But yes, during our first lesson I found out he loves video games and sport.
Recording a lesson might be a good idea, I will suggest to his parents to get a digital recorder.

I did go through his homework with him, I didn't just tell him what to write. I wanted to make sure he understands what he wrote, what each word means and that he is able to read/pronounce it.

Sally Olsen wrote:
Country?
It sounds like you will probably be asked to take him more often if he took that long to do his homework.
How about a picture dictionary in his language and English with a tape for English pronunciation.
How about getting a CD player or iPod or some other device to listen to tapes or CDs or downloads of songs he likes in English and you provide the words so he can read along.
What does he like? Video games? Movies? Sports? The more you get to know that, the more you can talk to him about those things in English and show him Youtube clips in English.
Tape your lessons so he can over them again before he turns in his homework to the teacher. She/he will not believe that he did the homework by himself and really knows it.
You might try to get the beginning books they studied to start from the beginning again and work up with him to his grade level for 5 or 10 minutes a lesson and get paid for two hours.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1305
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like what you did was great. I am surprised that they haven't asked you to work with him every night.

I ran into the same thing with Japan. So much homework that the all the kids went to afterschool to learn what the teacher went through in the day at breakneck pace and no opportunity for the students to ask question or practice what they learned. The kids used to fall asleep if they sat down and certainly on the train or bus home and to school. I am amazed that they learn anything but some do so the teachers keep on.

Getting to know you will probably be his biggest reason for learning English so the more you share interests the better his learning will be. I used to hold up the carrot of the chance to visit me in Canada and so far 10 of my former students have been here and I Facebook with more of them and hope to see them here one day or now perhaps their kids.

Five minutes of video games with you would be a good incentive as well.
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Mamainak



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm tutoring him tomorrow so I'll talk to him mum about it. Also, I need to check what he's like in his Croatian class, he might even be dyslexic.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1305
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a whole different challenge and another discussion forum. I suppose there is no way to have him tested? If he has gone this far in school without being referred for testing, it will be difficult.

Meanwhile, try to use as much technology as possible. Teaching him to type might be part of the answer so that his fingers are in on the learning. Using the dictation part of a computer or iPad would help him see the words form on the page. There are some good programs for that. The same for having the computer read what he has written and he follows along.

Are the textbooks he use on computer? That would make cutting and pasting answers easier and cut down on homework time. His parents might be able to hirer typists to copy the books to the computer if it is not already done and it will cut down on his time with other subjects.

Use as much visual input as possible, so lots of Youtube videos and films with subtitles, when giving him background information on a subject.

Try to find out what he does to learn - repeating things over and over, saying things out loud as he reads, writing things down in a certain colour pen, having important things to memorize by his bed so he can see them before he goes to bed and when he wakes up, having flashcards to practice, making a visual timeline to see how to put things together and so on? Does he like the overall picture and work down to the details or the other way? The more you can get him to look at his learning strategies and how to improve them, the better he will be in all subjects.

I don't know if they allow it in Croatia, but can he stay in a year to repeat it? Sometimes just one year less than his proper age can make a huge difference and repeating the year will give him confidence because he will get a better grasp on the content.
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