tutoring

This spring I had the pleasure of speaking with Anne Glassman from the Lakeville Area Learning Center, and her lead volunteer Angie Farrell, about their Skype Coaching program.  This innovative program matches volunteer tutors with adult English learners for one-to-one coaching in English via Skype, an Internet-based video calling service.  The Coa

Joe Halvorson, Literacy Leader
After teaching English in China for a year, and really enjoying it, Joe Halvorson came back to Minnesota determined to help with literacy in his community. He is now a two-year volunteer at the Minnesota Literacy Council, tutoring mostly Computer Literacy classes.
Clearly the skills our students are aquiring go far beyond the classroom. It was a good reminder of why I volunteer and the impact adult basic education has on the lives of the learners.
It seems learners move up to the next level just as I’ve gotten to know them. Obviously this is a great problem to have and gives me a sense of accomplishment... but nevertheless...
This week we talked about childhood using the grid activity to practice past tense. One question explored the rules parents had for the learners when they were children. I think everyone in the classroom was surprised to discover that in spite of cultural differences, more familial rules were similar than different; they seemed to have a universal quality.
At first I doubted if it would be a topic that would fill up the entire class time, but I was definitely wrong!
Metro North has a partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension Simply Good Eating program. Every month, a dynamic representative comes to class to teach about an aspect of nutrition. It is always interactive, with fake food, real store ads to examine, food containers, food related prizes to take home and a snack at the end.
We began an ongoing activity in class today that simultaneously focuses on grammar points, discussing certain topics and following concrete directions. Today’s topic was the weather.
The image of one of our students working so diligently to understand the declarations of our new president really made me appreciate the respect she has for her new country. While not abandoning her own culture and language, Aziza strives to be engaged and informed to positively contribute to her community. I’ve had that same experience with most of the students I’ve worked with, which I think contradicts many stereotypes people have about immigrants and refugees.
There were only about ten students in class, which is quite low as we usually have over twenty. It was amazing to see how much more we were able to help students in-depth with fewer students in the class.

   

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