Tutor Tips

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The 2010 Census count is approaching. The official day of the count is set for April 1, 2010, but the census forms will be mailed during March. Census data is widely used by governments and businesses to determine programs and funding, plus to apportion seats to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Stop sign with frost
Encouraging learners to speak English at all times can be challenging. Here are some ways to encourage the use of English during class.

Purpose: Learners tend to sit with others who speak the same first language, share the same race or ethnicity, or are the same age or gender. While there are certain advantages to allowing adult students to choose their places (open seating), less desirable results can be: students speak to each other in their native languages, disrupting class, students speak less English and pay less attention, relying on translations from neighbors, students don’t get to know each other well across cultures and language groups.

Beginner class

Everyone loves vocabulary and it is a very important part of language learning, but it is easy to get carried away and teach too many new words in one lesson or confuse students with spontaneous explanations. Read on to learn more about best practices for teaching vocabulary.

Pairing up
There are many ways to pair students up for activities. Here’s one way to find partners and get learners out of their seats at the same time.
Man with red chair
Most of us can only sit for a limited period of time before our capacity to learn decreases. Plan at least one activity in every lesson where learners get out of their seats. All students will return to their seats more alert and energized. Here are two examples of activities that require little or no preparation.
Word wall
To reinforce phonics (and vocabulary), keep cumulative lists of words your students have learned. Use a flip chart, or create lists on a word wall, with a separate page or column for each beginning letter. Review them frequently with students.
Confused look
We all know what most learners will say if we ask, “Do you understand?” Here are some alternative ways to check for comprehension.
Minimizing teacher talk means not only limiting the number of words you use, but also thinking about which words you use. Here are some speaking tips to aid in communicating with your learners.
This activity provides practice in spelling clarification and requesting to borrow something.



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