Holes in Education

I have tutored for over six years now.  In that time I have worked with students from 12 months old to adults in their seventies. In this time and with this experience I have learned many things. Now, mind you, some of these things may be a matter of opinion, but I believe they are important.

– No two students are the same

– Textbooks are generally for the birds, and best used as references

– When it comes to grammar explanations, textbooks generally leave students dumbfounded and confused

– The average student needs an English grammar lesson to be able to identify parts of speech in a foreign language

– Immersion is extremely important, as is an excellent foundation

Why are there these ‘holes’ ? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but here’s my good guess:  the general education system. I understand there are certain subjects that every student needs to learn, i.e. math, reading, etc. But the concept of a general education is beyond ridiculous. No one person is exactly like another. And what does a general education do? Take all the pressure off the parent and put that pressure on the teacher.

Oh don’t worry about teaching Timmy the alphabet, or phonetics, or even basic manners…..Mrs. Smith will do that for you. And for the parents of her other 29+ students. And we wonder why we have a problem.

Now, this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Truly, I wanted to mention some ‘holes’ I have noticed only to say, perhaps as a parent you can ask your student, ‘how are things going?, are you struggling with something, can I help?’

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las recetas

recetas

 My future sister-in-law recently gave me a Spanish textbook that belonged to her brother called, Sol y sombra.  I was honored to have this book to add to my collection and have truly enjoyed reading it.  It’s an older textbook, published in 1972, but I love the teaching method.  This book contains many stories, articles, etc. that are separated by difficulty level. Each story contains cognates of English words, and the grammar becomes progressively harder as the reader progresses through the book.

In the second level, I found an article that contained a couple of recipes, with illustrations of all the ingredients.  I pondered this article for quite a while, and decided that I could do something similar with my students.  So, right now I have students thinking of their favorite recipes, which we are translating into Spanish, collecting, making copies and redistributing.  That’s right, a recipe exchange, in Spanish!  And it’s a great opportunity to teach the commands! 

So, if any of you out there would like to contribute to our recipe exchange, that would be great!