Tutoring Tips for Home Language Students

Teaching Tips

 tutoring1 Teaching time ideas:
For 15 hrs/week done in 5 days, most hosts do 3 hours of lessons each weekday morning. For a change of pace, consider breaking up the teaching time as 2 or 2.5 hours in the morning with a 30 mintue to 1 hour follow-up/review later in the day, or 90 minutes each in the morning & afternoon. An afternoon lesson might consist of speaking or writing about the events of the day, reviewing new vocabulary or idioms used that day, perhaps reviewing photos or videos of the day.
Note that HLI specifys that lessons should take place during the day and not in the evening.

Seasoned New Englanders all, many hosts leverage our unpredictable weather by extending lesson time on bad-weather days so that more activities can be planned for great-weather days. The contracted hours must be documented for each week on your “hours sheet”, but lesson days and times are up to you.

Teaching Tips:

  • Make sure your student has a notebook and pen
  • Have the student keep a vocabulary list and have a way to quickly record new words that are encountered in your travels. (an audio or video recording device may be useful here if you have one, or a small notebook)
  • Review / Drill on the new vocabulary list daily
  • Make an “idiom list” and make a game of using idioms on the list frequently as you go about your days
  • Make every outing a learning excursion – keep adding to the word lists, and have students write or talk about their activities during lesson time
  • Your local library is a great resource for appropriate reading materials matched to your student’s abilities and age

Movies as teaching tools and/or fun and relaxation

  • Most DVDs can have subtitles turned on – use English for intermediate students. French is usually also an option if you have a beginning French student, but this  counts as relaxation and entertainment, NOT as an English lesson. However, you can have your student write about or discuss the movie later during lesson time.
  • If appropriate for the level and age of the student, watch a movie which you can then discuss. If on DVD, let them stop or back up if they have questions or didn’t understand.  Stop the movie to ask them if they understand or have any questions – in particular if dialogue is very fast-paced. Some students are shy about stopping the movie, so check in with them – in particular after scenes where dialogue is very rapid! The availability of English subtitles (for all but advanced students) is very helpful for understanding.
  • Having a study guide with vocabulary for the movie which you can review in advance is recommended.  If you have created a guide like this, we’d love to share it.
  • They can write a short essay about the movie, add to vocabulary & idiom lists, and ask questions.
  • Movie suggestions:
    • Dead Poets Society
    • Finding Nemo
    • Chololat (in particular for French students)
    • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (great for teen girls)
    • Spirited Away (in particular for Japanese students)
    • The Wizard of Oz (It’s an all-American fairy tale that is culturally significant)
    • The Crucible (for visitors to Salem)
    • Worldwide blockbusters they may have seen at home: Star Wars series, Indianna Jones series, Toy Story series, Harry Potter etc
    • Good Will Hunting (great movie, filmed locally -with very foul language – ONLY for older students/adults with a discussion about appropriate language)
  • Online resources:
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Interested? Don’t delay – contact us today!

Given that a language immersion travel adventure requires a lot of planning, students typically book many weeks and even months in advance of their stay.   If you are interested in this opportunity, signing up in June or July is generally going to be much too late for this summer.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you have an interest in hosting THIS season.  You are never assigned a student without your approval on the student profile, program, and dates so there is NO RISK to signing up. You decide the timing and will have the opportunity to see the specific student’s booking info before you offer to host.  If the student agrees, then you are contracted for that particular student and program.  Our local reps are here to assist you before and during the student’s stay if you have any questions or concerns.

Student/Guest Activities: the Capes of Massachusetts

Foreign visitors may not have even heard of the Massachusetts Capes and more’s the pity. Here are some ideas for fun things to do on the Massachusetts Capes:

Cape Ann
Information from Wikipedia 

Essex River Cruises and Charters: http://www.essexcruises.com/

Gloucester Harbor Tours including a Lighthouse Tour and a Lobster Boat tour/demo:
http://www.capeannharbortours.com/

Unusual light hiking in Rockport/Gloucester: http://www.walkthewords.com/

Cape Cod
Information from Wikipedia

Provincetown, MA – sightseeing is colorful and crazy in the summer and the food is yummy. Plenty of Photo Ops. Climb to the top of the Pilgrim Monument for great views and some history. Race Point Beach or any of a number of beaches at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Take the ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard where you can tour shops, have lunch, and/or rent a bicycle for a few hours.

Student/Guest Activites in Salem, MA

Things to Do in Salem MA
What Wikipedia says

Salem – Boston Ferry

Salem Web

Peabody Essex Museum

House of 7 Gables

Salem Willows – old time amusement park. Hot dogs, etc available here.

A variety of interesting Harbor tours leave from Mahi Cruises at Salem Willows.

Witch Museum, & many other tourist attractions, shopping, dining.


Reasonably Priced places to eat in Salem:

Hot dogs, hamburgers at Salem Willows

Witch’s Brew Cafe
156 Derby St
(same street as the Boston ferry landing & House of 7 Gables
– just head toward downtown from those locations.)

Red’s 15 Central St
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Student Activities in Boston/Cambridge

Boston-Cambridge Activities

Cultural Program Musts:
If your student has booked a Cultural Program, you and your guest select 3 museum vists per week for each week of cultural activities from the list below. (Your guest may have pre-selected his or her preferred sites to visit). For additional weeks on the cultural program, work with your guest to find other places of interest in Boston/Cambridge or your local area.

Cultural Program Listed Activities/Museums:

New England Aquarium
Museum of Science
Museum of Fine Arts

Harvard University
Book a “Hahvahd Tour“, 70 mins. $10 per person.
Led by students – add a nice tip. (unofficialtours.com)

Museum of Natural History
at Harvard
(free on Sunday Mornings 9-noon). Follow with brunch and shopping in Harvard Square?)

Your choice of any other Harvard Museum:

http://www.harvard.edu/resources-offices/museums

MIT Museum

The Cultural program also mentions “any local museum/activitiy” you and  your guest wish to include. Other Boston/Cambridge activities to consider (by no means an exhaustive list – if you have found another favorite, let us know!)

List Visual Arts Center at MIT

The Duck Tour
Other Boston Tours
Freedom Trail
Fun Freedom Trail Tour

The State House in Boston has a free tour.
This is a good tour and worth doing – it works well with a stroll of the Commons and Public Garden and perhaps a snack from the many street vendors in the area.

Activities

Hosts – share your ideas and discoveries with us.

Activity Ideas
  • Plan ahead to get Museum passes from your local Library. Each Library seems to have its own group of museum tickets & varying discounts.
  • Teachers: Many teachers get discounts to museums – be sure to check.
  • Consider making a photo album (in print or online, whatever works best for you & your student) of your adventures for the student to take home. From one host:
    I  took pictures and printed them out each day to insert into a photo album which he will take home on Sunday.  I wrote words on the pictures (it’s easy to add text when using CVS/Walgreen’s/etc.) so that is also something else he could read each day to strengthen vocabulary.
  • Hint:  tell everyone you know that you are having a visitor.
    It is amazing how many ideas people will share about what you and your charge should do (and sometimes people offer to help you out by providing activities as well). We got dinners/lunches/boat trips/field trips that would not have occurred except through the generosity of others who heard I was having a visitor.