Most of our tutors work with high school students who speak English as their primary language. However, that’s not the case for our Standard-Level Tutor, Shea Geist. Shea is currently tutoring online students from China.
English as a Second Language Tutoring
For nearly two years, Shea has been tutoring elementary age students online. There are several different platforms offering online ESL (English as a Second Language). Those platforms are growing each week with a number of formats such as the length of a session, number of students, curriculum, and online tools.
On average, Shea spends about 25 minutes with each student. Their parents choose a tutor and a specific time slot. Then, Shea opens her available time slots in the website calendar for parents to choose a time that works best for them.
Since Shea is working with ESL students, they primarily work on English vocabulary and grammar, as well as English math words. Most of her students are elementary school age, so it’s not the same math words she is used to on the ACT. Therefore, she keeps it simple as to make it easy for her younger students to understand.
Since the tutoring is all ESL, Shea doesn’t have to speak any Chinese dialect. The goal is to have the children work with a native English speaker. Shea gets to make lots of funny faces and exaggerated expressions to assist in pronunciation. The facial gestures she uses are called Total Physical Response. The gestures are used when conveying the meaning of vocabulary as well as classroom management. Keeping the energy high is important for both the tutor and the student as to keep students as engaged as possible.
Shea’s lessons begin at 5:00 am Central Standard Time. She is finishing her teaching day for her Chinese students when most people are headed to work. Later lessons for her students end well after most Western children are in bed and after a long day of school.
One other aspect Shea is encouraged to incorporate into her teaching are American isms, such as “God bless you” when a student sneezes. She also includes unique American holidays like Halloween. American holidays aren’t the only holidays she likes to keep up with. Shea says it’s important to acknowledge Chinese holidays like Chinese New Year or Children’s Day, which in her opinion, is better than Christmas for the kids!