I’m branching out in the wonderful world of 1-on-1 tutoring. I want to do a good job, especially considering I have only about 1 year of experience. Can anyone tell me what a good IRI (informal reading inventory) for ESL students would be?
Also, I live in Taichung and know of only Caves bookstore. Are there other places around here to look through teaching resources?
How old is your student? How serious?
What level English?
Any strong interests?
do a search on forumosa, there are a gazillion posts related to this topic…
I’ve searched Forumosa quite a bit. Thank you Vay and ImaniOU for your great posts! But didn’t find much about IRIs.
I met the 5yr old boy’s mom yesterday. L is still in middle class in a bilingual kindergarten and, from working there, I know he’ll have a lot of exposure to reading, printing and math. But his grammar will be all over the place, and spelling may or may not be great. His mom wants him to “pass” the entrance interview into Morrison Academy, an expat school that follows the American school system, in April. His mom doesn’t want a lot of bookwork for him, and no online games or exercises. I think he needs some kind of structured classes so we can show improvement and Mom will feel like she’s getting her “money’s worth”
Here is what I think I’ll do: We’ll have 3 hours of class a week (2 X1.5hrs each), so he will actually have enough exposure to learn something.
2.dictation of phonics on an iPod so he can practice over the 4 days I’m not there
4.Teacher asking L questions, which he answers, while being recorded.
6.activity like playing a game, making a craft, doing a science experiment, exploring math
Here’s my ideas for what to actually do during the different parts of the lesson:
1.Phonics: pronouncing vowels (long a, short a), initial sounds, short vowel 3 letter words, hard consonants, long vowels (silent e), consonant digraphs, vowel combinations, r controlled vowels and then Dolce sight words
from funfonix.com graded phonics books. I have Vay’s list of commonly mispronounced words, but the kid is only 5 so I don’t think he’ll come across them too much. L does have fairly good pronunciation, so I think the phonics part of the lesson won’t take a lot of time. In school he’s almost through a series of phonics books called “Explode the Code”
2. this dictation can also be a good way to practice the words he’ll encounter in the books we’ll read.
3. Review; the previous lesson and what we’ve covered so far.
4. I hope this part will give L. more exposure to good grammar patterns he can practice without actually “doing” grammar exercises.
5. I have lots of options for bookwork. There’s readinga-z.com offering graded readers. I have quite a few kids books myself including Dr.Suess, the school L. goes to lends him an English book of his choice every weekend, and there’s a children’s library I go to almost every week that I can bring books from. We can choose a story we want to read and then make our way through it, a couple of times, until L. can read most of it. I’ll make little exercises with new words, add them as “phonic words” to be dictated.
6. Activities will be the last 30 min of class. 1.5hrs is a lot for a 5yr old. I’d like him to feel like the class is fun too, and doing stuff will give him a chance to talk and interact in English in a natural way. I know that L. makes a lot of crafts in school but rarely has time to actually do anything with it ie. make a clock with moveable hands, but then don’t use it to tell time. So maybe we’ll elaborate on what he’s done there, or play some card games like Uno, Go Fish, Crazy Eights etc. The possibilities are endless.
My question is if anyone knows a good way to assess his reading ability so I have a better chance of bringing appropriate books to our tutoring session?
My 2c…no 5 yr old kid, no matter how well behaved, is going to sit through that. My advice:
Make everything into a game. And switch it up A LOT!
Make phonics into a sing songy thing with cards and word-chaining
Make the questions into a physical game
Any activity that will get a laugh while doing something tangible with the learning will win you points for progress.
And if you have three fun activities, make it six. If you think you have six, make it twelve. You will burn through games.
Anything that takes more than two minutes without comprehensible input is wasted time, throw it away, and move on to the next game. Come back to it later if you are really attached to it.