Help me help you

Ciao, tutti! Ha fatto molto tempo!
Ça fait longtemps, non?
¡Cuánto tiempo!
It’s been a while!
How is everyone? Summer has been hectic for me, what with traveling both to visit family and to see some sites. But I’ve also been working on something new, and I would love to share and get some input from you all.
As you know, I currently offer tutoring services in the Cleveland, Ohio area, but via this blog I have gained more and more followers across the nation, and even overseas. I realized I needed to come up with a solution to reach this wider audience. And there really only seems to be one solution:
For roughly two years, I have been compiling my notes and all the information I’ve gathered since the beginning of my own road to fluency. Now I am investing all of this in educating others, including you. E-courses in Italian, French, and Spanish will be available for purchase on my website as early as Winter 2017. Courses will be composed of a variety of materials: video lectures, written texts, audio files… there will even be an interactive workbook and assigned homework for extra practice. While there won’t be official grades for these courses, I will give feedback on all exercises, and you’ll be able to track your progress over the entire course.
But my question for you is: what do you look for in an e-course? How could an online instructor peak your interest and get you more engaged as a student?
As a recent college grad, I’ve had to sit through my fair share of stuffy, monotonous lectures and painfully awkward group discussions. My online courses would be far from any of that – I hope that goes without saying. The professors that stuck out to me were much more personable and available for extra help, but it wasn’t just that. If they were lecturing, it was like listening to a story. In seminars, they provoked meaningful discussions. They filled my head with profound ideas and intense curiosities. They pushed me to learn. And through their dedication, they have inspired me to teach as well.
My goal is to engage every learning style possible in each language lesson. The more ways you approach the same concept, the more information you will actually learn and retain. Flipping through flash cards alone will not make you fluent. Nor will any one form of study. Foreign languages should be taught in a more multidisciplinary manner. We aren’t children learning our native language anymore, memorizing our ABCs and days of the week; we may find ourselves in all kinds of situations where we must communicate with natives of another language and culture. Therefore, our language study must prepare us for more practical situations.
Comment or send me an email [ ] to let me know what you think. After learning three foreign languages, I look back and wish I had been taught this way or that way, but we all learn differently, especially when it’s a foreign language. If you are completely new to learning a foreign language, what are your concerns before even beginning? In which ways do you learn best? If you have already been learning a language, how do you wish you had been taught? How could the information have been presented to you differently to help you retain more? If you’re having a hard time answering that, start my telling me what you don’t like.
This is your chance to influence the making of a foreign language course – please take advantage!

One thought on “Help me help you

  1. Samantha Bramblett says:

    I am not learning a foreign language currently but I have taken online & in-seat college courses. Sounds like you are on the right track by wanting to engage every learning style! I think a good base/foundation is key when learning a foreign language, if you don’t know the basics then the rest isn’t going to matter. I also want to add that communication & contact is important when in an online learning situation. I’ve been stuck or had troubles before & if I had not been able to get in touch with my instructor I wouldn’t have been able to proceed or complete things correctly. Hope these tips help! Good luck!!


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