Being a Community Tutor in English on iTalki

Click on video to experience the digital transformation.

Since late February 2021 I’ve been a Community Teacher on an online platform called iTalki, a Chinese company headquartered in Shanghai. You can visit my profile page by clicking on the following link: [CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY iTALKI PROFILE PAGE]

To date (4/14/21) I’ve completed around 75 online lessons with approximately 35 students. It’s conversation-based learning, so I target students who can already speak English at intermediate and advanced levels of proficiency. Each “lesson” is about an hour. I currently charge $10 per lesson, although I may increase that once I reach 100 completed lessons. Some students purchase packages of 5 lessons at a slight discount.

The conversation topics are completely open ended. Occasionally, I pause the dialogue to provide feedback on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and expressive, interactive style. So far I’ve had students from Russia, Estonia, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Peru, China, and the list is growing. It’s a remarkably eye-opening and rewarding experience.

If you know anyone who might benefit from such a learning experience, please help them book their first iTalki lesson with me or any number of other qualified teachers. Thank you.

Sounds like an Adult ESL Instructional Grouping Strategy

working In pears

click on image to enlarge

I hardly ever post anything about the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes I teach. I always take my iPad and project it onto a large screen. Oftentimes, I do a digital drawing in Paper 53 that accompanies a set of scrambled words that I ask students to unscramble. It works especially well at the very beginning of my multi-level, adult, beginning ESL classes as students trickle in. Here’s a collection of a few that I’ve recently used.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF VERSION OF THE UNSCRAMBLE EXERCISES THAT ALLOWS YOU TO COMPLETE EACH EXERCISE PAGE BY PAGE.

CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO SAMPLE OF THE UNSCRAMBLE EXERCISES THAT ALLOWS YOU TO VIEW ALL OF THE EXERCISES WITHOUT STOPPING

Teaching ESL is a fun was to apply anthropology.

More on Language and Grammar

I love language even though it’s my back-up medium; and even though I’m fascinated by grammar, what I love even more is how language keeps trying to escape from grammar, i.e., langue here parole there (See Ferdinand de Saussure). We’re all sorta’ bilingual in this regard. We’re code switchers, better yet. Under certain circumstances our grammar can let its hair down and play it by ear; but occasionally we gotta polish it up, comb its hair, and hope it’s as compliant as possible.

It’s like it is the way it is when the way it is says so, which means it could be this way or that way or this way and that way both rolled up into an overarching it is what it is-ness!

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Hit it Duke! Listen to a 1943 recording of It Don’t Mean a Thing, Duke Ellington (1931)