A Story that Continues to Unfold
This student success story features Teacher Justin's student, Evan.
Hear Evan's inspiring success story - a real-life student who was transformed by Teacher Justin's NSEO program. Discover how this program could be right for you, with first-hand accounts of student success.
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I have been working with Evan for three years.
Evan was a student that was introduced to me in mid- 2020. He had a trial with another teacher but they were specifically looking for a male teacher. He was interested in cars, trains and hamsters– and could understand and explain them in great detail.
Evan’s parents were looking for instruction that focused on speaking, and they specifically wanted Evan to work on his ability to speak at length on a topic and hold a conversation.
During his first eight months, we successfully learned and used the proper past tense 90% of the time, including irregular verbs. After that, we learned how to explain and describe ideas that interested him along with relevant vocabulary.
Now three years in, we are working on his convergent and divergent critical thinking skills to develop his problem solving skills and creativity in English.
The Story of Evan
Evan came to me in mid-2020. His father owns a hagwon and was educated in the states but had little time to teach Evan. His mother, also fluent, was looking for a native teacher to take him to the next level. They weren’t exactly sure what they wanted, in the beginning they wanted to focus on advanced tenses which stood in contradiction to their goal that he could speak fluently.
I outlined an initial plan where we would work on the past tense, the long /e/ sound and expressive conversation.
After eight months of hard work and consistent lessons 45 minutes, three times per week, I was proud to report home that Evan had successfully mastered the past tense. He was making major progress in his expressive language which meant he was able to draw pictures related to stories and describe the scenes and characters he had just developed.
We worked on methods and tools to express ideas using correct words and began to add to his vocabulary via “Greek and Latin Roots” along with figurative language.
From the start, we had to go back all the way to identify the gaps he had in his learning and fill in the gaps, working at it until he had mastery.
In the past three years, we have gone from working in the past tense to having him be able to express himself fully. He is confident and does not hesitate when speaking; his spoken language is very fluid. Currently, we are working on more difficult, first language reading and summaries– which is certainly not easy, even for kids in America!
Along the way, I have developed a strong relationship with Evan and am glad to call him my little buddy!
Developing Native Level Skills
Evan and his parents’ goals were for him to be able to communicate in all areas of English like a student in America or Canada would.
They would want to put him into an International or American High School without having to be concerned with his English ability: both socially and academically. Like many parents, they dream of sending their only son to Hardvard and witnessing his success.
Unlike most parents, they are rigorous in their pursuit of this goal and were willing to dedicate 3-5 hours per week to English-only education (both social and academic).
Evan’s parents wanted a wide door of opportunity to open for their son and so we developed a learning plan and set to work on these goals.
Why Evan Chose You
Evan chose me because I prioritized a connection with him. It was tough to strike a balance between allowing him to be himself, be tired or moody or excited on any given day, and bring in serious work for improvement.
Evan’s parents chose me because they knew that during the lesson, I was 100% ready to move Evan forward and all of my attention was on him.
They liked me because of the careful balance between fun and rigor– and actual enjoyment of the class despite the intensity thereof.
I also took a lot of personal time in the beginning of our relationship to email mom and dad my thoughts and concerns, as well as our successes.
How You Responded
In response, we got straight to work on his learning plan. During the first three months, he started to be able to identify errors in tenses for simple sentences.
In addition to this, we worked on other grammar rules: subject pronouns, subject verb agreement, conjunctions.
He achieved mastery in these areas and applied them to his speaking.
Expressive speech was our long term project. Since he was comfortable with me, we started to do speaking prompts, where we were given a scenario for conversation. I typed the scene as we spoke and when we were complete, we reviewed and tried to think of better words like more specific adjectives or more targeted verbs.
Then, I had him read out the revised version and encouraged him for his hard work.
This was very effective for him. As we developed this approach, it changed the way he thought about communicating, so not only was progress reflected in his speaking but it also expressed itself in his writing.
Now his speaking is strong and his reading skills are where his parents wanted them to be. We recently pivoted to focusing on and developing his talent in the written word.
Our goal is to develop his writing skills so that all four areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing– will be strongly developed and propel him towards his goal of attending Harvard freshman class of 2029.
One teacher and I continue to work with Evan.
Overall, he has matured into a strong speaker with creative and silly tendencies. Where we started was one word answers, speaking hesitancy and frequent misunderstandings on figurative language. Now Evan tells his own jokes and can keep up with anything I say.
I never need to slow down my speech and he never has trouble.
He has begun to attend English Hagwan to be able to learn test taking strategies but continues our lessons because, as his parents say, “We focus on what is important for the future and how he will integrate with American culture later on in college.”
My hope is that Evan will attend an IVY league school where he will thrive in a group of multicultural friends. I know that this little man is going place and I’m excited to see the path unfold.
When students receive individualized attention, they are more likely to engage with the material, ask questions, and receive feedback. They can also move at their own pace, which can be especially beneficial for students who are struggling or who have unique learning needs.
One-on-one tutoring can provide students with the support and guidance they need to reach their full potential.