Hello! This blog exists as a log of my interactions with international students as an English language tutor via Skype. I'm a linguistics student at Montclair State University and I hope to teach English overseas and explore ways to improve second language learning. In the age of the internet, global communication is instantaneous and easier than ever, making our language one of the only barriers between folks from all over the world. Being able to communicate directly with foreign speakers is a great opportunity and I'm thrilled to help them improve their English skills. So far, I've met with two students for one session each, and will be continuing with one of them for the next few weeks.
The sessions are essentially just long chat sessions. We cover a wide variety of topics over the course of ~30-90 minutes and have the opportunity to get to know each other. If necessary, I make corrections to their speech and help to improve pronunciation.
Sometimes, however, it doesn't cross my mind that a mistake has been made... As a linguist, I lean closer to the descriptivist camp than the prescriptivist when it comes to grammar. So when one of my students says something that I can comprehend - even when it might not necessarily be correctly formed - it's a correct utterance, because the message was conveyed successfully.
As a future teacher, this is a necessary habit to break and I'm glad that I'll be learning as much from these sessions as my students.