Luann S.
IB & DELF French Tutor, Holds Maîtrise En Sciences De L'éducation From the University of Alberta with 22+ Years of Teaching Experience.
Maîtrise En Sciences De L'éducation; Faculté Saint-Jean, University of Alberta
French Honour Specialist; Faculty of Education, University of Toronto
EDU 9321 Special Education I; Faculty of Education, University of Toronto
Bachelor of Education French and ESL; Faculty of Education, University of Toronto
Honours B.A. in French; St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto


I have had a great deal of experience tutoring students of all ages in language learning throughout my career. As an instructor, I am approachable with a professional yet warm demeanor. I am patient, organized, and hardworking. I have a concern for my student’s progress and truly enjoy helping them develop their skills. I strive to find meaningful, innovative, and creative ways of presenting curriculum.

How rewarding it is to share my love of languages and to help my students achieve their potential. When my students share their successes with me, I am always thrilled. Speaking of successes, I have students who have scored a perfect mark.

Teaching Experience

  • DELF training in administration and evaluating
  • IB training & 12 years experience for IB French Diploma HL/SL
  • Sessional instructor of French language at University
  • French Immersion
  • FSL French as a Second Language
  • ESL English as a Second Language
  • L.E.A.D. (Literacy, English, Academic Development) teache

What is your teaching philosophy?

Life is about learning. Everyone likes to learn. Not necessarily the same things, but everyone likes to improve, make progress, advance. Learning builds confidence. It confirms one’s abilities which augurs well for future endeavors. Learning something new gives us the confidence to take the next step towards a new goal even if that goal is presently unclear or may morph into something different.

Why language? Humans identify with a language, whether it be with their mother tongue or with their adopted language. A language is a tool. It is through language that we communicate our wishes, our needs, our thoughts. In sum, language permits us to express ourselves, encounter the Other, and enter new worlds. Speaking a second language presents to us an opening rich in possibilities and promises sharing of inestimable value. Language gives us roots (family, cultures, historical context) but also wings. Wings to take us to new horizons, towards cultures hitherto unexplored and possibly unknown. Understanding these experiences helps us better understand ourselves and the world of which we are part.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session with a student, my goal is to get to know the student. I would do this by chatting about the student’s goals, dreams, interests. It is my practice to seek out materials that relate to the student’s interests. This tends to create immediate buy-in and a sense of common ground, of familiarity, thus providing a comforting format.

Another of my goals is to ascertain where the student is in terms of academic skill levels. To find this out, I will have the student read a short selection in the target language silently and then aloud. I will then ask a couple of short questions regarding the text read.

I will also ask the student to describe past language learning experiences. What are their strengths, what do they feel they need to work on, what do they enjoy most in language learning?

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students become independent learners with sequential learning, constructive feedback, and encouragement. Motivation is greatly increased if the student can see a reason for their learning. For example, many of us didn’t enjoy reading the Driver’s Handbook, but we sure wanted to get our license!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

One of my strategies to help a student stay motivated is to have various tasks in my lesson. A typical lesson may consist of a reading comprehension selection followed by multiple-choice questions and a correction and discussion of the answers, a listening excerpt from a news item followed with a conversation or possibly a brief written assignment, or a review and practice of a particular grammar structure.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would return to a previous step before this one and build confidence with that skill. Next, I would return to the skill or concept and proceed. If this didn’t work, I would go on to another skill or concept and return to this one after a couple of successful work periods.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

If a student struggled with reading comprehension, I would be certain, to begin with, easier but interesting reading materials.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

It is important to be positive and encouraging when starting to work with a student. Praise good effort as well as performance. Remind the student of how far they have come in their learning. Often one looks at how much is left to learn and forgets to acknowledge the progress made.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling with?

If a student were struggling with a subject, I would help them get excited or engaged with that topic by coming up with a fun and interesting way of dealing with it. I would suggest to the student to think creatively and have a little fun with it.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

A valid way of ensuring a student understands the material is assessment. Assessment can take many forms. I use various assessment tools but always favor practicing using the type of assessment techniques used in the IB examination papers.

Conversations concerning what the student is having difficulty with and what they would like to focus on more to feel more competent with that skill are also very beneficial. The student often knows what they have difficulty mastering.

How do you build a student’s confidence in a subject?

Be positive, be encouraging. Build gradually. Reinforce good habits. Recognize and acknowledge improvement.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

I evaluate a student’s needs by talking with them about their strengths/weaknesses. I also provide many opportunities to work through typical assessment materials to develop a comfort level in an assessment situation.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student’s needs?

Once I have assessed where the student’s skills are academic, I tailor the materials I use to the student’s needs.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

During a tutoring session, I use a variety of materials. A whiteboard comes in handy for going over verb tenses, new vocabulary, etc. I also use google docs for the sharing of written compositions. I find it beneficial to use current items from French websites or newspapers worldwide for reading and audio materials. After all, IB aims “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
Language B HL
Language B SL
Language ab Intio SL
« Le secret du métier d’éducateur c’est l’amour. Mais pas de contresens : il ne s’agit pas de sentimentaliser le rapport pédagogique. Ce que j’appelle l’amour est ici un cocktail fait de passion pour la matière qu’on enseigne, du plaisir de transmettre et d’une lucidité à l’égard de la jeunesse…trois ingrédients qui me paraissent indispensables… » Daniel Pennac

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