Beginning in July, I had the opportunity to catch up with Aquil once monthly and speak with him in Spanish. Anyone who knows Aquil knows that he has a grand passion for learning the Spanish language. He possesses some fluency in Spanish, courtesy of a generous individual he crossed paths with at his job. He has turned his passion for Spanish into a dream of becoming an interpreter.
In order to assist Aquil with expanding his fluency in Spanish, I (with the assistance of my supervisor Ellen) explored numerous tutors who would be compatible with Aquil and his learning abilities. We finally stumbled across a tutor who appeared to have the patience and tenacity to teach Aquil the Spanish language. Aquil already had a tendency to write down Spanish phrases and sentences into his notebook. He liked to practice what he took in and would apply it to the real world.
On July 22nd, 2016, Aquil had his first tutoring session with Dominick. He was elated to experience his first tutoring session and he was not let down. He reported that he was incredibly happy that he would have the opportunity to continue learning Spanish. He shared the great news with his family and friends. When I visited him for his monthly home monitoring, we would switch our monitorings to take place in Spanish. Aquil was determined to reply in Spanish. His fluency has greatly increased since his first session.
When I visited him after his second session had taken place, I noticed his apartment was covered in index cards with words in Spanish. I asked him about his previous session. He reported that he was working on labeling items throughout his home. He had labels such as “la cama” (the bed), “los gabinetes” (the cabinets), “la micronda” (the microwave), and “la puerta” (the door). He reported that being able to see the physical labels helped him to memorize the words. He felt it was an effective way to learn.
During our last monitoring together, I took the opportunity to ask Aquil about his experiences with his tutoring sessions with Dominick. I asked him the following questions:
- What skills have you learned since you began your tutoring sessions
- How do you feel about your sessions now?
- How do you practice the Spanish language?
- Do you feel you have shown improvement in your speaking abilities?
When responding, Aquil was to the point. He mentioned that he has learned how to make better use of his present tense, past tense, and future tense. He is still working on writing with the correct grammar but he feels confident in his abilities. He feels he continues to benefit from his sessions and he enjoys taking the time to learn new material. He practices his skills by writing it down, speaking it verbally, and labeling items. He believes he has shown improvement in his Spanish by his consistent homework assignments and his ability to better speak Spanish.
Although Aquil continues to receive his tutoring sessions in Spanish with Dominick, he has improved significantly since he began back in July. He continues to improve his skills, his fluency, and his abilities. With additional practice, Aquil can move forward towards his dream of becoming an interpreter.