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For the last two years I've hired and trained a person we call "our ESL
tutor" (other tutors also work with ESL students, but this person takes
about half of the ESL appointments). When hiring, we look for
a) teaching background (because methodology is very important); interest
in being an ESL teacher will suffice;
b) reasonable linguistics or second language background
c) empathy for ESL students (e.g., our tutor last year had been an
18-year-old French as a Second Language student in France.)

Then, the cornerstone of the training is --boring but effective-- a
classic advanced ESL textbook. Afterall, the textbook explains the
grammar etc. to the student, and the tutor can simultaneously learn the
content (e.g., subjunctive) and a way in which to explain it. We use
Betty Azar's books, which are especially good at explaining verb tenses.


Jim Bell
Editor, Journal of College Reading and Learning         Ph. (250) 960-6365
Learning Skills Centre                                  Fax (250) 960-6330
University of Northern BC                               email [log in to unmask]
3333 University Way
Prince George, BC
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