The Benefits of Learning French as a Second Language
In Canada, where bilingualism is a lived reality for millions of people and an official federal government policy, the most obvious benefit of learning French as a second language is financial.
Being bilingual in French and English increases your career opportunities and earning potential. Bilingualism is required, or at least preferred, for a substantial number jobs in a variety of fields and industries — and not only in government.
Even if a job doesn’t require its employees to be bilingual, being bilingual never hurts. On the contrary, it increases an applicant’s chances of getting hired.
According to popular opinion, pursuing studies in STEM is the surest way to open up many lucrative career doors. But language, too, is in high demand. Degrees in English, Languages, Communications, and Journalism teach critical thinking and writing skills, which are necessary in many fields.
Students who graduate from post-secondary education with these skills are not only prepared to communicate effectively in the workplace, but they are also trained to analyze information in subjects they didn’t study, such as finance or IT, and communicate this information clearly. This gives them an edge up on students who graduate from STEM or STEM-related postsecondary programs, where communication skills aren’t prioritized.
There are many reasons why it is important build language skills in a bilingual country like Canada — as noted, learning French as a second language increases one’s chances of being hired, and can help you stand out from the competition in a job interview. But in addition to the economic benefits of bilingualism, there are also cognitive and social benefits.
In this article, we will explore all of the benefits of learning a second language, and provide some tips for how tutors can make learning a second language easier.
Cognitive Benefits of Learning a Second Language
In doctoral programs in the humanities, it’s traditional for students to learn a second language. The tradition makes a lot of sense: learning a second language is good for the brain. Bilingual or multilingual students tend to score higher on standardized tests, such as the MCAT, the GRE, or the LSAT.
In addition, learning a second language can improve:
- Focus and attention span
- Problem-solving skills
- Executive function (e.g. shifting, planning, and updating)
- Critical thinking
- Language sensitivity (the ability to distinguish languages you’ve never heard before)
- Brain growth
- Flexibility (the ability to shift between different mental states)
- Ability to multitask
- Listening skills
Furthermore, once you have finished learning a second language, it becomes easier to learn another. Learning a new language may help prevent cognitive decline in old age. And learning a second language can also improve proficiency in one’s native tongue.
It may seem ironic, but the discipline of mastering French grammar and French vocabulary can help native speakers of English understand their own language better.
Social Benefits of Learning a Second Language
In addition to the practical and cognitive benefits of learning a second language, there are many social benefits of being bilingual as well.
Learning a second language such as French increases social flexibility—the ability to adapt to new environments, read social cues, get to know more people, travel and work in more places across the globe, and switch between different social skill sets.
Learning a new language helps you see the world in different ways, from different points of view. Bilinguals, unlike monolinguals, are able to apply concepts and nuances that are unique to one language to another.
Moreover, bilingualism may also increase empathy; bilinguals may be better at suspending their own beliefs and emotions to concentrate on another person’s point of view.
Learning a Second Language Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
The thought of learning a new language at the secondary level can be intimidating. It’s one thing to learn a language when you’re a child, the thinking goes, and quite another thing to learn a language during adolescence and afterward.
Although there is some truth to this, it’s very possible, and not as difficult as you might think, to master high school French even if you’ve never studied French before.
For anglophones living in Quebec, French tutors in Montreal offer one-on-one lessons, in person and online, and can help unlock the benefits of learning a second language for kids who don’t speak French at home.
Unlike in a typical high school classroom, where French teachers tend to prefer one teaching method over others and assign the same homework to all students, in-person and online tutors in Ontario and Quebec customize their teaching style and assigned work according to students’ particular needs and expectations. Expert language tutors provide a safe learning environment where students can make mistakes and build their confidence without fear of judgment. Tutors understand the pedagogy of linguistics and can incorporate modern methods for language acquisition into private lessons.
Fluency Means More than Academic Success
It’s important for students who understand the value of learning French as a second language to understand the difference between academic success and fluency.
Though academic success in French is valuable, a handle on grammar, vocabulary, and literacy will only get a student so far. Being fluent in French means being able to speak and engage with native French speakers, navigate French places and countries, and understand French customs and social norms.
The best way to become fluent in French is to not only study the language academically, but also to immerse yourself in the language. But it can be quite difficult for native English speakers in Ontario, and even native English speakers in Quebec, to find opportunities to converse in French, but French tutoring in Toronto can help give students the opportunity to converse in French without the fear of making mistakes, with the goal of becoming fluent.
Most people in the world speak more than one language. In North America, however, it’s quite common to speak only one, and Canadian students outside of Quebec are often at a disadvantage when it comes to mastering French as a second language.
The one-on-one support offered by a French tutor can play a crucial role in helping students gain practical fluency, so if you are interested in giving your kids access to the benefits of learning a second language, call Prep Academy Tutors today.
Online Learning Could Be Here to Stay in Ontario
In Ontario, it has been over a year since students started pursuing their education online. But now that more and more people in Canada are being vaccinated and schools at all levels and in all provinces and territories are preparing a return to in-person classes in the fall, it may appear as though the days of online learning are ending.
The more likely result, however, is a hybrid approach that a hybrid approach is the way of the near future. However much parents and students alike might be dreaming of having things go back to normal, online learning might be here to stay in Canada.
In Manitoba, for instance, the government is actively working to enable universities and colleges to develop more sophisticated and engaging remote-learning models with the intent of improving the quality of online learning now and in years to come.
Manitoba recently made public its better education starts today (BEST) document, as well as the contents of the Education Modernization Act, and the K-12 review. BEST is a list of provincial takeaways from the past year, and it looks favourably upon online learning. According to the document, “Expanding access and capacity for high-quality remote learning improves our resilience moving out of the pandemic and provides greater flexibility.”
The hurdles of online learning will be tough, though not impossible, to overcome, and our professional online tutors can help.
The Bumpy Acceleration of Online Learning
This past school year has seen more drop-outs and lower student engagement and performance rates. Not only that, but stress, anxiety, and rates of depression have increased among students and teachers alike. These statistics have much to do, of course, with the pandemic — mental well-being has been hard hit throughout the country — but online-learning on its own is also partly to blame.
If online learning is here to stay, government and school boards will need to devise proactive ways of improving the quality of remote education, and parents need to search out online tutoring tips that can help kids keep learning under remote conditions. Doing so may mean drawing from best practices and solutions outside of Canada.
A case can be made that online learning is an inevitable step in education, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has simply accelerated the move toward online learning models. Student demand for remote learning has greatly increased over the past school year, and a hybrid online and in person learning model will, ideally, combine the benefits of in person learning with the benefits of online learning.
Professional online tutoring in Toronto and other Canadian cities has been one example of this, helping students get the extra help they need from the safety of their own homes.
Can Online and In-Person Education Be Complementary?
The benefits of in person learning are well documented. An in-class environment is far less distracting than an at home learning environment, where students are often free to do what they please.
In-person learning also makes it easier to develop close relationships with teachers. Students can better learn from the body language of a teacher when they share a classroom together. Students in class have easier access to school materials.
Students also benefit socially by interacting with other students in class, doing group projects, and spending time with students at recess and in hallways or the cafeteria. Indeed, the social benefits of in person learning are not to be underestimated.
This may be why students who complete their course in classroom settings do so at a much higher rate than students who learn remotely, and some students feel more comfortable and accustomed to learning in a classroom than elsewhere.
Credit: Katerina Holmes Via Pexels
But there are also many benefits to online learning, especially when supplemented by tutoring in Hamilton or Toronto that gives kids one-on-one learning time with an educator.
With online learning, students who live far away from campus don’t have to spend hours commuting to and from school grounds five days a week. Students with disabilities can sidestep the difficulties inherent to navigating campus facilities, many of which do not adequately meet their needs.
Sick students who by showing up to class risk making other students sick can participate in class (if they’re not too sick) from home. Mature students with jobs or families have an easier time fitting online learning into their busy schedules.
Online learning may benefit students at the post-secondary and post-graduate levels most. One recent study has shown that MBA students benefit from online learning in a variety of ways.
According to a case study in which more than 100 students enrolled in prestigious online MBA programs were asked to share their perceptions and thoughts on the pros and cons of online learning, a commonly shared sentiment among the students was that they highly valued the experience of virtual teaming because it prepares them for today’s global business environment.
Online Learning: A Parent’s Perspective
It’s not only students who recognize the benefits of remote learning, however: parents also see value in online learning — a fact that may come as a surprise for parents who are burned out after a year of Zoom school.
The difficulties of parenting students who learn remotely are well documented. It has been remarkably difficult for parents to provide educational support to their children while working full or part time jobs. However, parenting students who learn remotely does have some benefits.
With online learning, parents have more time to spend with their children; family time has increased. Not only that, but parents — especially parents who help their children build structure and routine — enjoy the pleasure of watching their children develop more confidence in their ability to work alone.
Parents of adolescents enjoy watching how their children’s increased confidence in their learning abilities has in turn helped them discover themselves. More flexibility in their children’s schooling has helped parents better understand how their child’s unique learning styles interact with the curriculum.
Perhaps the hybrid in-person and online learning model of the future will benefit education in ways that were unimaginable before the onset of the COVD-19 pandemic. It is likely, however, that some adjustment will be needed, and tutoring can play a significant role in this process.
If you want to find out more about how tutoring services can help manage the transitions between online and offline learning, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
What are the Different Types of Learners?
Everyone learns differently. Students tend to excel at one type of learning more than others, and each type of learning comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Certain styles of teaching suit different types of learners. At Prep Academy, we understand that for every students’ learning type, there is an ideal tutor. We play matchmaker to ensure your child is paired with a certified tutor who meets your child’s type of learning and allows your child to feel comfortable enough to take risks and flourish.
Challenges Different Learners Face Today
Pairing your child with the right tutor according to their learning type is even more important now than in recent years. Given the pandemic, teachers have been forced to deliver classes online, where they are less likely to identify what type of learner their students are.
As a result, students are not doing as well as they were last school year. The statistics are worrying. In Ontario, online attendance rates have decreased; so, too, have test scores. The Ontario School Board has reported that failure rates in courses are at 16% — nearly twice what they were last year. In Quebec, the statistics are even worse. Failure rates are three times higher than they were in 2019-2020.
Increased failure rates mean students are less likely to achieve high marks or the credits they need to graduate on time, and although school boards and teachers are making heroic efforts to adapt to the new normal as best as possible, students’ needs are not being met. The situation likely won’t improve until schools return to business as usual.
Our Certified Tutors Meet Today’s Challenges
Our certified tutors have the privilege of engaging with our students one-on-one, whether through online tutoring or in-person, and tailoring lessons according to our students’ type of learning.
Whereas school boards teach one size fits all curriculums, which inevitably benefit some types of learners more than others, our tutors help each pupil engage with schoolwork according to their highly individual learning needs.
In this way our certified provide tutors provide our students with a quality of education that schools, on their own, cannot.
The Four Types of Learners
As noted earlier, each student has their own unique way of engaging with and mastering a subject. Whereas one student is more likely to memorize a poem by turning it into song, for instance, another student is better off writing out the poem multiple times.
That being said, generally speaking there are four main types of learners:
- Auditory learners
- Visual (or spatial) learners
- Kinesthetic (or hands-on) learners
- Writing and reading learners
Auditory learners learn most about a subject by hearing someone speaking about it, and by speaking about it themselves (especially in groups). Visual learners, by contrast, prefer diagrams, graphs, and other visual aids. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. And writing and reading learners learn by writing and reading (typically on their own).
There’s more to the story, of course; learning isn’t that simple. Auditory learners, for instance, don’t only learn most about a subject through speech. Auditory learners also tend to be linear thinkers and sociable people. Group projects and presentations are especially helpful, as is reading aloud.
Writing and reading learners, by contrast, tend to be more introverted and better suited to individual projects. This makes them particularly well-suited to traditional pedagogical approaches. A book, some paper, a dictionary, and a quiet room constitute a writing and reading learner’s basic learning needs.
Identifying What Type of Learner You Are
If you’re not sure what type of learner your child is, consider having your child take a National Learning Style Assessment.
It’s important that you understand what type of learner your child is. Doing so can increase your child’s learning potential, improve the ways your child studies, help them better understand who they are, and raise their confidence and grades.
Moreover, understanding what type of learner your child is should play a role in deciding what subject or field of study to pursue, as each learning style has its advantages and disadvantages. Writing and reading learners are often better off pursuing English literature or law, while kinesthetic learners are drawn more toward hands-on fields of study such as engineering or biology, or any subject that involves lab work or exercise.
Does your child excel at some subjects more than others? If so, this may indicate what type of learner your child is.
Understanding what type of learner your child is can also help him or her improve at a subject they struggle with by understanding the best ways for them to study it and providing the educational support they need to approach the material.
If your child is a visual learner, for example, having them highlight their notes with different colours can help them commit information to memory. Visual learners also tend to learn more in class when they sit near the front, where they can see their teacher better and not be distracted by other students in the room.
If your child is a kinesthetic learner, an uncomfortable chair can interfere with their studying more so than loud noises or people walking in and out of the room. Kinesthetic learners, unlike visual learners, are often better off sitting in the back of the class, where it’s more acceptable for them to move around.
A student’s learning type also depends to some degree on the subject they’re engaging with. Reading and writing learners may learn more about a piece of music by listening to it than they would by reading and writing about it. Auditory learners may learn more about the location of a country by seeing it on a map than by listening to a lecture about its geographical coordinates.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we understand how important finding the right fit is, which is why our tutoring services are designed to work with different types of learners to achieve the educational objectives outlined in the curriculum.
Our Tutors Meet Your Child’s Learning Type
Every student can learn with the right approach, and our math and English tutors in Toronto understand how important it is to understand your child’s learning type and employ a style of tutoring best suited to it.
Some of our English tutors employ Wilson Reading System, while others teach the Direct Instruction Reading Masters program, in order to improve reading comprehension for children of different ages. Some of our math tutors are schooled in JUMP Math, while others are trained in the Singapore Math philosophy. Our tutoring services offer the educational support your child needs.
Because everyone learns differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we approach tutoring with a personalized touch. Our certified tutors build personal bonds with your kids according to their unique needs. What matters most is that your child receives the best education possible, which is what our certified tutors do their best to provide.
If you want to learn about how our tutoring service helps different types of learners excel, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors to find out more.
Calgary Education Options and What They Mean for Students
Due to the pandemic and the shift from in-person to online teaching methods, teachers now in Calgary lack the proper resources and time to properly educate students in reading and writing. Budget cuts to the Calgary Board of Education, combined with the pandemic, have delivered a double blow to teachers and students.
Classroom resources have decreased, while the average class size has increased by two or more students across the system. Meanwhile, school fee support and per-capita funding based on annual enrolment has gone up.
The ramifications of the double blow are worrying. Schools have less money, many classes have moved online, and parents and teachers alike are struggling to provide kids with the right resources and means for them to keep up and not fall behind.
The Crisis of Pandemic Learning
It makes sense that kids in Calgary, even the most studious and disciplined, are falling behind. At home, sitting in front of their computer, distractions are everywhere. And without the support of their peers, and cut off from shared daily routines, it can be hard to stay focused.
Imagine being thirteen years old and having to study for an English exam online, at home, with the internet at your fingertips! If American adults on average can’t help but check their phones over 90 times per day, how are kids in Calgary supposed to avoid distractions?
Although the long-term effects of the pandemic on students at all levels in Calgary are difficult to quantify, it appears that the pandemic has decreased students’ performance rates and lowered their interest in learning. They feel alienated from their teachers and their peers, from their assignments and the very purpose of an education. Without the personable attention a classroom provides, and without anyone to monitor their progress and look over their shoulders, students are left at sea.
Research done by the University of Alberta has shown that standardized reading assessment scores in Edmonton have gone down among students in grades one and two. Across the country, test scores as well as participation rates have decreased, while dropout rates have gone up.
Arithmetic rates, along with attendance rates, have gone down in Alberta, as well as the rest of Canada. In some cases, students have fallen behind as much as a full year. In Edmonton, students in grades 1 and 2 are now on average one year behind on reading tests. In Alberta, the reading ability of students in grades one through three are lower than before (the learning losses amount to six to eight months). Students all over the country now require more instruction, particularly in literacy.
Academic Success Means More than Just Graduating on Time
Given these decreases, schools have had to adjust their expectations for student performance. The bar is lower than before. In Calgary and in other many schools across Canada, students are expected to do less work than they were before the pandemic struck. What matters, at bottom, is that they get through the semester and graduate on time.
But to get into a good post-secondary institution, of course, students must do more than graduate on time: they must meet certain baselines in academic achievement. The pandemic’s impact on schooling is particularly damaging to students in grades 11 and 12, whose grades determine which schools they can get into.
In the United States, universities including Cornell and Harvard have responded to the problem by making SAT scores no longer mandatory for admission. It’s yet to be seen how Canadian universities will adapt their admission requirements.
Fortunately, however, the situation in Calgary isn’t all doom and gloom: tutors in Calgary can step into the breach where the education system hasn’t been able to deliver.
English Tutors in Calgary
Literacy is key for excelling in school and in the workforce. It’s virtually impossible to get by without a strong ability to read and write, and the better your child is at reading and writing, the more opportunities they will have to succeed.
Without in-person attention from a teacher in a classroom, how are students supposed to improve their ability to read and write?
For better or worse, online learning is the new normal. So, it’s imperative that parents and children adjust as best they can. This is where our private online tutors in Calgary come in.
Tutors, especially nowadays, are invaluable resources. By working with students one-on-one, Prep Academy Tutors certified instructors provide the kind of English help in Calgary that the Calgary Board of Education is having an understandably hard time delivering.
At Prep Academy Tutors, our certified and experienced tutors work with students to ensure they receive an enriching education and learning experience that’s tailored to their unique needs and learning types, so that they can achieve success with online learning rather than falling behind.
The prospect of setting up your child with the right tutor can seem daunting. We work to pair your child with the tutor best suited to your child’s needs and learning type. Our certified English tutors are specialists in literacy who have the pedagogical knowledge to help kids overcome learning obstacles.
The right tutor will create a comfortable, low-pressure, one-on-one environment with your child that build’s your child’s literacy abilities and empowers your child to build confidence and accomplish academic goals.
Another option for your child is enrolling in a learning pod.
A learning pod is a small group of students, typically between three to five, who meet with a certified tutor anywhere from two to four hours, three to five times per week.
A learning pod is more social than working with one-on-one tutors, so auditory learners, who tend to learn best in groups small and large, might benefit more with learning pods than with one-on-one tutors.
Our learning pods are safe, controlled, and consistent environments. Prep Academy English tutors in Calgary offer online literacy learning pods that, like our one-on-one tutors, match your child’s needs as well as your educational preferences.
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in a literacy learning pod, the first step is to create your own pod (groups of three to five students). The next step is for students to opt into the “online learning” option through their current school boards. Our certified teachers will then work to supplement the local curriculum materials with further explanations and reviews, in addition to what’s being delivered by the online teacher.
If you want to ensure your children get the education they deserve during this difficult time, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today!
Why Tutoring is More Important than Ever for New York Students
The coronavirus pandemic has been interrupting American life for a full year now, and exhaustion with the restrictions set in long ago. But it isn’t just the restrictions and lockdowns that are so frustrating — it is also the constantly changes around what is allowed and what isn’t.
Education is a prime example of this, and the one that most parents of school-aged children are having the hardest time with: when New York City announced at the beginning of January that schools would once again be moving classes online, it didn’t take long for hashtags criticizing the decision to start circulating online.
While opinion remains divided as to how New York State should strike the right balance between public safety and the needs of students, parents, and teachers, it is clear that the coming semester will be a rocky one. Even outside of New York City proper, suburban counties like Westchester are locked in a delicate dance around school closures and re-openings based on COVID-19 outbreaks.
This is why it is all the more important for parents to start exploring alternative ways of making sure their children don’t fall behind in their schooling due to zoom fatigue or lack of stimulation. Currently, one of the biggest issues with the state of education in New York is that students are having a much harder time accessing the learning supports that play such a big role in helping those who are struggling in their classes.
Because after-school study groups and educational extracurriculars have been curtailed, kids who need a more hands-on approach in order to master difficult subjects have been left to fend for themselves — which is why certified online tutors can be such a big help.
If you want to make sure that the chaos of this school year doesn’t do long-term damage to your children’s education, here are some of the ways private tutors are helping New York families get through the pandemic, and some of the things you should look for in a private tutor.
Tutoring: An Essential Learning Supplement for New York Students
Over the past months, school closures in New York have been followed by New York school reopenings and the promise of a return to something like normalcy. With the latest round of school closures, many students are finding it exceptionally difficult to get back into the rhythm of distance learning.
This is in part because remote learning requires a greater degree of discipline from students, one that has been severely eroded by coronavirus fatigue. Tutoring doesn’t require the same degree of mental effort because the tutors work on a one-on-one basis, meeting students where they are emotionally and psychologically.
Unlike a teacher trying to engage a twenty-person class over zoom, a tutor can:
- Check in with a student about their wellbeing and the personal learning challenges they are facing
- Provide affirmation and coaching
- Discuss lessons and concepts in a back-and-forth way, so that the student can work through problems in their own words
- Help develop personalized learning strategies that build off students’ strengths and account for areas of weakness
- Act not as an authority figure but as a knowledgeable peer who empathizes with the student’s unique challenges and helps them work through course material in their own way and at their own pace
For most students, learning is most effective when it is a dialogical process. Exploring ideas, trying to find words to explain difficult concepts, having space to make mistakes — these things are all much easier when the student has a knowledgeable interlocutor to help them.
One of the reasons tutoring in Westchester NY can be such an important supplement to regular classes is that it puts the student and their needs at the center of the educational process, empowering them to focus on their unique challenges.
Find a Tutoring Service that Fits Your Life
The challenges of pandemic schooling have been aggravated by the fact that many parents don’t have the time to monitor their children’s schooling.
Working from home is already a stressful experience, and when you’re juggling your own zoom calls with cooking, housework, and shopping, you aren’t always able to check in to make sure your kids are paying attention to their lessons.
Finding a tutor who is flexible enough to work around your schedule and the schedules of your children is essential, which is why Prep Academy Tutors has expanded service options to help families get the educational support they need.
Before the pandemic began, our approach was built around offering home tutoring services that give children the freedom to learn in a safe and comfortable environment, and we continue to offer this service when and where it is appropriate to do so. In situations where safety measures make in-home tutoring impossible, out tutors offer personalized, in-depth lessons online.
We also provide our students with the option of learning pods so that children who prefer a more engaging and social learning environment can study alongside their friends and peers.
With pandemic life already a complicated balancing act between work, life maintenance, and self-care, we believe effective tutoring should not create added stress for students or parents, which is why our tutors do everything they can to tailor their approach to your scheduling needs.
Children and teenagers cannot afford to lose an entire year of their education to unengaging zoom lectures and experiments in remote learning that many experts believe are ineffective ways of delivering education outcomes.
For New York students to keep up during this difficult time, it is essential that they have hands-on help from tutors who can provide stimulating instruction, homework help, personalized feedback, and support that can actually empower them to keep learning.
Whether you’re looking for a private English tutor or the best math tutor Westchester NY has to offer, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors to learn more about the services we offer today.
5 Tips for Preparing Students for Online Tests
Test-taking has always been one of the most stressful parts of being a student. With so much at stake and only a limited amount of time to complete the task, it’s no wonder that tests are a significant cause of mental health problems for secondary and post-secondary students.
These anxieties have, in many cases, only been heightened with the shift to online schooling. After having put years into basic test-taking skills, many students have had to adapt on the fly to a completely new format, adding one more brick to the wall of social isolation and anxiety that large numbers of young people already feel trapped behind.
Unfortunately, with the pandemic still raging and vaccinations for the general population still months away, it is likely that students can expect to take most of this semester’s exams and tests in person — a matter of particular concern for those in their final year of studies, when scores will likely determine university or college admissions.
To help maximize the efficiency of your study time, here are five tips that can help students sharpen their online test-taking skills and approach their upcoming exams with a greater degree of confidence.
1. Understand the Difference Between Online and Paper Tests
Over the past year, students and teachers have been confronted with the fact that moving classes online isn’t as simple as it might sound. Things are possible in a classroom setting that just don’t work over zoom, and this is true of test-taking as well.
Different school boards have different approaches to monitoring and proctoring online tests, so at the beginning of the semester it is a good idea to find out exactly how online tests will be administered so you can get your child ready for online tutoring that is geared toward the new testing format.
2. Familiarize Yourself with the Guidelines
One of the most common pitfalls for students unfamiliar with online test-taking formats has less to do with the test itself and more to do with figuring out how to properly use the software and make sure their work is actually registered by the system.
While some progress has been made in communicating to students what steps they must take if they are to successfully complete an online test, students and teachers alike are still acclimatizing themselves to this very different approach to sitting a test or exam.
In order to reduce anxiety and improve confidence before an online exam, students should make sure they understand how the software works and what is expected of them so they can focus on studying the course material itself.
3. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
In some ways, of course, online tests are not significantly different from paper tests, and preparing for a unit test or exam should follow similar studying patterns.
One important aspect of this is identifying strengths and weaknesses so that you can get a private tutor in Calgary (if you live in Alberta) or an online tutor in Mississauga (if you live in the GTA) to help students master the parts of the curriculum they struggle with the most.
This goes beyond simply hiring the best English tutor in Toronto if a student is having a hard time with their English grades; it also means targeting the actual barriers to learning. For example, some students have an easy time understanding the concepts they are studying, but struggle to communicate them effectively in writing — understanding the significance of the play-within-a-play in Hamlet is not the same as being able to write a cogent five-paragraph essay about it.
A good English tutor can figure out what is holding a student back from achieving their full potential, and then teach them how to develop the concrete writing and critical thinking skills they need for long-term success.
4. Take Advantage of Test-Prep Resources
Education experts have long acknowledged that knowing how to take a test is just as important as understanding the material you are being tested on.
Test-taking is its own skill, and a student who knows the course material inside-out won’t necessarily get top marks if they aren’t also familiar with how tests work. This is especially true when students are switching to an online test, where it is easier to be distracted and lose track of time.
One of the best ways students can reap the benefits of online tutoring is by spending time on practice tests and then going over their results with a tutor who can identify where they went wrong and help them gain a better understanding of how the test works. This in turn will help them develop the distinct online test-taking skills they will need when exam season comes around.
5. Get Tutoring Help
Finally, one of the best things students struggling with particular subjects or topics can do is turn to online tutoring services for targeted support.
Tutors who have a strong knowledge of subjects like English, Math, or French and the pedagogical tools needed to help students overcome their learning obstacles can be a lifeline in the weeks leading up to an important exam.
Because tutors can provide personalized feedback, they make the studying process significantly more efficient, and can help students develop their online test-taking skills. Not only will this help them attain a firmer grasp on the material, it will also help them become confident enough to vanquish their exam anxiety.
Many education experts believe that the coronavirus pandemic will dramatically re-shape how schooling functions in the future, and it is likely that online testing is here to stay. This makes it all the more important to master essential online testing skills now, so students are prepared for a future in which taking exams on their laptop is the norm rather than the exception.
If you don’t want to make academic success a matter of trial and error, invest in professional test preparation training from Prep Academy Tutors today.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Prep Academy Tutors is Open for Business in Hamilton
We are excited to announce that Prep Academy Tutors is bringing its in-home and online tutoring services to Hamilton. Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton, led by franchisees Anna Southall-Millward and Colin Longworth, is now open for business with tutors available across Hamilton, Brantford, Ancaster and Stoney Creek.
It’s no secret that access to flexible, personalized and remote education is essential now more than ever before. We are enthusiastic about bringing our private tutoring services to Hamilton and are looking forward to bringing our unique approach to education to a new region.
Prep Academy Tutors’ philosophy is that every student can learn. Our Hamilton tutoring services are designed to provide students with the support they need to continue learning, growing and thriving in an academic setting.
Who We Are: Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton
Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton offers private tutoring, online tutoring, and small group tutoring across Hamilton, Brantford, Ancaster and Stoney Creek. We are committed to students’ academic success and put a unique spin on learning to explain things in a way your child will understand.
All of our educators are certified teachers who teach with the Ontario curriculum in mind. The tutors at Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton are here for your students at this time and are prepared to provide them with any support that they may need to succeed academically.
Meet the Owners: Anna Southall-Millward & Colin Longworth
Anna is a passionate educator with a diverse experiential background. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education from OISE at the University of Toronto. Her keen interest in travel and education led her to Beijing, China, where she taught at an international school for two years.
Anna’s commitment to individualized instruction and creative learning inspired her additional coursework in guidance and counselling. This area is one that she continues to invest in through volunteer and community work.
As a native of Hamilton, ON, Anna is now back in her hometown where she worked in international teacher and student recruitment for the last four years.
Having served as a tutor both locally and abroad, she strongly believes in the transformative power of supplemental one-on-one instruction. In her spare time, Anna can be found on the basketball court, out in nature, or curled up with a good book.
Colin is a professional engineer originally from Dublin, Ireland. He holds a master’s in engineering and a master’s in management from University College Dublin.
He has enjoyed coding and developing from a young age, which led him to join a large tech multinational after graduation. This work took him around the world to China, Mexico, the United States and more.
Since 2017, Colin has resided in Hamilton, ON, where he co-founded two start-ups in the tech eco-space. He believes in growing businesses at a grassroots and community level and contributes to the locality’s vibrant entrepreneurial scene. A firm believer in access to education for all, Colin is an accomplished online trainer with over 25,000 students joining him to learn virtually every year.
When not coding, Colin can be found on a run, exploring Hamilton’s trails or spinning a DJ mix.
The State of Education in Hamilton
The Hamilton School Board: According to Global News, the Hamilton School Board is currently asking parents to prepare for future closures. The tutors of Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton are prepared to support Hamilton’s students to help them transition and continue their educational journey at this time.
Remote, online, and self-guided learning has become essential. Our tutors strive to make the transition to online learning easier for students by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed online.
Projected Full Online Learning: According to the CBC, Hamilton school boards are currently making adjustments to their plans in the case of a full online learning scenario. In response to the current situation, we are offering in-person and online tutoring and learning pod services. Our learning pod services will allow your students to learn with others in a safe environment.
What We’re Doing: The Government’s new approach to education and student interaction is cautious, but it is also essential to be mindful of how these changes impact students’ mental health. In addition to curriculum-based tutoring, our tutors will also provide students with the tools and skills they need to ease feelings of stress and anxiety and approach education confidently.
Work with Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton
Contact the team at Prep Academy Tutors of Hamilton today to get connected with a private tutor in your area. We will match you with the tutor who will best suit your students’ unique needs, whether they are looking for skill-based or subject-based tutoring.
Our tutors work with students to understand how they learn best and personalize their educational approach to accommodate. You can rest easy knowing that our Hamilton tutors are available for conversations and progress updates so that you are always in the know about your child’s education.
Prep Academy Tutors can’t wait to take this educational journey with the students of Hamilton. Learn how you can get paired with a tutor today.
The Future of Homeschooling in The New Normal
The new normal for education is reduced class times, online learning, and small group learning. This has made learning pods, blended learning, and homeschooling increasingly prevalent and likely a long-term solution.
Now, students and parents have the task of choosing between in-class and at-home learning. As a result, more are opting to select homeschool or e-learning as their primary source of education for the foreseeable future.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we provide both small group and online tutoring services to help support students on their educational journey and help them maintain momentum.
As many opt for remote learning, they are making the necessary accommodations for their students to continue with this style of education for what may be the foreseeable future. As we see a general push towards this type of learning, it’s essential to consider how this shift can impact the future of education.
From an Alternative Solution to a Primary Education Source
For a long time, homeschooling was an alternative option for students who thrived in a more personalized setting. Now, as our new normal encourages more at-home learning, a higher volume of students and parents see the value of remote online education and homeschooling.
The reality is that current circumstances have changed the educational journey of nearly 1 billion children. Now is the opportunity for students and their parents to identify the best learning atmosphere.
Homeschooling has gone from an alternative educational route to a more mainstream option that is beneficial and safer and more feasible right now. As educational institutions continue to adapt as data changes, and the government and school boards announce updates, homeschooling is a consistent solution that can help keep students on track.
More Technology in the Classroom
Many have long been skeptical of the role of technology in the classroom, specifically cell phones. Now, however, schools and teachers see how students and parents can use technology to eliminate distractions and facilitate a more flexible, personalized learning experience for students.
The World Economic Forum projects that the changes teachers have made to accommodate more virtual, and remote learning will likely result in technology playing a more substantial role in education in years to come.
The shift to e-learning has been an adjustment and learning curve for teachers, but school closures and the summer break have allowed teachers to acclimatize to this teaching style. Time to plan and accommodate has helped teachers to facilitate online lesson plans and, as a result, see the benefits that this style of learning presents.
Schools around the world are making adjustments to integrate technology into education better. For example, while the UK is facilitating at-home gym class through Joe Wicks, Japan is offering free online courses, and France has established a “Ma classe à la maison” (my classroom at home), which students can access on a laptop or smartphone.
The Importance of Access to Technology
As the education system continues to recognize the importance of online learning and the ability to provide this alternative style of education, it also understands how important it is for students to have access to technology.
Inclusive education has become a hot topic as more and more are addressing how some students reap the benefits of having access to necessary technology while other students may not.
Peter Joshua, the Peel District School Board’s director of education, told CTV News that the board has been focusing on providing online resources and activities that require kids to have access to technology. He said that the board has about 157, 000 students and received over 20,000 requests for computers.
Governments and school boards are looking to address this disparity by providing students with the necessary technology like computers to facilitate their online learning. Additionally, companies with resources are also contributing assets to help facilitate this more inclusive learning.
For example, Ontario is distributing free iPads to kids who cannot access the province’s online learning tools, and Mississauga-based company Venture X donated 1,000 Chromebooks to the Peel District School Board for students who required access to technology.
We are in Mississauga. Donated 1000 laptops. Our campaign needs support we need 9000 more for kids that can’t afford it. Please help us get the word out! https://t.co/KGcKoCC7Jt https://t.co/sHsXKHVzjY
— Venture X Canada (@venturexcanada) April 13, 2020
A Consistent, Long-Term Solution
Regulations are changing both within and outside education, and it’s hard to know what state the world will be in in the next few months. As a result, parents are looking for a solution that provides consistency and flexibility for their child’s education.
Taking kids in and out of school can be detrimental to their mental health, and maintaining homeschooling measures is a consistent solution for the time being for parents who are sceptical about sending their kids back to school. With the possibility of future school closures and changes in numbers, this is a way to help students maintain a set schedule and a safe learning atmosphere.
The Importance of Personalized Support
With online learning and homeschooling becoming a new normal for a vast majority of students, students and parents alike are both adjusting to a new routine.
Prep Academy Tutors is providing online tutoring and small group tutoring to help facilitate support at this time when students may be struggling to adjust to remote learning and maintain academic confidence.
Our tutors are certified teachers and subject matter experts who provide curriculum-based education to help support your child in their educational journey and help them reach academic success and confidence.
Now is a confusing time for many students. Our experienced tutors can provide a personalized approach to education to help support them by acting as a “smart friend” who can explain things in a way that they can understand. Contact us to get paired with a tutor today.
What You Need to Know About the State of Education in New York
As a result of COVID-19, school boards in New York (and around the world) are currently considering the best ways to facilitate education come September — while also abiding by social distancing regulations.
Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester will continue to provide remote private tutoring services in New York to help students pursue their educational journey. At this time, when the state of education is continually changing, our tutors are prepared to provide compassionate and flexible personalized education.
Recently, CNN reported on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to reopen schools for at least some in-person instruction in September.
Following this announcement, Governor Andrew Cuomo released new information about the guidelines that will be put in place to maintain safety if and when schools reopen in the upcoming year. He also made sure to acknowledge that, given the circumstances, this Decision could change.
The state of education in New York during the pandemic is continuously changing, and it has yet to be confirmed whether or not schools will open in September. Here’s what we know so far:
The Framework of Guidelines for Reopening
On Monday, July 13th, The State Education Department presented a framework to the Board of Regent outlining guidelines for the safe reopening of schools.
This framework was a significant but necessary undertaking created after four virtual Regional School Reopening Task Force meetings and a student forum. According to CNYC Central, the state said that the framework was created after receiving the feedback of over 1,650 parents, students, teachers, administrators, school board members, and stakeholders.
Betty A. Rosa, the Board of Regents Chancellor, shared with NBC New York that the framework was created “to plan for the upcoming school year under three different scenarios that aim to keep our children, educators and school personnel safe and encourage equitable access to high-quality services for all students.”
If Schools Open: The Guidelines
The framework presented on July 13th outlines specific guidelines teachers, students, and other staff members will need to abide by if schools reopen in September.
Regular Health Checks: We support parents and families who work from home and the growing community of families moving from Manhattan to Westchester. We work to help bridge the gap between school curricula.
Social Distancing:: Schools will be able to re-evaluate how they use their space to help students and teachers maintain social distancing practices.
Ventilation: Schools will need to consult with professionals to ensure that their ventilation and filtration meets or exceeds requirements.
Hygiene: Both students and staff will be required to maintain proper hygiene practices that align with CDC and DOH guidelines, including handwashing, wearing masks, and disinfection.
School Bus Disinfection Measures: All districts will need to maintain safety processes for the 150,000 NYC families who rely on bus transportation to get children to school. This includes both disinfection and social distancing practices. Students and staff will be required to wear masks and social distance when they are at bus stops, on busses, and when exiting busses.
Communication: We prioritize communication between tutors and families.
The Current Numbers
Currently, New York has a low and stable number of people testing positive for the virus. However, because numbers of cases in other states like Florida are of concern, schools will only be reopened if they are safe.
How Safety Will be Determined
There is a formula that the state will use to identify if and when schools are safe for reopening. Schools will only reopen in regions that are in Phase IV and maintain a daily infection rate of 5 percent. These metrics are believed to be a good signifier that the virus is under control.
When the Decision will be Made
The decision of whether or not schools will reopen in the new school year will be made the first week of August. If there is a rise in numbers between the time of the decision and the first day of school, and the regional rate surpasses 9%, schools will close immediately.
Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester & the New Normal
Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester offers private tutoring in Manhattan and across Westchester County, including Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Eastchester, Pelham, Scarsdale, White Plains, Larchmont, Rye, and the river towns.
Tools for Learning: Our tutors will prepare students for the possibility of blended learning in September. The combination of in-school and remote education will be an adjustment for all students, parents, and teachers. We provide students with the tools and support they need to maintain steady study habits and fill gaps in their knowledge. classroom.
Curriculum-Based Learning: We provide curriculum-based tutoring to help students gain and maintain academic confidence both inside and outside the classroom.
Flexible Learning: At this time, when the state of education is up in the air, it is essential to provide your child with the tools they need to learn flexibly. We provide our tutoring services based on your schedule to facilitate flexible education and provide students with consistent knowledge to help them maintain good learning habits.
Remote Learning: We offer online tutoring and other remote tutoring solutions to help your child reach academic success and approach learning in place with confidence and excitement. Our tutors act as a smart friend who can relate to your child and explain things in a way that they understand.
Personalized Learning: We focus on providing a personalized education that caters to your child’s specific needs, preferences, and learning style. The reopening of schools will be a time of transition, and we are prepared to provide your child with any additional support they may need to make this transition easier.
Contact Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester today to get paired with a tutor near you. We provide your child with the resources they need to facilitate a more seamless transition into what may be a year of blended schooling. Our tutors will keep you updated on changes in education as decision-makers release official announcements.
What Families Need to Know About School Reopening in New York State
On Monday July 13, Governor Cuomo released guidance for school districts to reopen K-12 facilities in New York State. Based on these guidelines, your school must submit a reopening plan to the state by July 31. Schools will be allowed to reopen if their region has entered Phase Four and if the daily infection rate in that region (averaged over a two-week period) does not exceed 5%.
What your school will be required to provide in the fall:
- A mix of in-person and virtual learning
- Social distancing and 50% capacity of any space
- Increase distancing to twelve feet during activities like singing, playing band instruments and gym class
- Utilize face coverings and provide them to students without masks
- Post health instruction signage throughout school
- Limit the use of shared objects like workstations or tool
- Provide sanitizing stations & training on proper hand & respiratory hygiene
- Frequently clean and disinfect shared areas
- Hold mandatory health screenings including temperature checks of students, staff, contractors & visitors
- Immediately send home any student or staff member who becomes symptomatic
- Notify state and local health departments of any positive test results
- Have plans to assist in contact tracing
- Expand social distancing, disinfecting and face-covering protocols to school buses
Schools are also encouraged to:
- Expand their physical footprint if necessary
- Stagger arrival/departure times and altered schedules
- Build “cohorts,” or small groups of students who learn together to minimize cross contamination
- Use “one-way” traffic lanes in hallways