It is perhaps easy enough to understand why there is ever-increasing demand for math, chemistry and physics home tutorials almost anywhere in the globe and in various levels of education. Math, chemistry and physics afterall are very abstract subjects and all too often, students find a hard time appreciating their practical application. Much less their value. Interestingly, basic concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are also basic everyday human activities. Yet students often hate numbers.
One possible explanation to this is an age-old critique that formal school education is isolated from real-world affairs. In other words, they tend to complicate otherwise simple activities and put in theories, concepts that are not at all important in actual practice. Most often too, classroom instructions are very rigid and standardized and many students are alienated, if not discriminated by these policies and practices because that do not match actual learning behaviour in daily life.
In a way, hoe tutoring helps augment these
Home tutoring across Subject Areas
Home tutoring is also popularly known as home tuition services in Singapore. And the practice seem to be effective by itself which means it is useful across various domains of learning and subject areas or topics. In other words, it is successful as a teaching pedagogy or approach by itself regardless of subject matter. And the fact that there is increasing demand for home tuition services not just in mathematics, chemistry and physics but also in humanities and social sciences like history attests to the broad effectiveness of home-based education.
In Singapore, humanities tuition sessions cover traditional areas of language, literature, arts and theatre. These tuition services, unlike those in mathematical and natural sciences that focus on developing skills and competencies, often focus on developing appreciation and is anchored on the principle of education to develop a holistic learner, that is, students who are not just intellectually competent but also socially and culturally breed. As such, humanities tuition in Singapore covers a range of universally appealing topics in language, literature, arts and theatre.
Home Tutoring Pedagogy
Despite what are seemingly ‘easy’ subjects, the growing appeal of humanities tuition in Singapore seem to draw from the fact that home tutoring is generally ‘individualized’. Aside from learning right in the safety, familiarity and comfort of home, home tutorials are often individualized which means the pace, exercise and activities are attuned to the individual needs, interests and capacity of the learner. Compared to standardized methods in group instruction such as those in classrooms, individualized learning allow students to find their ‘comfort zones’ and discover their own intelligence across a range of expression not just pen-and-paper exams in conventional education.
Humanities tuition also fosters better relationship between teacher and learner which is often difficult to do in large group settings. Such relationship allows levels of confidence and openness that are difficult to establish in large audiences and therefore significantly lacking in formal classroom environments.
And finally, home tutoring also regulates the ‘fear’ of error and humiliation that often comes in classrooms when students make mistakes or commit errors in public. For instance, studies have shown that embarrassing experiences in public speaking have tended to discourage interest in grammar and English or that seeing too many comments and corrections in formal theme classes tends to reduce confidence and completely dissuade students from formal writing. This rarely happens in one-on-one sessions and instead, learners develop better sense of self-esteem.
Learning languages is such a great experience—regardless of your age. However, there have been studies that showed that learning a second or foreign language as a kid is very much different when you try to acquire a new language in our adulthood. “It’s the classic ‘old dog, new tricks’ excuse. Many adult learners, in fits of frustration, will claim that adults are simply poor at languages. They say children have more porous minds, better memories, and more adaptability. I’m sorry to report, it’s a myth. Linguistic researchers have found that, under controlled conditions, adults can be better at language learning. So why does it seem that children have an easier time with picking up foreign tongues? Adults have pre-existing language knowledge. While children are still learning the mechanics of their own first language, adults have a more developed understanding of how language works. Adults already know the more advanced elements of grammar, such as how conjugation works, or what an adverb does. They already know how to build a sentence, and have a good sense of punctuation and spelling. In children, those skills are still developing,” wrote Anne Merritt in the article Are children really better at foreign language learning? for telegraph.co.uk.
Miss Kyle, a teacher in one of the best Chinese tuition centre in Singapore, shared her observations, being a language teacher for both adults and children, “I noticed that adult learners of second or foreign language may be more receptive, probably because they already have a loaded mind with other languages. There appears some interlanguage problems because of the existing language they speak. But when it comes to recognizing patterns, syntax, and basically grammar, adult learners of course do have the advantage for obvious reasons. Children on the other hand are like sponges who will take in everything you teach them. It is also easy to teach intonation and correct accents with children as they imitate the sounds that the teacher makes.” Teacher Kyle says mandarin lessons for kids has always been her favourite.
According to the article Top 5 Reasons Your Child Will Benefit from Learning a Foreign Language of the site frontiersacademy.org, there are several cognitive benefits from learning a new language:
Mitch, who enrolled her daughter Martina in Mandarin classes for children, saw the improvement of her child who used to be less sociable,
“When Martina was younger, she would often just nod at anything we ask her. She was too shy to speak. And her vocabs wasn’t that wide yet as compared to how many words she knows now in two languages. But she was a good listener. She easily understood requests. I decided to enroll her to a Mandarin class as her father is a Chinese businessman who often travels, while I speak English fluently. By learning a second language, I noticed Martina started opening up to other kids who speak Chinese too in her formal school because she can now easily express herself. She now has more friends, and that makes me feel more secure as a doting mother.”
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