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Tackling The Needs of an English Learner

June 10, 2017


The RULE of 3 helped the English language learner that I tutored because it gave her a chance to master all aspects of the English language. The RULE of 3 or the RAP, stands for REHEARSE, ANALYZE, and PRODUCE. Every day that I tutored at Seneca Elementary School, I used the RAP to teach English to an Arabic student named Masooda. We first rehearsed (REHEARSE) the word and used pictures to define each word’s meaning. Then we analyzed (ANALYZE) the letters and sound spelling patterns in the words. Finally, when the word was understood, I asked Moosada to produce (PRODUCE) a picture or a sentence using the word.


The RULE of 3 helped me as a tutor because it gave me a structure to use for teaching  English to an English learner. There was a language barrier and at times it was a bit hard to get what I was trying to teach across. Yet, the RAP structure allowed Masooda and I to be on the same page, and really master critical grade-level vocabulary words. The RAP  format aids learning and understanding of a new subject. I now use this method for my own collegiate studying.


Masooda is a fifth-grade student at Seneca Elementary student. She came to the school  late in the year. She speaks mostly Arabic and can only understand a bit of English. When I started working with her, I discovered another Project Moving Forward intern was also working with her on another day of the week. Having two tutors allowed Moosada to receive daily instruction. This enabled English to improve quickly.


Motivation is key for learning, and when motivation is not there, it is up to us as tutors and teachers to motivate our students. Masooda did not need to be motivated. She was very motivated to learn. When I picked her up from her classroom, her face lit up as she ran to the door. When I told her what we would be doing for the hour or thirty minutes that I saw her, she would just have this huge smile. So, when it came time for getting into the material, although it could be repetitive she was excited about every new word and writing activity given to her. In the last two months her English has improved greatly. I can also tell that she has been practicing at home!


I continued to motivate Moosada. I reaffirmed that she was doing an amazing job. When she was stuck, I would say, “I know it is hard, but we can do it!” When the assignments would get a bit tough, I knew she needed a break.  Then we would just sit and have a conversation. I believe, conversations are the best way to learn a language. We would talk about our favorite animals, about things to do on the playground, and about sports. When she was able to understand what I was asking and could respond back her face was full of excitement.


I believe I increased Masooda’s ability to succeed in school by using the RAP to give her  a foundation in  the English language. I also let her know that anything is possible when she put her mind to it! Both the motivation and the RAP materials really allowed Moosada to push further and move forward in improving her English.

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