We spoke with Elodie Herelle, TriBeCA Language’s director. She shared great insights about their work, teaching approach and student success.
Can you introduce Tribeca Language?
TriBeCa Language is a 13-year-old language center that offers lessons in 26 languages, including Ancient Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Besides private and group lessons, we also offer tutoring lessons and homeschooling, online and in person. We strive to empower our students through languages and prove that fun and result-driven language learning is for everyone, independently of their age and learning goals.
Our talented native instructors are a pillar of TriBeCa Language. They are not only highly qualified in the language they are tutoring, but they also bring the love of language teaching to the table and offer a priceless language immersion to our students. Building a long-lasting relationship with our teachers and our students and their families, based on mutual trust and appreciation, is an important distinction that makes our school special.
What is your tutor selection and training process?
All instructors that join our TriBeCa Language family are graduated with at least a bachelor's degree, and they come with rich and diverse backgrounds and teaching styles. Being an expert in teaching their native language and having teaching experience is important, but it is not everything. We choose instructors who are also great pedagogues, passionate and enthusiastic, and who always strive to improve and adapt their teaching techniques and knowledge. After joining our team, all instructors undergo training focusing on the principles of intuitive and communication-based language learning. Our instructors are expected to be the embodiment of our core principles, notably engagement, professionalism, creativity, and personalization.
How did you adapt to pandemic-related challenges?
We had to adapt to the new reality as quickly as possible. Changing to sole online classes was something new for 98% of our students. We had to quickly use technology to our advantage by developing innovative and interesting content, materials and techniques for the online lessons. And it worked out very well for us. Our instructors demonstrated their creativity and flexibility. We were swiftly able to reach new students across the USA and enhance our team with teachers from different states and regions. Initial skepticism towards virtual learning and teaching disappeared very quickly. Some parents, students and teachers find a lot of virtues in online tutoring and prefer it to in-person instruction.
How do you ensure that students are getting the same level of support and practice from the online classes compared to in-person classes?
Since we switched to online teaching, our instructors have been going the extra mile to ensure that our students feel comfortable and connect with them in the same way over the screen as they would in person. Interactive online activities and exercises are very effective, versatile, and entertaining for our students. Academic advising also became very important, as it allows us to understand the needs of each student and give them the best possible recommendations regarding lesson selection, academic goals, ways to practice and improve their language skills, etc. We’re pleased to say that we have been very successful, and parents are delighted with our approach.
How do you help your students with pre-exam anxiety?
Our instructors are great pedagogues who know the importance of an individual approach to every student. They learn about student's learning weaknesses, but also their fears and goals, to give them the best possible advice and optimal preparation. Giving students additional exercises and tips on how to deal with time pressure or unexpected questions and obstacles during an exam is just one of the ways.
Do you include parents in the learning process of the students?
We do include parents in the learning process and acknowledge their role and importance in it. After each session, we send parents a detailed report of the lesson, including the content of the lesson, extra practice exercises as well as an assessment of the student’s progress and his/her strength and weaknesses regarding a particular topic. We also advise them on how to move forward to get the best possible results. Follow-ups with the parents are very important to us, as they allow us to improve and adapt our lessons to the student's needs, and build priceless trust and connection with both the student and the parent.
Do you support students based on their school curriculum?
Yes, absolutely. Coordinating with school teachers and basing lessons on the school curriculum allows us to ensure catered lessons, appropriate for each student`s level and learning goals. But we do not stop there. We strive not only to help students to pass exams and get by in the class, but also to outdo their expectations, stand out with their knowledge level, and improve their fluency in the targeted language.
What are the five words that best describe TriBeCa Language?
Engagement – Because teaching and successfully transmitting knowledge by keeping learners excited in our mission.
Passion – Because we are driven to share the gift of languages with our students.
Creativity – Because learning a language should be an enjoyable and positive experience.
Personalization – Because we realize that language learning is not «one size fits all».
Language immersion – Because languages are our priceless gateways to other cultures and worlds.
What lies ahead for TriBeCa Language?
Thanks to the dedication of our teachers and associates, as well as our students, the future for TriBeCa Language looks pretty positive. We plan on adding additional languages to our programs and expanding our family with new teaching talents. Our plan is also to combine new and interesting activities and programs with our language lessons, to offer even more versatility to our students. Finally, as NYC and the US are reopening, we are developing language tutoring programs that will be offered in schools and community-based associations.
We're also offering joint packages with A-List Education; learn more about them here!
Visit tribecalanguage.com for more information about TriBeCa Language, its language classes and language tutoring programs, and contact us for more information about test prep and academic subject tutoring.