Olga Krambs, tutor since 2015
Olga Krambs has been a licensed and certified speech pathologist for over 30 years and has retired twice. She says that the work she does now as a tutor is very different from what she did professionally, and now loves the new focus.
Olga first heard about the EIA program from her Spanish teacher who had visited some of the casual Friday English Conversation lunch tables at the UCSD International Center and heard about the EIA program.
Since starting as a tutor in the EIA program, Olga has worked with tutees from several countries --- China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia. She said, that in sessions with each of the tutees, she had been "especially pleased by the gentleness, mutual respect, curiosity, trust, and openness", as they talked, worked together, and became acquainted.
Olga said that we talk about and then work on different things as they come up. For example, she commented that “When I first met my first tutee, I could understand very little of what she said. She seemed to know a lot of English vocabulary and grammar but had difficulty regarding pronunciation. We started by talking about her work and her goals. As we talked, we worked on a few sounds which were confusing for the tutee, and, very quickly after that, we started working on syllables as a foundation for pronunciation. Eight months later, we know each other a lot better, and I understand probably 90% of what she says, and we have had a great time together!”
One of the other tutees is from South Korea, taking English classes to become certified as an English teacher, and is a spouse to a visiting professor. When Olga was told that this new tutee needed a tutor she immediately said 'Yes!'" Olga commented that: “When we’re not working on one of her TEFL assignments or laughing about differences in life here and in So. Korea for her family, we’re talking about how and what to teach young Korean students who are starting to learn English.”
With all the tutees, there are always interesting questions and funny stories about quirky American expressions and idioms. And "Google has been a big help… with everything from pronunciation to idioms!"
To people considering becoming a tutor, Olga comments: “No matter what the focus is in your sessions, you will be assisting someone in a personal area of their life. You will figure out what to work on, as well as how to work, and what to do… together! If you are thinking that you might like tutoring, you should definitely try it! You’ll most likely love it!”