About Boyo  > Tutoring Characteristics
Tutoring Characteristics

I. Individualized instruction
II. Continuous tracking and quality control
III. Emphasis on incentives
IV. Improvement of materials
V. Emphasis on extensive reading and comprehension
VI. Valuing humanities
VII. Training ethnic minority parents to become English tutors


I. Individualized instruction

For a child who lags academically, we should not teach simply for the sake of the student catching up. On the contrary, we should help him or her acquire a solid learning foundation. For example, some students enter junior high school without knowing the 26 letters of the English alphabet, yet are expected to read the first lesson in their school textbook, which includes 20-30 new words. Our English tutoring helps give students the foundation they need to make such transitions, and also to develop tools they will be able to use to succeed in the future.

Each child entering Boyo takes English and Math placement tests to determine his or her level, providing our tutors a starting point for their instruction.

In order to give each child adequate guidance, we keep class size to 6-8 students. Small classes allow our tutors to carefully track the progress of each student.

Boyo classroom


II. Continuous tracking and quality control

Once a child enters our tutoring program, we keep detailed records of his or her progress. If the student continues to have trouble learning, social workers and teaching instructors will discuss identified issues with the tutor to determine what kind of assistance the child needs and how to adjust the teaching approach.

We understand that we must pay close attention to quality control in our tutoring system. Only by doing so will we know what progress our students are making and how to increase the effectiveness of our program.


III. Emphasis on incentives

A child who learns too slowly must receive encouragement. As soon as he or she makes progress, we should applaud him or her to increase confidence. In Boyo classes, if a child memorizes 40 new English words or can calculate a first degree polynomial with one variable, he or she will receive a certificate signed by our chairman, Dr. R.C.T. Lee.


On average, we present 389 certificates every month, and each child receives about three certificates per year.


IV. Improvement of materials

To help slower learners and children who are lack of self-confident, we developed easy to learn English and math materials. Those materials have clear interpretation of every concept and provide amount of exercises which enable students to learn readily.

Below is a description of the Boyo developed English textbooks for our students.
1. Boyo English curriculum are focused on grammar and reading.
2. Use of computer-assisted learning English - students can practice using computer translation and reading passages.
3. We currently developed two English-learning websites and are available to the public. One(http://alg.csie.ncnu.edu.tw/engtest/) is translation practice website in which one can practice spelling, English to Chinese, Chinese to English translation, fill-in-the-blanks exercise and errors correction. The other(http://mlab.cs.pu.edu.tw/boyo/) is an ESL reading website which contains 7 levels of short articles developed according to students’ progress. Each article comes with a sound track which a foreign teacher reads at a slower pace. This helps students hear each word clearly. Students can practice their listening and speaking skills by hearing article repeatedly and reading articles out. Those structured short articles can facilitate students’ reading comprehension and review the grammar they have learned. There are many kinds of exercises after reading.

In Boyo English class, students practice their oral skills and vocabulary while conducting conversations in English, in this way students become familiarized the new words they just learned.

Daily dialogue is edited to about 500 English questions that teachers can ask students during class. Among these questions, the easiest question is that “Are you a boy?” The harder question is that “Why do you live in Taiwan?”

Supplementary vocabulary is edited to 1,200 words and 2,400 sentences according to nine-year curriculum standards. Take a word for example, safe goes with two sentences. One is that “It is not safe to swim in the sea.” The other is that “You had better go with me because it is safer.” After practicing sentences, students write down each word they have learned to memorize vocabulary.

The core curriculum of math study is four arithmetic operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The teaching concepts in math’ remedial program of Boyo also highlight four arithmetic operations. In our organization, the self-designed-math materials are presented in a plain and easily understandable approach and in logical ordered sequence of frame, helping low-achieving students meet minimum standards effectively, and it allows them to practice on their own path and stay focus.

The features of self-designed-math materials:
(1). The material contains a lot of examples and exercise problems designed by programmed instruction (each step starts out easy and gets a little harder as students learn).
(2). Explaining the details in each part.

1. Revised math materials for 7 to 9 graders
The contents of current math textbooks for 7-9 graders are so simple for most students. They need a cram school, reference books, or assistants of parents and a tutor. For socio-economic disadvantaged students, it is difficult to acquire these assistants. Therefore, four arithmetic operations, algebra and geometry are regard as the core subjects for revision. In those subject matters, there are clear concepts of exposition and a large number of exercises in each subject.

Following this way, it guides students to practice solidly in a proper order and establish their core competence. For instance, LINEAR EQUATIONSA IN ONE VARIABL is divided into ten grades as the following table.

2. Updating materials of the four fundamental operations of arithmetic for elementary school
In order to enable elementary school (Grade 1st through 6th) students having the ability in fundamental operations of arithmetic which affords a smooth continuant on to secondary school learning, our materials emphasize on integer, fraction, decimal, etc as curriculum structure. The self-designed-math materials for elementary school reveals explanation of continuous and integration according to the basic concept of math, and is quite clear with procedure for solving problems. The model of instruction lets the students develop problem solving and critical thinking skill.

Example (After multiplication and division before addition and subtraction)
The price of a notebook and a pencil are 18 and 25 dollars, respectively. How much is the price if John would like to buy 5 notebooks and one pencil?

The explanation of concept
First you should calculate how much the price of 5 notebooks is.
18 × 5 =90
Then, adding up the price of one pencil and you will get the total.
90 + 25=115
List the math equation.
18 × 5 +25
Answer: John totally spent 115 dollars.


V. Emphasis on extensive reading and comprehension

Children whose schoolwork is below average often suffer from poor reading comprehension. They may have difficulty comprehending the descriptive sections of math questions. In science and social studies, they may miss the key point of texts. They may need twice the effort to get half the results, trapping them in a downward academic spiral. A primary reason for poor comprehension is a lack of extensive reading. Non-scholastic reading is not part of their daily lives.

Boyo programs include “Extensive Reading” activities. We encourage each child to read at least ten classics before graduating from elementary school. We also provide international news stories and editorials for children in higher grades, as well as weekly access to an international newspaper website (http://alg.csie.ncnu.edu.tw/enews/allnews.php). We hope that these resources will stimulate children to broaden their horizons and cultivate diverse cultural views. All reading materials have attached worksheets created by our instructors, to help students absorb and process the information they encounter, as in the following example:


VI. Valuing humanities

Because we believe that children should be exposed to global culture and viewpoints, we provide a film appreciation activity every Saturday. Movies shown include musicals such as Fantasia and Rhapsody, detective movies like Murder on the Orient Express and Rear Window, and classics like Roman Holiday and Gone with the Wind.

In an ideal world, all children would have the chance to see films such as Roman Holiday and Fantasia—though this is sadly not the case, we’re proud to be able to present such cultural riches to the disadvantaged children in our care. Far from being pure entertainment, we also create worksheets about the movies, such as the following:


VII. Training ethnic minority parents to become English tutors

In larger towns like Puli and Shalu, many college students work as tutors for Boyo. However, in remote areas like Shinyi and Wufeng, qualified tutors and modern facilities are lacking. Education for local children depends solely on parental volunteers, who are usually only able to teach mathematics, and not English. In such areas, we train parents to teach, and offer an incentive-based hourly payment, along with a wage increase for every level they pass.

These programs are not easy to oversee due to the difficulty of transportation to remote areas and the impossibility of gathering all parent volunteers for training seminars. However, we do send professional tutors into ethnic minority areas on a weekly basis to teach English. Although this method is costly, it is the most effective means that we have found. At present, Boyo is the only organization in the nation that provides such training and counseling to parents.

These efforts are geared towards long-term educational development in remote communities, and we have steadily increased the number of parents being trained. One hundred parents have already passed the 1st level of training, and three have mastered the 4th level. These programs have significant benefit for the children in these regions—as local tutors gain more knowledge, they pass it to their pupils.


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