2017 Year in Review

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, CEO

It has been a joyous 2017. All 4 One Tutoring continues to make strides. In last year’s review, I stated that we have put some things in place to diversify and expand our company and services, and we began to reap the fruits of those seeds.

Contracts/Partnerships

In March of 2017, we secured a contract with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). We are very elated to have this contract. Recently, we have submitted a proposal to secure another contract with MSDE. We are executing our current contract so well that we are optimistic that we will keep securing contracts.

In June of 2017, we obtained a business-to-business (B2B) partnership with SD Solutions. They help support us with e-learning. We look forward to a lengthy partnership.

Once again, we were able to hire tutors and instructors for our local face-to-face tutoring and our after-school program at the Empowerment Academy . This month, we have once again started the process of hiring an administrative assistant/marketing intern . We are looking forward to bringing more staff on-board the first 3 months of 2018.

Office Home

Last year (it was mentioned in our 2016 year in review), we closed one of our offices due to space and location. We are still looking for a larger center/office to call home. Over the past few months, we have been looking at buildings. We still have office space at The Empowerment Academy.

Afterschool Program

Our after-school program, at the Empowerment Academy , continues to get praises by administrators, community leaders, and parents. Even though we have lost a few of our loyal families and students for the 2017-2018 school year due to graduating and/or transfers, we continue with our project-driven instruction, STEM projects, and arts.

Workshops/Seminars

On the behalf of All 4 One Tutoring and All 4 One Learning Solutions, I was able to participate in a 3-day research seminar at Georgia State University via the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and Educational Testing Service (ETS). I was amongst some leaders in research. We came together to not only familiarize ourselves with the Program the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and its databases but to be on the path to help solve problems or close gaps in cognitive and workplace skills needed for successful participation in 21st-century society and the global economy. Since I am an employer, I wanted to use the database to acquire knowledge and begin research on average literacy skills of adults within two age groups. Hopefully this research becomes into fruition in 2018.

Mayor’s Office

I was elated and honored for All 4 One Tutoring to be approached by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office to participate in a well overdue employment event entitled Work Baltimore. This month long event was initiated to serve the City of Baltimore’s citizens and stimulate the City’s economic growth. Unfortunately, due to previous commitments, we were unable to participate in the seminars and workshops. However, we are very grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully, we will get another opportunity in the future.

First On-Demand Course

All 4 One Tutoring debuted its first on-demand Spanish I course in July. The course uses vocabulary and language structure through a series of activities designed for realistic communication. You achieve listening, reading, speaking, and writing language skills. You will develop an understanding of the Spanish language and culture.

Doing Business As (DBA)

In the last quarter of this year, we acquired a trade name (All 4 One Learning Solutions) with Maryland’s Department of Assessments and Taxation. All 4 One Learning Solutions has a different focus and operation than All 4 One Tutoring. The focus is solving problems with innovation. We look forward to what this new venture will bring in the future.

Accounting

For the fifth year in a row, All 4 One Tutoring‘s income and net profit has increased. We just celebrated our sixth year in operation in October. Our income has increased 30% this year from 2016 (a slight decrease from 2015’s report), and our net profit has increased 26% (a slight decrease from 2015’s report). What we have planned for 2018, we hope to keep this trend ascending.

What’s Next

Being the owner of such a blossoming, rewarding, and empowering organization is such an honor. We are proof that when we work together to achieve a shared goal, we can expand quality services so that everyone can be autonomous in positive social change. What we have planned for 2018 is:

  • to expand to the state of Georgia.
  • to develop more on-demand courses.
  • to begin a company book project.
  • to develop more partnerships.
  • to find our office home.

Special Thanks

I would like to give a special thank you to those who have contributed blog posts this year. Laura Pearson has been a huge help with contributing wonderful informative and innovative content. We will continue to open our doors for guest bloggers in 2018.

See you prosper in 2018!!

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Black History Month- A World Without Black People 

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by intern

Black History Month is a month to celebrate black culture and contributions. We’d would like to share a story that’s been floating around the Internet for quite some time. 

The is a story of a little boy name Theo, who woke up one morning and asked his mother, “Mom, what if there were no Black people in the world?” Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, “Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world.” Mom said, “Now go get dressed, and we will get started.”

Theo ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said, “Theo, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them.” However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.

You see Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine.

“Oh well,” she said, “please go and do something to your hair.” Theo ran in his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there. You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Theo decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone. You see Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush.

Well, this was a sight: no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mom’s hair, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. Walker, well, you get the picture.

Mom told Theo, “Let’s do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store.” Theo’s job was to sweep the floor. He swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there. You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan.

So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone. You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop. Theo yelled to his Mom, “Mom, I’m not having any luck.”

“Well, son,” she said, “Let me finish washing these clothes, and we will prepare a list for the grocery store.” When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there. You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Theo to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So, Theo ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.

As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press. Theo and his mother decided just to head out to the market.

Well, when Theo opened the door, he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall. You see, John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower. They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go. You see, Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines. They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals. You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries, and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs, and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone. You see John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator. So, they just left the food on the counter.

By this time, Theo noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, and what do you know? Alice Parker, a black female, invented the heating furnace. Even in the summertime, they would have been out of luck because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

It was almost time for Theo’s father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus, but there was no bus, because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

He usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator.

He also usually dropped off the office mail at a near by mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox, and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked, “Why are you sitting in the dark?” Why? Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Theo quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood. Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery? This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery.

So, if you ever wonder, like Theo, where would we be without black people? Well, it’s pretty plain to see. We would still be in the DARK!

  

Technology Provides Foreign-Language Immersion at a Distance

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In an Internet-era version of pen pals, some foreign-language professors at American colleges are using free or low-cost technology to match their students with partners in classes in other countries and to provide authentic language-­immersion experiences.

Teletandem, or telecollaboration, as the practice is known, uses video­conferencing—whether Skype, Google Hangouts, or Adobe Connect—to complement both in-person and online language courses. For example, students in a Spanish class here are paired with students in an English course abroad. To minimize intimidation, professors try to pair students of the same proficiency level. The idea is a simple one—I teach you my language, you teach me yours.

“It gave our students a sense of purpose, not only a sense of need—they were there to also help,” says Anton T. Brinckwirth, director of the World Studies Media Center here at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his Spanish courses, he has used teletandem since 2010.

At the beginning of a 50-minute introductory-Spanish class, for example, VCU students are instructed which language to use in the first half of a conversation and which in the second. Some prepare notes with topics and vocabulary, while others just start talking.

“I like Skittles. Do you know what Skittles are?” can be heard at one end of the room. “I have a dog. Sabes que es un dog?”—Do you know what a dog is?, asks another student, mixing the languages.

Students rely on notes, hand gestures, and facial expressions, and occasionally they share pictures to communicate words or phrases they don’t know.

When Lizzett D. Uria, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth, enrolled in Portuguese 101, she expected to learn the basics—maybe by the end of the semester she would know how to introduce herself. She didn’t expect to carry on a 25-minute conversation with a native speaker.

“It basically forces you to learn,” she says. “It pushes you to practice the language to make sure you are ready for the next meeting.”

Ms. Uria is now taking Portuguese 102 and engaging in two teletandem sessions per week with her partner, Ghuilerme Boleta, in Assis, Brazil. Thanks to the lessons, she says, her perspective on the language and on Brazilian culture has changed, and she is more interested in continuing to practice.

Beyond Language Learning

While technology can’t offer the full-immersion experience of living abroad, for some students it is the closest they can get.

João Antonio Telles, an associate professor of linguistics at São Paulo State University, in Assis, is coordinator of Teletandem Brasil and an originator of the term “teletandem.” The method existed previously, as one-on-one interactions conducted either in person or over the phone. But by 2004, when he and his colleagues began developing the current system, videoconferencing had made long-distance interaction easier.

“In Brazil there is very little immigration, so being able to speak another language with someone else is almost impossible without technology,” Mr. Telles says. He considers the system a form of virtual immersion: The students not only get to talk to one another but also can see how their partners react to questions, how they look, and how they live.

“It’s not knowing only a language,” he says, “but also knowing how to behave and acknowledge differences—cultural differences, behavioral differences.”

Mr. Brinckwirth recalls a class in which Taiwanese students complained about their American partners as disrespectful. The American students would show up late, yawn, and slouch while having teletandem conversations.

They didn’t understand what was wrong with their behavior until the professor explained that, in Chinese culture, such body language reflects boredom and indifference. And in China, being even a few minutes late is considered disrespectful.

An idea similar to teletandem originated among language professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who in 1997 created the Cultura project. Using online blog forums built in WordPress or similar platforms, students learning French at MIT have conversations, organized by topics, with French students studying English.

“The idea is for them to learn about themselves as much as they learn about the others,” says Sabine Levet, a senior lecturer in French at MIT, who is a creator of the project.

Early on, tandem learning gave participants autonomy in deciding when to meet, what to talk about, and for how long. During his research, Mr. Telles realized that, in order to take the method into the classroom, one aspect had to change: “There has to be structure,” he says.

He and the other professors involved with Teletandem Brasil hold “mediation sessions” after every teletandem conversation to deliver lessons on vocabulary, grammar, and culture.

The combination of conversational autonomy and pedagogical structure is key, says Fernando Rubio, co-director of the Second Language Teaching and Research Center at the University of Utah.

“If you have a relatively high level of interaction with the instructor through a more-traditional instructor classroom,” he says, “and then you have a high level of interaction with native speakers through teletandem, then you have the right ingredients for a successful learning experience.”

Mr. Rubio does not use teletandem in his Spanish classroom, but he is interested in it for massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Laura L. Franklin, a professor of French at Northern Virginia Community College, has been using teletandem in online courses. She didn’t begin teaching language courses fully online until she felt that the technology would allow students a full listening, speaking, reading, and writing experience.

“The listening and speaking was a challenge. And over the years technology kept getting better and better,” she says. “Now it’s an equivalent experience. If you use Google Hangouts, if you use Skype, it’s really possible.”

Benefits and Challenges

For most language professors, having every student participate in a 25-minute conversation during a classroom course is almost impossible—in group discussions, some students generally dominate while others hold back.

Michael J. Ferreira, an associate professor in Georgetown University’s department of Spanish and Portuguese, says that a student speaks the target language for an average of three minutes in a traditional 50-minute class. That includes advanced courses, which he chose as the first in his department to hold teletandem sessions.

“Advanced conversation should be real experience, where you feel that you are communicating at a native level,” he says.

Mr. Ferreira is trying to introduce teletandem in other courses and has worked closely since 2009 with Mr. Telles, in Brazil, to develop the system at Georgetown. But it can be hard for colleges to change traditional teaching methods, Mr. Ferreira says.

Mr. Brinckwirth says teletandem learning requires big initial investments in time spent trying to coordinate sessions and match students, as well as in technology—computers, video equipment, and broadband connections. And all of those must be compatible with their equivalents at the partner institution.

Since 2010, professors at Virginia Commonwealth have managed to join with colleagues at 11 institutions, including São Paulo State; the Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, in Taiwan; and Cairo University. Virginia Commonwealth now offers teletandem sessions in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Mr. Brinckwirth finds the return on the investment substantial.

Seeing students react enthusiastically in the classes still amazes professors here. At the end of the introductory-Spanish course, Mr. Brinckwirth pointed at the clock—it was 2:50 p.m.—and then looked back at students so deeply engaged in conversation that they were making no effort to leave.

 

 

In Your Language

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All 4 One Tutoring gives you the option of viewing our website in your target language. Since we service clients globally, we thought it would be convenient to let our prospective clients /clients get a better understanding of what we do in their language.

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