Is it true that pointing where you want to go with arms outstretched parellel to board can really help when learning to traverse and turn.
Yes, this can be helpful cos it avoids that you counter-turn the upper body, twist the hip and rudder - a very prominent and counterproductive beginner's mistake! By stretching out the arms you will automatically concentrate on what you do with your upper body, thus you'll turn your body in the right
direction and the rest of the body and board follow that movement. You don't need to outstretch the arms like a cross, but lift them enought that you get aware
The confidence to "point it" and trust the board that it will
do the turn takes some time to build up. I really can feel her. Although my beginners days are long ago, I'm a complete noob when riding switch, and yes, I actually am
concerned with getting too much speed as well as soon as the board is turned into the wrong direction
. I've to overcome the same beginners mistakes (counter-turning, too much weight on back leg, etc.). Thus the mantra is: bend your knees, don't stay in the back-seat, mind your upper body, let the board do it's work - and have fun! I actually used that outstretched-arms technique again last season when I exercised riding switch and my muscle memory was uncapable to handle turns in the "wrong" direction. Looks silly but works well
Taking a snowboarding holiday somewhere with proper slopes is a very good idea. Continuous days of riding will help a lot to progress. If you ever consider to visit Europe, Zermatt has - among the huge selection of other slopes - very nice beginner slopes: long and wide, with a consistent slope.