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I've tutored and taught in both the United States and China, but am American and have an American accent. I have some classroom experience as an instructor of English as a Foreign Language in China and English as a Second Language in Richmond, IN, and have taught learners of mixed ages, from four to 26, in groups of varying size or individually.
I have studied Chinese for 8 years and am fluent at the level needed for professional work in Mandarin. While I do not have experience tutoring Chinese because I've only recently come to a level where I am qualified to do so, I have experience tutoring other languages, including English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
This is where most of my background in educational theory lies, as I've extensively studied theories and practices in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Additionally, I have practical experience with learners of all ages in groups of varying sizes. I've taught individual learners, worked with small groups on skill-building, and taught classes and review sessions to large groups.
I believe that the most important aspect of learning grammar is pattern recognition. Learners who may be intimidates by the number of mistakes they are making often find them much easier to correct when they are given the underlying rule, a teaching method for which my linguistics background prepares me especially well. I also have experience teaching grammar to students through samples of their own writing, whether for class or written for personal use.
My primary-use operating system is OS X, and I've written tutorials to help others learn to use it for advanced functions. I've also helped a number of university students set up their preferences appropriately for ease of use when first learning Mac-based operating systems, and worked with adult learners to master functions from basic to complex. I believe that teaching operating systems should be all about what the learner needs to do with them.
In teaching public speaking, I focus on building student confidence and improvisation practice. Using a combination of theatre arts and language-learning exercises, I find challenges to work on with the student, who can redirect their goals as desired. In past public speaking tutoring, I have put the emphasis on finding practical experiences as soon as possible, because the classroom environment can't feasibly replicate a real engagement.
I have sewn for clothing, costumes, and props, and am familiar with a wide array of stitches, types of fabric, and pattern-making/adapting techniques. Additionally, I'm familiar with many decorative and embroidery stitches, which can be useful in making household items, such as samplers and pillows. In teaching, I like to keep my hands off of the student's work so they can feel like they really own the project while also sticking close by and providing guidance at every step of the process.
I hold a BA in Theatre Arts, where I focused on dramaturgy with coursework including acting, directing, and stagecraft (specifically costume construction, costume design, prop construction, set construction, electrics, and a general course in theatrecraft). I've also worked professionally as an actor, and have been signed to an agency for my acting work, though I am not with an agency at present. I have performed as an actor in the United States and China, and I've taught several workshops on audition technique for various constraints at Earlham College, where I also convened the Earlham Theatre Company for two one-year terms. I also served on the board of an independent theatre company in Pittsburgh, PA.
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