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Rita A.

Writing & English Specialist

Claremont, CA (91711)

Travel radius
20 miles
Hourly fee
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I believe that every person, regardless of age or educational background, has the potential to understand and perform well in the Language Arts. In fact, if you are willing to practice for two hours per week (one hour with me and one hour on your own), you will improve your reading and writing skills within two months. My philosophy and method are based on over twenty years of teaching and tutoring experience. I tailor all of my writing prompts and tutoring sessions to meet the particular needs of each student. As much as possible, I design assignments that I know will interest the student, whether these are essay topics or reading comprehension passages, which I take from current periodicals. When students are invested in the material, they become excited about learning, and their skills - writing, reading, and speaking - organically improve across all disciplines.

With a background (BA and MA) in English, I have tutored Language Arts to students at every grade level from Kindergarten through high school, and I have taught English Composition at various colleges and universities. My tutoring services include remedial help for struggling students, grammar and vocabulary development, and creative and expository writing for those who want to take their skills to the next level.

My expertise also includes teaching conversational and academic/written English to non-native speakers. Having lived abroad several times myself, I understand the challenges of adapting to a new life in a new language. I have had wonderful results tutoring adults and children from all parts of the world, many of whom did not speak English as a first language. I particularly enjoy working with students whose parents value the importance of the Language Arts, but who may not be able to provide this type of help to their children themselves.

Finally, I am fluent in Portuguese, having lived and studied in both Brazil and Portugal for a total of three years. I hold an MA in Spanish and Portuguese from Yale University and have done a variety of written and oral translation projects from Portuguese to English. I am conversant and proficient in Spanish.

Let me help you with your language needs - whatever they may be!

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Rita’s subjects


I have a BA and an MA in English from Truman State University. I spent several years teaching English Composition at the college level before becoming a private tutor. I have years of experience helping students of all ages and grade levels improve as readers and writers. My background in world literature is strong and well-rounded.


I began teaching English to non-native speakers in 1987, when I lived in Brazil. Since that time, I have helped hundreds of students improve their skills in English. My tutoring style always is based on conversation and discussion about the student's interests or assignments. My experience includes academic, work-related, and conversational tutoring.


In addition to extensive coursework in grammar and linguistics, I acquired a more in-depth knowledge of grammar through my studies of French, Portuguese, Latin, and Ancient Greek.


I have years of experience helping students of all ages and grade levels improve as readers and writers. My background in world literature is strong and well-rounded. I wrote my master's thesis on African American women writers and spent several semesters reading literature from Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the rest of South America while completing my MA in Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University.


I learned fluent Portuguese in Brazil in 1987 as an American Field Service exchange student. I returned to Brazil for an additional year of school and travel in 1989. From 1993-1994 I lived in Lisbon, Portugal, as a Fulbright Research Scholar. In 1998 I earned an MA in Spanish and Portuguese from Yale University.


Whether it has been editing student essays, doctoral dissertations or corporate literature of international companies, I have been proofreading in one way or another for over twenty years. My background in English and other languages has made me attuned to the nuances of grammar and usage that often elude others.


I teach reading first at the level of the word, which includes strategies for decoding. When I am sure the student can decode an understand words, we can start to comprehend sentences and longer passages. I have had great success with my method of reading instruction.


I have an MA in Spanish and Portuguese from Yale University (1998). In 1996, I spent two months in Central America learning Spanish and teaching English. My travels have included many Spanish-speaking countries. I have tutored several students in first and second year Spanish classes.

Study Skills

I help students of all grade levels acquire and strengthen study skills by teaching them how to organize their materials and prioritize homework assignments. I emphasize critical reading of both assignment directions and content of material. Teaching students how to read and work with a purpose helps them become more efficient in completing homework and managing class assignments. I have been tutoring using this method for over twenty years, helping students from elementary school through college and beyond.


With multiple degrees in languages and literature, I have acquired a substantial vocabulary. I am a voracious reader of everything from novels to specialized and technical papers on a variety of subjects. I have tutored dozens of students to develop their vocabulary for standardized tests like the SSAT, SAT, and GRE. I encourage my students to have a healthy curiosity about words - not just what they mean, but their linguistic origins.


I have designed a curriculum that emphasizes writing as a process that includes several steps, from brainstorming to revising drafts. My students enjoy my original writing prompts, which focus on relevant topics. Several of my students work on creative writing projects, such as short stories and novels.

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Truman State Unirsity (English, Portuguese)

Truman StatevUniversity (Master's)

Yale University (Master's)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $65.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

Travel policy

Rita will travel within 20 miles of Claremont, CA 91711.

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