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"Ms. Judy is the bomb!" "Keep her." "She's the real thing." "They don't make them like her anymore." "I liked vocabulary quizzes the best." These are some student comments written on my course evaluations in the last year. Why? Because students learn; grammar (like apostrophes and commas) becomes understandable; success in writing is do-able; and meeting time is fun!
My academic background is thorough. My teaching experience is ample. Because my personal experiences include two years of living in another country where English is not spoken, I empathize and can help the non-native speaker, whatever the native language is. Tutoring students from 5th grade through college has reinforced my understanding of the skills required for success.
The only thing I enjoy as much as this fascinating English language is the individual and fascinating student; each one is unique.
Besides both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in English, I've tutored and taught English in seated classes for the better part of 40 years.
I know the language inside-out. And the success of my students brings me great joy!
The most difficult language in the world for a non-native speaker to learn is Mandarin Chinese, followed closely by English, number two.
Rules are extensive, spelling and pronunciation inconsistent, and the influences of other languages, such as French and Greek, are pervasive.
Quite a challenge learning English, but I have established ESL programs at two different colleges and have taught non-native speakers from Mexico, Belize, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Germany, Iran, Syria and China.
The best qualification for teaching the GED is knowing what is required of the student at the next level: college.
I know what is required and have taught college level classes over the last 40 years, right up to 2013.
Academically, I have two degrees in English.
In our current educational system, grammar is rarely spoken of beyond 6th grade. (I suspect that part of the reason for that is that many teachers do not know grammar themselves.)
My approach is to show function rather than require students to learn unfamiliar terms, such as "absolute phrase" or "coordinating subjunctives." In real life, when is the student ever going to be asked to define those concepts? Never.
But real life DOES require us to write well -- we can do that without the foreign-sounding grammatical terms.
Literature began with verbal story-telling, before cell phones, TV, movies, or even the printing press.
So why do people tell stories? And why do we love to hear stories?
Who are the writers of the past and present worth reading? I spent 6 years at the university studying those questions.
These are the questions that the student will be able to answer after we spend some time together.
Proofreading is a simple matter of paying attention.
All my years of teaching has taught me how best to "edit" or proofread student essays. I know "little secrets" that I can share with my students.
Reading is the one skill that the student needs in order to write well.
Largely a matter of practice -- with a guide -- reading may open a whole new world!
Preparing for the SAT Reading test will include test-taking strategies and techniques. These are not the same as Study Skills.
The reading portion is mostly made up of paragraphs to read and then answer multiple choice questions. Figuring out how to choose the correct answers -- that's what we will do.
Did you know that when a person changes his/her answer on standardized tests, 93% of the time the test-taker changes the right answer to a wrong one?
This is probably the most challenging part of the SAT for most students.
I've been teaching writing for more than 15 years and have found that the student must be able to recognize his/her errors before he/she can change it. I believe this is training that needs to be one-on-one.
"You can't change what you don't acknowledge." -- Dr. Phil
Thirty years ago, the average American had a vocabulary of about 30,000 words. Today that number is 13,000. Why? WWW and technology are more appealing than reading.
So we will brush-up on the vocabulary needed everyday, such as understanding newscasts, school classes, and things modern.
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