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I have always enjoyed teaching and am comfortable with students of all ages, from young pre-schoolers through those at the university level. I look at teaching as sharing information with another person and helping him to develop the skills he needs to explore, enjoy and succeed in the world. Does that mean learning facts and figures? Yes, it does. But it also means finding out what excites that student, what he is interested in, and then, helping to bridge the gap between what he knows and what he needs to learn in a way that makes learning interesting. My teaching style is more easy-going and interactive, focusing on understanding the context of what the student is learning, so, the information can be applied to many situations. Over the years I have: tutored basic education skills; helped inner-city kids learn Shakespeare; prepped for SAT or Conservatory auditions; developed French or English skills, especially conversational abilities; helped bring dozens of children up to grade level in math and english; and mentored film and screenwriting students.
I have a BA in European Studies and a BA in French Literature(in French) from UCI; a Certificate in Motion Picture and TV Producing from UCLA; an AA in Liberal Arts; plus have studied the French Language and Culture at the Sorbonne in Paris, France; and Shakespeare, Greek and Classical Drama and Music from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. I am an award winning screenwriter, a successful businesswoman, and a certified California Foster Parent. I speak French and English, love foreign cultures, history and international politics, have traveled to more than 50 countries and am a volunteer for the Red Cross.
I have tutored dozens of grade school students and brought them up to grade level quickly. Children naturally love to learn. And children at this age learn something by doing it. They need to touch it, sing it, smell it, go on field trips, feel in in their bodies. In other words, they are sensory based. Unfortunately, the American education system still uses the old pioneer method which is mainly visual -- someone reads or writes something on a whiteboard at the front of the class. This leaves a number of children stranded as they must bridge between the way they naturally learn and the way they are being taught. And because elementary education has particular "building blocks" that are place one upon the other, when one of those "blocks" is weak or misunderstood, the child has difficulty in subsequent lessons that are built on those very same blocks. They become confused, frustrated and eventually give up. As an educator, one of the most crucial elements is in diagnosing those "blocks" and helping the child re-learn the concept in a way that "clicks".
Besides having taught dozens of children, I am also on the School Board of Ascension Elementary School in gang territory. Despite numerous obstacles, 100% of our kids graduate high school and 98% go on to college even though only 65% of kids in the neighborhood graduate from 8th grade.
I am an award-winning screenwriter and was a Story Editor for a number of years. I have an extensive background in Classical Literature, including Shakespeare, Greek, Medieval, Restoration and Modern, in both English and French. I have taught numerous children creative writing, character development, grammar, story outline and writing style.
Although I was born in the United States and can trace my father's family back to some of the earliest American settlers, my mother was born and raised abroad. She did not learn English until she was an adult. As a child with a non-native English speaking parent, I am acutely aware of the frustration and intimidation a person may feel living in a foreign country and trying to connect complex thoughts and feelings to foreign words.
Speaking English well is difficult; it's a mixture of the languages of its immigrants with odd idiomatic phrases and complex grammar that seem to be filled with exceptions to rules. However, in today's global economy, English is perhaps the most important language on the planet. Businesses require it. The Internet, educational and technical systems are dominated by English speakers. People living in the U.S. need English to help them through everyday life.
Luckily, English is one of the easiest languages for non-native speakers to pronounce. (Yes, you read that correctly.) English is very kind to immigrants. Because English is filled with consonants, people with even the smallest "pigeon" English skills can be understood, which is not the case with many languages, like Chinese or Dutch. All those consonants allow speakers with numerous accents to also be understood, which is not possible in vowel-heavy languages, like French. With English, grammatical parts of a sentence can be moved around, yet the sentence still makes sense. This is impossible in Arabic or French. English also doesn't have verb forms that distinguish social classes and cause a speaker to inadvertently offend the listener, as happens in Japanese.
If you or a loved one wants to improve your English skills, I can help you. I have worked with numerous students, from those learning their first English words to ones studying for the TOEFL or IELTS University English entrance exams for non-native speakers. I am a professional writer and have two BA degrees. I am also on the School Board of a Los Angeles Elementary School.
European History is a vast and fascinating subject. So much of who we are as Americans and the problems and successes we have can be traced back to a series of interwoven events in Europe. Because of this, very little of history can be understood in isolation as those events usually occurred because of a culmination of numerous factors. Helping students grasp the context of historical events and bringing alive the culture at the time allows them to understand what unfolded during those moments and how it relates to their own lives in our modern world.
Besides having a BA degree in European Studies from UCI (University of California at Irvine), I have studied at the Sorbonne IV in Paris and have lived and worked in several countries in Western Europe. This does not include the dozens of times I have traveled through the countries of both Eastern and Western Europe.
I am an award winning film producer, screenwriter and UPM whose credits include Marvel Studios, Universal Studios, Phoenix Pictures and numerous independent films. I am also a partner in Circle of Friends Productions, a film production company that has a distribution deal with Paramount Studios. I have 2 screenplays currently in pre-production in Hollywood. You can look up my credits on IMDB, the movie database website.
I also have a certificate from UCLA in Motion Picture and Television Producing.
As a teacher, I love watching my students progress as their confidence and abilities build. Whether you are an advanced student or a complete beginner, you will be surprised at how quickly you advance with a private tutor. Although many American students may be able to read French, they have difficulty getting their tongues around the specific French sounds or understanding its complex grammatical structure. I will give you tools to help you. Other students may be able to understand a French speaker but have difficulty entering into a conversation with him that goes beyond the standard memorized phrases. I feel it is most important to help students communicate their own thoughts and feelings in French. By truly engaging in conversation, the student automatically builds vocabulary, grammatical skill and confidence because he is expressing ideas and feelings that interest him, that are important to him. He is emotionally invested in the conversation and so learning the language comes much quicker. The human brain is created to learn this way. By working with nature, as opposed to against it, progress is automatic.
As for my background, besides having a life-long love affair with the French language and culture, I have a BA degree in French from UCI (University of California at Irvine) and studied French Culture & Literature at the Sorbonne IV in Paris. I have lived and worked in France, both in the film industry and as an interpreter. Paris is my favorite city on the planet and I visit whenever possible. I have also spent time in many French regions including the Loire, Lorraine, Aquitaine, Provence, Normandy, Brittany along with its amazing cities like Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nice, Avignon, Chartres, Marseilles, Colmar, Strasbourg, Rennes, Orleans, etc. I will be working at the Cannes Film Festival again this year in mid-May.
They say Public Speaking is one of the most difficult skills to master. For most people, it is overwhelming and intimidating to stand in front of an audience and give a speech or try to convince them of your point of view, all the while knowing they are parsing each and every word you speak. Public Speaking is the Art of Persuasion. Successfully done, it is the perfect combination of conversation and information. I can help you with this.
I have helped many people with Public Speaking, including business people, doctors giving speeches at conventions, and trial lawyers wanting to improve their skills with a jury. I have also coached professional actors and students auditioning for conservatories and theater companies. I was a professional actress who performed in everything from small intimate venues to large audiences of 5,000. I taught Shakespeare to inner city kids whose teachers were amazed by how their unruly teenagers were riveted by something written hundreds of years ago. But whether in front of a large crowd, a TV camera, a group of inner city teens, or only one person, the key is to connect. And when you do that, a relationship begins between you and the listener. That is goal.
I was a professional actor for years, including Shakespeare and classical theater, and have coached acting students for their audition pieces for Julliard, ACT, NYU, UCLA, LAMDA and the Royal Academy in London. I have also helped lawyers be more comfortable in a courtroom and businessmen give convention speeches.
I was a theater major, performing my first professional role at 17. Later I studied with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and received a certificate from UCLA in Motion Picture and TV Producing. I have performed leading roles in productions of Shakespeare, contemporary plays and musicals in everything from small black box theaters to outdoor venues with 5,000 people in the audience. Besides performing, I have also worked professionally in costume departments, art departments, rigged lights and worked the light board.
I have helped many students of different nationalities and language backgrounds prepare for the TOEFL and IELTS University English exams, both IBT and PBT, written and oral. I work on grammatical points, vocabulary and sentence structure, and also improve the student's ability to comprehend stories in both written text and spoken format. We do numerous timed reading comprehension tests whereby students read various paragraphs and answer multiple questions. We learn suffixes and prefixes to help build vocabulary quickly. I explain the correct structure of a successful essay and then work on mastering those techniques for the different written exams. We practice techniques for the oral essay, trying to make the supporting arguments clear and strong. We also work on correct pronunciation, sentence cadence, and accent reduction. I give tips on "staying on point" during the oral exam and how to control being nervous during test time.
Note that my rate for TOEFL exam prep is $50 per hour for one student and $75 per hour for two students.
Writing is communicating. When done well it can expand a reader's point of view or transport him into an imaginary world where he will know the characters as well as his dearest friends.
I am an award-winning writer, professional story analyst, and was a judge for two screenplay contests in Los Angeles and a screening judge for the Sundance Film Festival for five years. Besides writing novels and plays, I have written hundreds of travel articles, and have two screenplays currently being produced in Hollywood.
Very Special Instructor — Danelle is not a tutor - she is a brilliant and creative Educator. She is working with my teenage son, who has rendered every previous tutor powerless to unlocking his potential. Danelle already has taught him how to minimize the distractions that habitually get in the way of his completing his work in a timely fashion. More important, the transformation in his attitude and willingness to work on ...
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