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Hello prospective students and parents, my name is Sean. I am twenty-three years old and a graduate of George Washington University. I have four years of experience in tutoring ranging in subjects from neuroscience, my original major, to English, as well as two years of experience specifically in teaching English as a Second Language. I also played a Division 1 sport in college, and have three years of experience coaching. I attended high school in St. Louis, Missouri, where I received a 35 on the ACT (36 on writing, 36 on reading, 36 on English, 35 on math, 32 on science), as well as a 2250 on the SAT (800 reading, 700 math, 750 on reading). I took AP examinations in American history, world history, psychology, U.S government and politics, English composition, English literature, and statistics, receiving 5's on each. In addition, I speak Japanese and am in the process of becoming a published writer.
With regards to pedagogy, I have tutored a wide variety of students ranging from a student struggling to become the first person in his family to graduate high school to students at Georgetown University. My teaching philosophy is focused largely around the principles of adaptation, as I believe the responsibility of the teacher or coach is to understand his student's skill-set, observe the way the student learns, and then adapt methodology as much as is required to achieve the desired results. Finally, I believe one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is the ability to evoke enthusiasm in my students, as I firmly believe learning devoid of genuine interest and enjoyment will achieve results far inferior to those in which they are present.
I have been tutoring Japanese to English speakers for two years now and have learned Japanese both through living in Japan and continuing my studies in an immersion setting, and by formally studying it for four years at George Washington University, so I have experience in the pedagogy of both an immersion and a traditional classroom setting.
One series of questions I am commonly asked revolve around why it is advantageous to not learn from a native speaker. The answer to this rests in the fact that the act of teaching involves passing on knowledge, not simply possessing it. The advantage of a native speaker, depending on the skill level of the instructor's teaching skills, is in phrasing and vocabulary choice, since between Japanese and English, vocabulary is often not parallel, so that, unlike in French or Spanish, vocabulary cannot exactly be learned through pairing corresponding synonyms in English with those of the target language. However, for this very reason, native speakers often incur a big difficulty in explaining that which they have never had to question for themselves, much less explain through their student's language, which in the beginning, will be primary in grammatical and vocabulary explanation and understanding. Thus, in the first few stages of learning, the skill that is most valuable is the methodology and communication skills necessary to integrate the knowledge into an English schemata. In addition, the differences between the Japanese education system and the American education system, which have vastly different instructional approaches, can often be frustrating for American students, in my experience. As a student progresses to a late intermediate or advanced speaking level, and are able to keep their thoughts conducted in Japanese while they read, listen, and speak, a native speaker undoubtedly will begin to offer significant utility, due to the advantages in the sheer size of their language practice and knowledge.
Please let me know any questions you have for me, as well as how many times per week and how long per session you are seeking to meet.
I had a classical piano training from the age of seven-thirteen, and from thirteen-eighteen I trained in percussion at my high school under Michael Ferris, and privately under Tom Stubbs, who is the 1st Chair Percussionist and Timpani player for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, one of the four most highly regarded symphonies in America. I have continued to play drums since then, and have currently been hired as a composer for Douglass Street Records. Over the years, I have given private lessons in both Piano and drum-set. In addition, I am extremely well versed in classical music theory and its integration into the intonations of musical performance.
I played NCAA Division 1 Water Polo at George Washington University and have done swim team since the age of six. In high school I was a member of our school's swim team. I have also coached swimming and water polo at a middle school and high school level, as well as given individual swim lessons.
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