If you're looking at my profile, you were probably brought here by the Spanish in my title, the breadth of what I teach, or possibly just my bright red hair. :)
My name is Melissa, and it's very possible that we might be the perfect tutor/learner pair!
I graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2007 with a BA in International Studies, and minors in political science and photography. My area of focus was Latin American Political Systems, and soon after graduation, I headed first to Mexico to spend time learning about social justice issues there. Shortly thereafter, I headed to Panama! I worked as a Peace Corps volunteer, where I gained experience in teaching ESL to adults and children of all ages (and with the very bare necessities as far as resources were concerned). I also taught basic health skills and latrine construction, if you're interested in learning about those areas! After the Peace Corps, I stayed in Panama and taught ESL at the university level, in both La Universidad Interamericana de Panama, as well as ULACIT Panama.
Due to the nature of my jobs, it was required that I could speak fluently in Spanish. Upon coming back to the US, I've tutored students (both high school and college-aged) in Spanish, to much success. Spanish is the dominant language spoken in my home (as my husband is Panamanian), and I have a thorough understanding of the lexicon and grammar.
I am currently enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University, where I am studying my MA in linguistics. This helps with both ESL and Spanish teaching, as it allows me to learn about the most effective way to introduce language to learners. I also work as a coach with the Rosetta Stone, where I teach learners from all over the world ESL.
I have experience with all ages, as well as a breadth of knowledge about different learning styles. I favor a "hands-on" approach to learning, and find that interaction, stress on conversational abilities, and contextualizing the information so that the learner knows exactly why they're learning it, and how they can apply it in everyday life, is extremely important.
In addition to ESL and Spanish, I also teach photography (I am a reputable wedding photographer in the area with vast experience and a thorough understanding of both film and digital processes), and saxophone (I have played the saxophone since age 10). Additionally, I am experienced in historical, political science, anthropology and linguistics.
I hope to hear from you very soon!
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