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Hi! My name is Leonard. Besides being a published author in English (my native language), I have years of experience teaching and translating from classical and modern languages. I have been teaching (mostly in Catholic seminaries) since 1994, and so I have good and prolonged teaching experience. I received higher education (Doctoral degree) in Rome, at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Gregorian University, and so I speak Italian fairly fluently. I also have many German friends, especially from the days of my Rome studies, and this has given me good familiarity with the German language as used colloquially. I have done a lot of translating for European journals, usually from Italian, French or German into English. I also know Latin, Greek, Hebrew and some Aramaic. My teaching method is to always make my subject fun to learn so that the student will be motivated. I believe that the teacher or tutor is primarily a facilitator, and that most learning takes place because a student is motivated to learn and excited about the subject. I am friendly, easy-going and witty, but I insist on good fundamental knowledge of language syntax and, as a translator, am very sensitive to subtle nuances in language. Obviously, I would adjust my teaching level to the capacity and level of my student, but in general I do not "talk down" to a bright student, and I always try to involve them in the process of discovery in learning. I am not the kind of teacher that thinks he has to (or does) know everything. Learning for me is always a common enterprise between teacher and student, although guidance from the side of the teacher is always presupposed. You will enjoy having me as a tutor, but you will also be challenged to shoot for the stars...
I took advanced courses in Koine Greek (the Greek used by the New Testament writers and by the Greek translators of the Hebrew Scriptures) at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. I was in Rome from 1982 -- 1993 almost continuously, and was working with Greek texts from the early Christian era the entire time I was there. My knowledge of classical Greek is limited: I know the basic grammar and syntax of Attic Greek and have had some exposure to ancient Greek texts, especially those of the Greek philosophers and playwrites. Most of my work however has been with New and Old Testament texts in Greek, as well as with early Christian writings (the Apostolic Fathers, first and second centuries C.E.). I am not prepared to tutor modern Greek, which differs from Koine and Classical Greek in many respects.
My language-teaching philosophy is to expose the student to as wide a range of textual material as possible, and thus to provide an environment in which an ancient language is learned in much the same way as a child learns his or her native language today, namely, simply by continuous exposure to the actual use of the language in a variety of life contexts. While teaching texts, I insist on the student learning to read aloud, with proper phrasing and pronunciation. The aim is to allow the original text to communicate directly, even before one takes the further step of translating into one's own language and idiom. I am insistent on the proper understanding of language syntax, grammar and morphology (the study of forms of nouns or verbs), but I usually teach these aspects of the language through the careful study of texts, so that they are not treated in the abstract and their connection with the art of communication, the actual use of a language, remains primary. My tutoring services would give you a tremendous edge when it comes to an ability to read and understand ancient Greek texts.
I have been playing piano since I was a child; I play mostly a classical repertoire, as well as some lighter dance compositions and pop. Some years ago, I took organ lessons for several years with Leo D. Abbott, FAGO, ChM, organist at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston. I have been giving piano lessons for the past ten years or so. My strength lies in the ability to read music well, and to train in the art of dynamic performance, especially of classical music.
Excellent Tutor! — The lessons with Leonard M. continue to meet all my expectations. Leonard M. is an excellent tutor and I am learning quickly! ...
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