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I'm a graduate student at CUNY Graduate Center in history with a focus on Middle Eastern history. From 2010 to 2012, I studied at the American University in Beirut, where I will be defending a Masters in History in the near future. Before that, I studied Modern Standard Arabic at the University of Damascus for an academic year, while working as an English teacher and tutor in Damascus. My main experience with teaching and tutoring English comes from the year I spent in Japan with the JET Program, where I taught high school English classes and provided private English lessons. Prior to that, I studied at Colgate University and earned a BA in History (High Honors) and French.
As I have learned Arabic and French not as native languages but as a second language learner, I can help explain the difficult aspects of each and provide help in overcoming the more difficult quirks of the languages. When I teach a second language to someone, I want to teach them the language not as a subject or a dead thing but a living creature that opens up new insights. I often incorporate contemporary culture, music, readings, and film to inject a sense of vitality into the lesson. By making it linked to something real and interesting, rather than rote grammar, I find that students are more receptive to learning grammar, vocabulary and most importantly usage of the language. Likewise, my experience teaching English from low-level beginners to intermediate level speakers provides me the tools to effectively help students new to a language or subject. I utilize entertaining games and conversation to teach the language and gently correct mistakes so that the student gains confidence in the language and does not fear making mistakes.
I can also teach test preparation. I have taken various AP tests, the SAT, SAT II, and the GRE. For the GRE, my verbal scores were in the 93% percentile and writing was in the 96% percentile. I can share the tricks and skills I used to help the student do well on standardized tests. When tutoring for standardized tests, I will help the student identify his or her weak points and focus on making them strengths by finding out where in the process of solving the problem a mistake was made and teaching the student how to avoid that error.
I have studied Modern Standard Arabic with the standard textbook in America, al-Kitaab I, while I was an undergraduate student. In addition, I studied Modern Standard Arabic at the University of Damascus for another academic year, alongside learning Damascene Arabic (a major branch of Levantine Arabic). At the American University of Beirut, I studied more Modern Standard Arabic with the textbook al-Kitaab III. I later used classical and modern works for my research and can explain the stylistic differences between Classical Arabic and its modern counterpart. I have also studied Lebanese Arabic, which is similar to Damascene Arabic during my two years in Beirut. My three years of living in Syria and Lebanon, alongside having studied major Levantine colloquial textbooks, provides me not only an understanding of Levantine colloquial but a cultural knowledge that textbooks alone cannot provide. I am likewise acquainted not only with the major Modern Standard Arabic textbooks but historical and contemporary cultures that use the formal language.
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