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Most of my teaching experience has been with non-native speakers of English, who wanted to learn how to speak English more fluently and more grammatically. Nearly all of these students spoke Spanish as their native tongue, but I can work with students from any ethnic and national background. (I have a monthly book conversation with a native Chinese speaker.)
In addition, I have taught journalistic writing skills to college interns at IBM. These students were in their late teens or early twenties. I believe that people who begin improving their writing and reading skills at a younger age have a better chance at becoming more effective writers.
I have helped high school seniors write college essays. Each one was accepted into the college of their choice, including Brandeis, Columbia, CUNY schools, Rutgers and Cornell. I can help incoming graduate students with their essays too.
As for my professional credentials, I am a published author (fiction and non-fiction), a long-time writer for institutions such as IBM, Montefiore Medical Center, McGraw Hill Education Labs, Medicis Pharmaceuticals, Ciba-Geigy, Teachers College (Columbia University) and IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers). I have contributed journalism pieces to The New York Times, Newsday, The Plain Dealer, The Philadelphia Inquirer and HeadButler. Most of my recent commercial work has focused on technology issues. My contributions to HeadButler all consist of essays about books.
I believe that we learn best by doing. If you have a hard time conjugating verbs, we'll spend more time doing that. If you have a hard time understanding a sentence, we'll review it until it starts to make more sense. The main thing is to come up with a system to help you address your reading, writing or speaking problems.
With time you will believe, as I do, that self-esteem comes from having true mastery of a subject.
I have worked mostly with high school students to craft college application essays. I have also advised college graduates how to go about studying for the GRE or GMAT.
I have had personal experience preparing for a master's degree program in English/literature. Despite popular sentiment that favors the sciences over the humanities, I would encourage the right person to enter into a literature or history program.
We saw a comparable anti-humanities attitude in the Sputnik era, when American students were directed toward studies in math and science instead of literature, history, and sociology. The pendulum may well swing back to language studies, especially when educators realize that companies value clear, persuasive writing.
As the daughter of immigrant parents, I was obsessed with having a big English vocabulary. I acquired a subtle and sophisticated use of language by reading fiction of all kinds -- British and American novels, French and Russian literature in translation and even less "literary" novels on the bestseller list. My obsession has stood me in good stead: I have made my living as a commercial writer for 20+ years. I have also been lucky enough to have my fiction, non-fiction and essays published by major publishers (Harper & Row, Walker and Company, The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Plain Dealer, HeadButler.com, etc.)
My writing career began on Wall Street when I wrote a company newsletter. Since then, I have written for many mainstream newspapers, a news service, corporate websites, culture websites, blogs, university presidents, CEOs and publishing companies. My first novel was nominated for two literary awards. I received an award for my speechwriting expertise at a major IT company. If you are serious about acquiring solid writing skills, I may be able to help you.
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