I bring years of experience and proven methods to help students quickly improve their English, raise test scores, and find confidence in their pronunciation and speaking voices.
I have taught at top institutes in Manhattan in subjects from conversation to Business English to TOEFL preparation. I also spent two years at a Chinese university. My students have come from all over the world, and they improve quickly. I have taught students of all experience levels, from beginners up to fluent speakers needing specialized coaching. I have special expertise in pronunciation, and have spent more than ten years studying pronunciation, phonetics, and speech. I have studied many languages (Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and even a bit of Russian), so I know what it's like to struggle with new sounds!
Many students also struggle with grammar, and many teachers struggle to teach it in an interesting and simple way. I enjoy the challenge, and am the type of person to read books on grammar for fun ("Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" is a recent favorite). Since I'm familiar with the grammar of several other languages, I am comfortable finding many different ways to explain the same grammar point to students.
In speech coaching, I enjoy helping students understand their bodies, especially the breath system. Through a series of simple and calming exercises, students learn to become aware of the different parts of their breathing and speaking musculature, and to identify tensions that distort their speech sounds. I have coached speakers who get hoarse, speakers whose throats close the moment they get in front of a podium, speakers who can only maintain a breathy whisper, and many other problems. All of these can be overcome, usually pretty quickly and easily.
My undergraduate and graduate degrees in music (voice and composition emphasis, as well as pedagogy) form the basis of my music tutoring. I started studying piano when I was five and music theory when I was eight, and cannot remember a day when I couldn't read music or analyze chords. I have taught composition workshops at the Oberlin Conservatory, where I also tutored music theory and ear training, and I enjoy making the subject interesting and painless, instead of confusing and mathematical.
Whatever your goals with English or with speaking, I look forward to helping you achieve them.
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