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Cheri Z.

Patient and Experienced Yale Grad for English, ESL, and Math Tutoring

New York, NY (10017)

Travel radius
20 miles
Hourly fee
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Cheri Z. passed a background check on 7/8/14. The check was ordered by Cheri through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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Welcome students and parents, and thanks for visiting my profile! I focus on one-on-one and group tutoring that is not only mindful of individual goals and fun, but also rigorous and effective. After graduating with a B.A. from Yale, I used my skills as a writer and spent 20+ years successfully writing for and educating the clients of various financial service companies. I have changed my career, however, so that I can help others write and understand English better.

I currently tutor all levels and ages in English, concentrating on skill-sharpening, preparation for New York State tests, SAT and ACT test preparation, and post graduate editorial work on subjects such as business, economics, psychology and English. I also tutor some elementary math. I work with “English as a Second Language” (ESL) students on their difficulties with reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary and speech, helping them to achieving greater fluency. Finally, I assist business people looking to enhance their writing and communications skills as well as high school, college, and graduate students with essays and presentations.

My work for financial companies involved writing clear and concise communications as well as explaining complex financial products, concepts to clients. My experience in education includes working in a charter school where I helped elementary students improve their reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and spelling; I also helped them to sharpen their math skills, i.e., addition, subtraction, and with understanding such applied mathematical concepts as fractions, symbols, telling time, and making change.

I go about my work gently, with lots of patience, sympathy and a sense of humor. I believe that my role is not only that of a tutor, but of a mentor who guides and interacts with her students: for all of these reasons, I believe I am able to see solid improvements in them. I encourage the use of workbooks that are thought provoking and fun and that use exercises at times as drills to get the student to grasp and master concepts. I select materials that help engage students in conversations so that they can be encouraged to use correct English. I like to ask questions to make sure that a student has grasped the material.

When I review my students’ responses with them, incorrect answers are discussed and reworked. I encourage students to work out solutions for themselves as much as possible and relish seeing work completed independently.

You will find me to be communicative, warm, and attentive to details, quick to ascertain where you need help, but not judgmental, and you will feel comfortable with me easily. I will help bring out the best in you, but you will not feel unnecessarily pushed.

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Cheri’s subjects

Elementary (K-6th)

I have been tutoring students at the K-6 age level for about three years. My background prior to tutoring involved 30 years of corporate training in the financial services industry. My career in financial services helped me to keep my writing and basic math skills strong. After that experience, I volunteered in a charter school, The East Harlem Scholars Academy, where I taught math and English to first grade students. I also found my own clientele and was able to get a third grade child through the New York State ELA Test. Subsequently, I joined Wyzant where I have been working with a number of students of varying ages on their reading, writing, grammar, spelling, and pronunciation skills.


The study of English involves the study of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation, i.e. those elements and rules that combine to make strong sentences that tell you something specific in a concise and impactful way. The study of English also involves the study of written English; this involves the structure of paragraphs and the building of paragraphs to create narrative sweep or good storytelling, both of which require strong sentences. Finally, there's the practice of spoken English which in most contexts is more relaxed than written English. No matter where my students need help, I love to help educate them about all of the rules and then help them to put those rules into practice.


My work has included tutoring students whose first languages are Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Russian among others. I work with these students at their own pace, addressing particular needs as they arise, be they pronunciation, comprehension, grammar, writing etc. I always respect the limits of a student to "imitate" the sound of the target language knowing that for some it will take more work than others.

One of the most pleasurable aspects of teaching a spoken language is the ability to be spontaneous and to have the student create the stories or dialogue s/he wishes.


Grammar includes the study of the way words are put together to construct sentences and of patterns in the way words are formed.

I like to make certain that my students have understood the basics of sentence construction before we move into more advanced modes. Likewise, I like to make certain that the most often used tenses are mastered before suggesting that a student use more sophisticated forms.

If a student shows sufficient interest, or has regular assignments, I am happy to go over the rules of grammar as they are described in a workbook or textbook where the student can work on issues to satisfactory conclusion with my assistance. My favorite grammar book is "The Elements of Style," and I will suggest it to any students who are ready for it.


I worked for a full school year in a charter school helping students to improve their reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and spelling. For the study of phonics, I like to try to make the work fun by selecting stories geared to teaching them phonics. Many of the stories that I've used include rhyming words and words with similar vowel sounds on nearby pages. I find this strategy works successfully: with enough practice, students are able to pick up books without a "phonics" emphasis and demonstrate greater confidence and fluency in their reading.

I always make sure to explain to my students that they can sound out many of the words in their phonics literature but that other words need to be "memorized" as they cannot be sounded out ("sight words"). I also help students with particular difficulties in phonics by having them pronounce a word after me and then stating it independently. This helps assure that they're feeling supported and independent.


Proofreading is a very important element of good writing and needs to be performed by the student and, if the writing is very long and complex, perhaps by another pair of eyes, be they those of a tutor or an editor. It requires "stepping back" from the writing to check whether the grammar, spelling, punctuation,etc., is correct and that the overall structure of the writing can be justified. For the tutor, skillful proofreading can be a way to help the student craft a good piece of writing into a better one.

Students of all levels need to know how to proofread their work if they are hoping to present their best efforts and, therefore, proofreading must be a skill that tutors have mastered and can teach to students.


I like to have my students read slowly and carefully to me, making sure they can pronounce, spell and understand all of the words they see. I will help them to sound out any words they experience difficulty speaking. Then I like to discuss, sentence by sentence, the subject matter or sense of the material. I am very generous with positive reinforcement and try to inject humor in the teaching in whatever way I can.


As an avid reader and word lover, I strive to convey to my students my passion for words spelled properly. It isn't enough to get the word down on paper if it is misspelled; words need to be distinct and recognizable. With young students, I will differentiate between words that are spelled as they sound and "sight" words, those that are not spelled as they sound. I find that students have a better logical grip on spelling if they keep these categories of words separate. For some students, it is helpful to remind them that a final "e" can preserve the long vowel sound. I like to make index cards for my students to make sure they know not just how to spell a word, but what it means as well.


Whether helping to build a vocabulary for a child or for an adult, I am enthusiastic about learning new words and am able to convey that enthusiasm to my students. My favorite games are word games and so I like to make sure that my vocabulary lessons are fun. I will be certain to emphasize pronunciation, spelling and to use any vocabulary in sentences so that definitions are clear and words are not just memorized but learned so that they can be applied.


I find that encouraging students to write as they speak can be very helpful. Whatever the writing assignment, I like to ask my students to create an outline of the material they want to cover. Then, I suggest that all research, thoughts and ideas, etc., fill in that outline. In that way, content and structure can come together in a rough draft which can then be used as the basis for a paper, story, presentation, etc.

After my students have been encouraged to work independently to edit their own work, I will help them to rework their rough drafts. I focus on providing suggestions and rules to make sure a piece of writing contains the most clear and concise language with quotations cited, ideas logically stated, and grammatically correct language and spelling used.

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Yale College, Yale University (B.A.)

Very Patient And Excellent Tutor For My Son And Daughter — Cheri is very patient and challenges my daughter (15 years old) to analyze writing responses in Greek mythology. She also helped her in grammar and vocabulary development for preparation of SAT. For my son (11 years old), she is working with him on ELA common core standards and how to respond to short essays. She is also helping him in grammar and vocabulary development. Both of my children lov ...

— Stella from New York, NY on 3/12/14

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $55.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Please speak with me about pricing for group lessons and subject specific rates.

Travel policy

Cheri will travel within 20 miles of New York, NY 10017.

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