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My focus on teaching English is to coordinate skills in grammar, speaking and writing so that students see how they work together. I also use short texts (poetry, fiction or non-fiction) by writers in the United States and other countries to provide a meaningful framework for the lessons.
As a native speaker of English, I had to work hard over a period of years to develop fluency in French, my second language; I experienced myself the challenges of learning pronunciation, grammar and idioms. I pursued a Master's Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language so that I could help students improve their fluency in English. Recently I taught beginning and intermediate students from a variety of countries at local community colleges. English is not an easy language to learn but there are specific exercises that can provide a way to overcome many of the difficulties. Watching television, conversing with native speakers and using the Internet are all excellent resources when combined with a skilled tutor.
I majored in French at the University of Pennsylvania and I hold an MA in Second Language Teaching from the Universite de Montreal in Quebec. My husband is originally from France so we use it at home. Having learned it over a period of years through my own efforts (as an English speaker from Philadelphia), I really understand the challenges of learning a language. In this way I can provide high-quality assistance to students who just need a brush up or to those who are in trouble or who feel they have little facility for languages.
It seems that many people in our society dread speaking to groups, but there are many strategies to overcome this fear. I began as a public speaker many years ago when I needed to give presentations about the organization where I was working. Since then I have given all kinds of presentations, read my own original writing, and made requests for financial support. I believe that every individual has something important to share with others; it's just a matter of learning how to prepare the talk and then deliver it. Being nervous isn't necessarily an indication that the speaker is poorly prepared. Rather, it's part of the adrenaline rush that helps to do a good job. Harnessing this energy is the key to being confident when speaking in public. The rewards of giving an outstanding talk outweigh the challenges!
I focus on showing students a process for clarifying their ideas and engaging the reader. Regardless of the type of writing (essays, memos, stories) it's essential that the reader easily grasp the point. There are many ways to make the text lively, persuasive, etc. I love writing so I enjoy sharing it with others.