Trevor’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Trevor’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have 4 years of intensive classroom training (1000 hrs.) and studied for two terms abroad at Chinese universities, specifically Beijing University and Harbin Polytechnic University. My senior year of university I finished second in the national Chinese Bridge language competition. I have also worked in China for 4 years and traveled extensively throughout numerous provinces and cities.
Additionally, having once ventured into Mandarin before as a beginner myself, I believe that my unique experience can offer students an invaluable advantage regarding language difficulties. Moreover, my passion for Chinese and the importance of China and its culture to me are signs of my commitment and they motivate me to help my students improve and excel. Finally, my experiences in China afford me an in-depth understanding of the language as used in everyday Chinese life.
The lessons can focus on speaking, listening, reading, writing, or any combination of them. The goal in each lesson will be to allow students to become comfortable with the content and develop skills allowing them to formulate and articulate complete and accurate thoughts and opinions. To achieve this, it is important to give students an all-around understanding of not only the “what” but also the “why” of the language, as well as incorporate authentic materials so students can learn how the language is really used.
While in high school, I scored a 5 on the AP Literature and Composition exam, and as an English/Literature major in college, I studied and read writings from a variety of traditions, cultures, and backgrounds. I have extensive experience in the understanding of literary analysis and how students can effectively study prose and poetry and express their thoughts and opinions accurately and clearly. I have studied the works of the “essential” literary canon such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, Twain, and so forth, as well as more obscure or contemporary ones. I am also extremely well versed in the field of literary theory, and can help students more closely and carefully analyze texts and grasp their content and meaning. Finally, my familiarity with the English language from an academic point of view helps me to more comprehensively teach students the various ways to look at English and equip them with the skills to apply them to future tasks.
As an English major in university, excellent writing skills were an absolute necessity and as such so was a solid comprehension of grammar. Besides my academic experience, I furthermore have undergone ESL/EFL training via the Oxford Seminars program and have been certified as a qualified teacher of ESL/EFL. Coupled with my years of experience as an EFL teacher in China, I have a deep and well-established understanding of the mechanics of grammar, and can teach them in a clear and effective manner. Additionally, my firm grasp of linguistics allows me to more thoroughly understand the connection between grammar and language and relate this knowledge in a concise and easily comprehensible way to my students.
While in high school, I scored a 5 on the AP Literature and Composition exam, and as an English/Literature major in college, I studied and read writings from a variety of traditions, cultures, and backgrounds. They included literary works from China, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, the Middle East and Maghreb (e.g. Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, etc.), Norway, Germany, the Caribbean, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Russia, Senegal, Kenya, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Ukraine. I have written expository essays as well as detailed literary analyses on those and many other works. I am also extremely well versed in the field of literary theory, including the subjects of formalism, structuralism and poststructuralism, deconstruction, postcolonialism, feminism, Marxism, reader-response theory, gender theory, race theory, and psychoanalysis. Finally, in 2012 I wrote the unit on postmodern literature for a college textbook (in English) at Henan Polytechnic University.
As an English/Literature major in college I was (and still am) no stranger to writing and editing papers. Besides writing numerous papers myself, I have also edited and proofread dozens of essays for students at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as journal articles and studies submitted by professors. While in college I was a one-on-one language tutor to foreign exchange graduate students and I often assisted them in editing their research papers and theses. Furthermore, while working at a university in China I regularly met with professors to read and comment on their work on topics ranging from literary analysis to engineering. I am also proficient in the Microsoft Word editing and review tools, making my editing and suggestions much more than the scrawling of a simple red pen. Lastly, as a competent writer of essays myself, I am able to offer practical and effective advice to help others improve in their writing, both stylistically as well as mechanically, and even offer models of my own work for purposes of reference and illustration.
I have almost 15 years of experience in public speaking. Firstly, over the course of four years of competitive debate in high school and college, I have given over 600 speeches in local and national tournaments. Furthermore, since 2009 I have taught over 1000 hours of undergraduate and graduate level TEFL/ESL classes.
During that time, I specifically taught courses about public, extemporaneous, and improvisational speaking and the skills necessary to succeed in those endeavors. Also included in those courses were personally prepared lesson plans particularly aimed at helping students to achieve their public speaking goals. Lastly, I have given numerous open lectures to around 2000 students on topics ranging from life in college and American culture to natural wonders of the world and sports.
As a former EFL teacher and volunteer ESL and reading tutor, I am well acquainted with the skills and habits indispensable to being a good reader. Moreover, as a literature major myself in college, I have cultivated and utilized numerous techniques in my own studies that can help students to read and understand texts in an expedient and efficacious manner. For example, one of the challenges I have often encountered with students is the intimidating and overwhelming feeling that appears when they are confronted with a long or seemingly complicated passage or work. However, in such situations I can help students to break down the components of a text quickly and correctly in order to make the meaning and context clearer and more manageable. Another instance is the difficulty students often have when encountering new words or phrases and trying to figure out the meaning or the proper pronunciation. In this regard, I can help students to tackle unfamiliar meanings by looking for context clues or language elements like prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and etymology. As for pronunciation, I have found it useful to provide students with references to similarly pronounced words and how the “pieces” fit together, then to teach them to apply them to newly confronted words or phrases. Finally, my love of books and passion for teaching motivate me to help students to appreciate and excel at reading.
Excluding my own personal spirituality, my education and academic interests have provided me with an extensive exposure to world religious studies. From my first year of kindergarten to college graduation, I attended religious private institutions. Beyond the daily religious influences and services in high school and college, I received over five years of religious education in the classroom, ranging from Catholic and Protestant Christianity to East Asian and South Asian Buddhism. Moreover, outside of the formal academic setting I have studied and explored additional religious traditions, ancestral beliefs, and philosophical systems, including Zen, Daoism, Tibetan Bon, Hinduism, Shinto, Shaivism, Islam, and Sufism. Finally, I also have visited various important religious sites from both Western and Eastern traditions in North America, Europe, and Asia, lending concrete experience to pair with my religious knowledge.
As a former English and ESL/EFL teacher, I have had extensive experience in the teaching and understanding of vocabulary. Throughout the hundreds of lessons I have taught, vocabulary is an ever-present element in areas such as reading literature, taking tests, writing essays, giving speeches, analyzing language, and so forth. Being the core element that vocabulary is, I have often taken it upon myself to understand new words and phrases in their entirety, from their basic definition and usage to their linguistic roots and etymology. Therefore, I am well equipped to aid students in understanding how to use vocabulary properly and successfully. For instance, I can teach students skills like how to correctly use a thesaurus, how to differentiate between similar words and phrases, how to infer the meaning of an unfamiliar word or phrase, contextual clues to use when acquiring or articulating challenging vocabulary, and to know the suitable setting in which to use words of different register, to name a few. Moreover, my voracious appetite for reading allows me to consistently maintain a wide array of and deep appreciation for words. Finally, as a teacher of students learning to comprehend new vocabulary and use it correctly, I have developed exercises, activities, and techniques that students find both fun and effective in learning and retaining vocabulary knowledge, thereby reinforcing the motivation and encouragement required to be a good student of vocabulary.
In general, I have extensive experience in a variety of essay styles, including expository, analytical and argumentative. Additionally, I have written on numerous topics, such as literary analysis, media studies, film/television, art, politics/government, law, environmental studies, philosophy, cultural studies, linguistics, history, religion, and economics. While in high school, I scored a 5 on the AP Literature and Composition exam and an 800 on the SAT II Writing exam. In college, I maintained a 4.0 GPA in my major (English/Literature) and wrote an average of 80-100 pages of writing per semester, including numerous essays of considerable length (25+ pages). I have also written the unit on postmodern literature for a college textbook (in English) at Henan Polytechnic University. Lastly, I have edited dozens of essays for students at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as journal articles and studies submitted by professors.