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I have 30 years' experience working in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist. I have worked with students ages 2-18, individually or in groups of 2-4, targeting clear speech, grammar and vocabulary. I have also worked with adults learning English as a second language while obtaining my TESOL certificate in Krakow, Poland.
I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA in 1980, and my Master of Science degree from Radford University in Radford, VA in 1995. I received my TESOL certificate (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the School for International Training in 2004. My primary goal is to help others learn English through the practice of vocabulary skills, grammar and pronunciation.
I also have an extensive musical background. After taking ten years of piano lessons and two years of organ lessons, I worked as primary keyboard accompanist for Stan Kingma's Virginians: a variety show that traveled throughout Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland providing entertainment for banquets, conventions and other events. I also have worked as church organist and music director of several churches, as well as vocal soloist and choir director. I have experience teaching piano lessons privately.
Ear training, as it refers to musical training, is extremely important whether you are a singer, instrumentalist, conductor or composer. I have developed excellent skills in this area from my piano study and university classes, being able to easily transcribe melodies given a staring note. I always make ear training a part of the piano lessons I provide.
I am extremely well-versed in the use of English grammar and vocabulary, from kindergarten levels to adult. I have worked with children in the public schools of all ages for 30 years, with individuals and small groups. I also taught summer school for several years at the elementary school level, working with all elementary school subjects. My strongest areas are reading, spelling and writing but I am experienced in teaching math, science and other subjects as well.
In 2004 I resided in Krakow, Poland, for one month, where I took an intensive class in teaching English to non-English speakers. I attended classes during the day, taught adult students at night, and obtained the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate from the School for International Training.
During this class I expanded on my ability to use all learning modalities to improve students' vocabulary, grammar and pronunication: visual, auditory, motor, tactile-kinesthetic. I taught evening classes as part of a team, targeting all areas of English learning during each evening: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Student participation in interactive lessons was the focus of each lesson, as opposed to a lecture format.
I have extensive experience helping students improve communication skills in their native language as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Providing speech/language therapy and teaching English as a second language require very similar, perhaps identical, techniques and skills. Communication skills in any langauge are critical to an individual's success in all areas of life and I am dedicated to helping others in this area.
I studied piano for 10 years, organ for two years, with one year of study at the Univeristy of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. While at the university, I studed music history, music theory and the two instruments mentioned above. I am a proficient keyboard artist and amd very knowledgable about music in general. I have taught piano lessons privately, instructing students in various aspects of music, including but not limited to instrument proficiency.
I took private piano lessons for 10 years, one of which was at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. I do not hold a degree in music but am very knowledgable about playing and teaching piano. I am an accomplished pianist, having worked for seven years as Primary Keyboard Accompanist to Stan Kingma's Virginians, a variety show that provided entertainment at various functions, including convention banquets. I have also worked for a variety of churches in Virginia as pianist, organist and choral director. I have experience teaching piano lessons privately and prefer the Alfred series of teaching materials, but am open to using other prepared materials as well. I love teaching beginning students but am comfortable with intermediate and advanced levels also.
I studied sight singing while at the University of Cincinnati, but my many years of music lessons and practice helped me to acquire an unusual proficiency in this skill. For many years I have been able to browse sheet music in a store and been able to hear the notes, chords and harmonies in my head, knowing what the song will sound like long before ever hearing it played. (That has saved me a lot of money on music I didn't wish to purchase!)
This skill has served me very well while singing in choirs and helping those around me to learn melodies. It also helps me to write music without sitting at the piano.
During my undergraduate and graduate training and my career as a speech pathologist, and I have taken several sign language classes. I am proficient at a beginning level but am very fluent, which has helped me to serve on occasion interpreting for deaf parents of students I worked with. I am not proficient with interpreting - I sign much better than I read others' signs, which is typical of all foreign language learning - but can help students learn sign language words, phrases, etc.
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