Elaine’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Elaine’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
As someone who has owned my own resume writing and career counseling firm for the past decade, I specialize in assisting both adults and college-level students in putting together a resume that will get the attention of an employer.
I worked initially for Management Recruiters International in the IT arena, prior to starting my own company and have counseled hundreds of candidates—including both career-transitioning adults and first-time job seekers.
I know what resume formats work best; both in terms of visual appeal and content, and am able to help create a compelling product. I am also frequently called upon to assist in drafting a multi-purpose resume.
In addition, I assist clients in preparing a cover letter which is tailored to a specific position. In the event that no position has been identified yet, I work to create a more generic letter which lends itself to adaptation in the future.
Given today's busy work world, I also strongly suggest that a job seeker write his or her own letter of recommendation for a previous employer to sign. This strategy serves a dual purpose: first, it doesn’t constitute an unwelcome burden for an already-overloaded manager and second, it allows a candidate to highlight his/her strong points.
Because it is typically very difficult to talk about oneself—much less write a letter attesting to one’s personal virtues—I identify and analyze the strengths and capabilities of each client that may otherwise go unnoticed if an employer is asked to prepare this recommendation.
Furthermore, I conduct a series of mock interviews to evaluate the way a candidate presents him/herself and following these sessions, I provide a constructive critique of what was said, along with suggestions for improvement in the future.
Over time, I have developed an extensive set of resource materials on all aspects of the job search process. These include such key areas as salary negotiations, networking, interviewing, entrepreneurship, personal finance, getting hired/fired, retirement and re-tooling existing skill sets. I have written some 600+ articles.
My educational background consists of a B.S. in French, Spanish, Italian and German from Georgetown School of Languages and Linguistics and an MBA from Thunderbird in International Sales and Marketing.
As a published author myself, I am particularly sensitive to the nuances of the English language. During my earlier school years, I always enjoyed the class when the teacher was reviewing various aspects of grammar.
Over the years, I have come to believe that this 'affinity' for English--both writing and speaking--is born of the fact that both my father and grandfather as well are published authors and journalists themselves.
As early as my first year in high school, I remember correcting papers written by my classmates (for fun) and I continued to do so later in college, but this time as a part-time paying job!
Today, I have an active practice of WyzAnt students who come to me to sharpen their skills with a view to perhaps being promoted on the job, or else simply being able to communicate better with those around them.
In addition to in-depth vocabulary studies, I also emphasize the importance of grammar which serves as the building block for the language. The better acquainted a student is with various grammatical components, the able he is to write cohesive English language sentences.
I enjoy teaching English to both children and adults alike, and in the case of the latter, I spend a significant amount of time on writing skills: particularly parallel structure, coordinating conjunctions and prepositional phrases--all of which enable writing to flow better.
With an MBA in international affairs, and a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics, I have worked as a tutor for the past two decades. As such, I have seen an increasing proportion of students who need help with their English language skills.
Initially, I tutored U.S.-born students at the Jr High and High School level who were having problems with their writing and reading skills. However, over the past 3 years, I have been tutoring a larger percentage of students from other countries as well who are looking to improve their speaking ability. In many cases, these are adults who want to present themselves well to a potential employer, while other times, I have assisted children who are struggling to learn English for the very first time.
For example, one of my clients adopted two teenagers from Somalia, who came to the United States knowing virtually not a single word of English. The family called me to assist them with their verbal skills, and by the time I finished up with them, they were able to both initiate and respond to others correctly.
In another instance, I was asked to tutor an 8 year old from Argentina, whose parents only spoke Spanish in the home. Consequently, the child was having difficulties not only with pronunciation and grammar, but also with vocabulary and spelling. Over a period of 8 months, he was able to achieve a level of language proficiency such that his parents came to rely on him to communicate with service personnel and others, as needed.
I could go on and on, detailing my experiences in teaching both English AND English as a Foreign Language. However, suffice it to say that this is something that I enjoy, and something from which I derive tremendous satisfaction, as it ultimately benefits students and helps them live more successfully in our society.
One of the things I emphasize in particular is CORRECT PRONUNCIATION. Americans are notoriously mono-lingual, so when someone speaks with a foreign accent, they often do not exert the effort or take the time to understand them. For this reason, it is absolutely crucial to provide appropriate training in they way vowels and consonants work together in English, taking care to review the numerous exceptions and special cases.
In most cases, I use my own teaching curriculum, consisting of equal emphasis on speaking and writing, with ample concentration on bothgrammar and vocabulary. However, if a student already has a program they are working with, I am able to teach to that as well.
Having lived for 2 1/2 years in France, I have received numerous compliments on my native fluency in French.
In fact, during my graduate school days, the Chairman of the Department insisted on recording me speaking french--to prove to other students that it was, in fact, possible to achieve this degree of proficiency.
After arriving back in the United States after 2 years of residency and school in France, I applied to and was accepted by Hostra University.
During the weekends, I stayed with my godparents on Long Island. One day, I was poking around in the oldest daughter's room and found a tattered copy of a first year German book.
I opened it up; read several pages, and decided to teach myself German. I proceeded to do exactly this in my spare time for the entire semester, and the following January, I took a language test which placed me into 3rd year German, skipping both the first AND the 2nd year of classes!
This was an exhilarating moment for me, as it validated my theory that learning multiple languages simultaneously was the way to go. I did well in my 3rd year German, and that summer, I left on a trip to Bavaria where I was gratified to discover that I had minimal difficulty communicating in the language.
After enrolling in the American College in Paris, I found that the Italian language intrigued me, so I signed up for one semester evening class at the nearby 'Lyceo Italiano.'
Being in Paris, the class was naturally given in FRENCH! So...there I was, an American student still in the process of mastering French, taking a class in Italian!
I didn't have the time to translate from Italian into French and then back into English and given the similarities in grammar and structure of the former two languages, I was able to by-pass my native English and go from French to Italian directly.
I am convinced that it was this experience that helped me subsequently skip from 1st year Italian to 4th year. I was shocked myself to receive the results. I later persuaded the Dept. chair--during a conversation I held with him in exclusively in Italian--to allow me to forego the 4th year and go right into a graduate literature class.)
For the past 15 years, I have run a computer repair business alongside my husband. My role is, in a word, keeping the customers happy! This includes not only listening to them describe technical problems they are experiencing, but also, assisting them in resolving these.
Sometimes I can do this on the phone, but more than not I have to travel to them to find out exactly what it is they don't fully understand. I usually end up answering questions not only about Microsoft Word, but also about how to do basic things such as doing a cut/copy/paste, inserting photos into a text document, formatting a piece of correspondence, working with templates, setting up a basic Excel Spread sheet or even printing text!
It would certainly be my pleasure to help you tame the Microsoft beast!!
By way of background, I have a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University AND an MBA in International Marketing from Thunderbird. In fact,I speak French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese in varying degrees of proficiency, and strongly suspect that this is the reason I've mastered MS Word so easily. It is, after all, just another 'system.'
I've taught for WyzAnt for the past 5 years now, but I actually owned and operated a private tutoring business for 12 years prior to that. I would love to hear from you about what you have encountered that is the most troublesome to you.
As Italian and Spanish are so similar, I opted to take a Spanish class at Hofstra, along with my French and German classes.
I enjoyed my studies to such an extent that I applied for--and was accepted to-- a year long study program in Valladolid. However, at the last moment, I opted to solidify my fluency in French and spent the year in Paris instead.
This in no way diminished my enthusiasm for the Spanish language: I continue to enjoy it (and tutor it) here in No VA.
As the daughter of a published author and HIS journalist father, words (and their meanings) have always held a special fascination for me as I was growing up. I take pride in my spelling abilities, and rarely need to use the spell checker. I also studied 5 foreign languages as an undergraduate and went on to master 4 of these as a graduate student. (I currently ALSO tutor French, Spanish, Italian and German.)
I usually conduct a review of phonics for those students who are struggling with spelling and then I go on to help the student 'sound out' the word. I also identify troublesome sounds and find words with similar sounds so that the student sees the spelling over and over and over.
I have discovered three things in my nearly two decades of teaching. The first is that 50% or more of spelling errors are due to the child just wanting to GET THROUGH the assignment and not paying close attention to what s/he has written. The second, is that time is rarely spent pronouncing troublesome words OUT LOUD, and writing them down with the appropriate stress markings, while the third is that a dictionary--be it an actual book or an on-line resource, is rarely consulted to determine how a word should be spelled!
I therefore encourage my students to look words up and I show them how to use a dictionary. (Surprisingly enough, few students are either taught this or are able to remember this from their earlier education!)
Lastly, I like to encourage the use of a Thesaurus early on as it fosters the development of an enriched vocabulary. English is such a rich and powerful language that it is a shame to not take advantage of the diverse vocabulary it offers to improve both speech and writing.
I look forward to passing on my knowledge to my tutoring students!