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My love for English has been there since the first time I picked up a book and started reading, around age 4. Since then I've sought to share the passion I felt with others, and depending on how receptive they were, succeeded to varying degrees. I've taught the kid next to me on the bus, as well as a roomful of non-fluent students trying to grasp the language, and loved every minute of each extreme.
Basically, my approach is a combination of hard work on the student's part, as well as fun and games as rewards and teaching opportunities. Usually I have a certain amount of work that I deem as needing to get done, which is calculated to take about half the study time. Following this, should the work be completed satisfactorily, is a game that utilizes the skills taught or reinforces them to a degree. This offers an incentive as well as a fun learning atmosphere, which I feel encourages a student to improve at a speedier pace than they might were their approach a simple slogging through of material.
While I love to work with students who have a true love for the subject, rarely are these the ones who need help. As such, I do enjoy the challenge of trying to get others to share my passion. A recalcitrant reader or a stubborn text crazy teen who refuses to learn to write properly, both of these provide a challenge I take personal pleasure in trying to reach.
From February to April of 2011 I was teaching two classes of 40 students each at the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Before this I've done various tutoring jobs for family friends, mostly in English, but also in lower level math (3-4th grade). For now on this site I'm going to focus on the various aspects of English, since that is decidedly my strong point.
Hopefully this 'About Me' bit provides a taste of who I am, and that I'll hear from you soon to schedule a tutoring session to meet your needs.
As an ardent reader and student of literature, I have always displayed an aptitude in English. My current GPA in college is around 3.9 in English classes. My approach to teaching English is to teach students to love the subject. There is so much of the world that only opens up when one has a good grasp of English!
For 3 months I taught classes of university level students in China the English language. Most students had a low to moderate level of understanding by the time they entered my class, with a few of exceptionally high or low levels.
I firmly believe the best way to learn a foreign language is to practice, practice, practice. Learn a few words, and then use those words, as opposed to just memorizing word lists. As such, my approach is generally activity rather than homework oriented. Learn a few words, than have an activity that uses the words learned, like learning the colors, and then playing a color version of Go Fish ("Do you have a red?")
When working one on one, I try to focus on items of interest to the student, playing off their passions to encourage them to learn. For education to work, the student has to want to learn, and my aim is always to make it fun and interesting.
The best way to learn vocabulary is contextually, and reading is the best context. If one is faced with a random word, alone on a page, it is difficult to guess the meaning. Even common words are indecipherable without context sometimes, such as: present (is it a gift, or referring to a moment in time?), run (is it a person's action, or a lucky streak?), and letter (is it part of the alphabet, or a missive to someone?).
Therefore, my approach is a literary one, where vocabulary is introduced through interesting texts. Through repetition of a term, repeatedly encountering it in one's reading, then including it in your own writing, it becomes part of one's thought process, and added to the bank of words drawn on in normal conversation and writing.
Writing is my second love in life, preceded by reading. From when I could barely write, I was writing stories, and conforming to the grammatical norms I found in the copious reading I did. I firmly believe reading is the foundation of writing, though that alone won't make one a good writer. Vocabulary and grammar are a part of writing, and can be taught. The talent in writing comes in choosing the right words. While more difficult, this can also be taught.
My focus is on teaching the student to draw from within, and use what they already know to put words to paper. Often fiction is a good place to begin writing, because the interest is there. Once the rules of writing are learned, you can move on to more academic styles of writing. Poetry brings the element of rhythm that so important to good prose.
In summary, I use a multi-faceted approach to writing, that uses a variety of forms to teach different aspects of writing. One form is not better than another, it merely emphasizes a different angle.
Eastern Washington University (Creative Writing)
Standard Hourly Fee: $35.00
Cancellation: 24 hours notice required
Nichole will travel within 20 miles of Cheney, WA 99004.
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