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Michael S.

Write your ideas; create your future

Seattle, WA (98133)

Travel radius
10 miles
Hourly fee
$50.00
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Background Check Status for Michael S.

Michael S. passed a background check on 4/13/14. The check was ordered by Michael through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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Hello! Welcome to Michael's tutoring profile. Would you like some help with English? I promise you: within one year, words and ideas will become easier for you. You will write, read, speak, listen with more confidence and creativity.

I can teach you skills to get you beyond any blocks or frustrations. Do you want to connect with other people by your ideas? Our world needs you: the person in the group with "better communication."

I begin by finding out who you are. What do you love doing? Would like to improve your reading comprehension? Can you imagine the possibility of enjoying grammar? It can happen. Would you like to improve your grades? Bottom line, your goals are my goals. I work with all motivated students and subjects from study skills to test prep, and every one of them starts to taste the satisfaction of better communication.

If you want to speak and listen to English more easily, I can help. Perhaps because of my background in languages and linguistics, I am good at helping students with pronunciation, and also grammar, which is a key to clear and powerful communication.

Professionally, I have both a B.A. and an M.A. in English, with years of experience teaching writing, grammar, and literature in a community college.

I can provide a model, an inspiration and the discipline to guide you.

I live in Shoreline, but I am very flexible and willing to travel.

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Michael’s subjects

ACT English

I have several years of instructional experience at the community college level with the ACT's English skills, reading, and writing sections.

ACT Reading

I have several years of experience tutoring students for the ACT test (as well as for the SAT, etc). My work helping students with Reading starts with a review of basic grammatical concepts, which are essential to be able to read carefully and intelligently. Then we work through the skill passages in an ACT prep book, and finally work on some practice tests. I have a belief that in preparing for a multiple choice test, it is smart to spend as much time as possible going through similar tests. You not only learn the material, but also gain familiarity with multiple choice tests and strategies that work for them.

College Counseling

As a long term English professor at Highline Community College, I was given the additional responsibility of advising students, both in terms of their college course choices as well as in their career plans. I did this for nearly thirty years. I know what admissions offices are looking for in prospective students.

Elementary (K-6th)

I actively work with children from two different elementary schools in my other job as school bus driver. I have also worked with children as a summer camp waterfront director. And I have raised two sons through their elementary school years, helping them with homework, reading to them and so on. This is in addition to my professional preparation as an English teacher and my experience teaching in a community college in English.

English

English was my major in school and the field I have taught for the whole of my career. In a community college, I taught mostly the basic college writing course, so I am well qualified to teach the rudiments of good college writing.

ESL/ESOL

I love to teach small groups and individual students. For ESL this is the ideal size, where I can listen carefully to your pronunciation and give you individual attention for drilling on your particular problem with English.

I also have a background in linguistics, so that I am able not only to provide the example of a native speaker's pronunciation for you, but can take that sound apart and work with it on a "feature" level. I can help you speak perfect and formal English, or I can help you in casual conversation. Please contact me and we can work out arrangements that will be satisfactory with you.

Grammar

What do most people think when they hear the word "grammar"? They start worrying about their mistakes. I take a totally different approach. Certainly, it is important to speak and write correctly, but the higher priority is to become able to use the tool of grammar to accomplish your goals. Clarity and organization of thought are the higher priorities. I will teach you to have that, and at the same time I will communicate to you my love of grammar, a beautiful system of distinctions and nuances which empowers our meaning.

Literature

I received both a BA and an MA in English and American Literature, and I had a career of almost 30 years in which I taught literature in a community college. For the last few years I have been tutoring. My method is inductive, in which I elicit the student's essential self, especially as it resonates with the plot, setting, characterization, point of view, and so on, of the literary work. How does the work move the student? I may also assign the student to write, not a formal essay but a personal essay of response to the literature. Sometimes it takes the form of a letter to the author, or a poem.

Proofreading

Proofreading is something I have a great deal of experience with. I spent several decades teaching writing in a community college, and a good part of my work was reading for correctness. I was also editor of the campus creative writing magazine, and there, because we were publishing the work, I had to make sure it was perfect in mechanics.

Public Speaking

Public speaking is a thrill. Through practice you can take the fear and transform it into excitement. Eventually, you will jump at the chance to take the microphone. You will learn to connect with your audience, to feed off of their energy and appreciation. You will bathe in their laughter, and stand in awe at the gift of their rapt attention. I can guide you to get there.

Reading

Reading is a skill and an art. There are things in both areas I can do to help. As a skill there is learning to read faster and in blocks instead of single words; as an art there is the state of mind in which you can actually hear the voice of the writer, you can sense what is the direction and tone and purpose of his words. Reading is a pleasure, and study can open new worlds to you. I would like to offer my skill and inspiration in the journey.

SAT Reading

I understand what the SAT testers are looking for: more than anything else, they are looking for comprehension, for getting the main idea of a passage. But they are also interested in the student's having an ear for the tone of the passage, and they would like the student to have a sense of the structure of the argument. Vocabulary is critical in a student's ability to understand a passage.

SAT Writing

The SAT is the premiere test for college entry, and I have helped many students with this material. As a long term writing teacher on the college level, I think I have a pretty good idea what the admissions people are looking for in a new applicant.

Speech

When I was in high school, I competed in speech contests, and I won first place in the state in oratory. That was the first highlight of my career in speech. Then I became a college teacher and for thirty years found myself growing in my skill to stand in front of an audience, and I enjoyed persuading, moving, instructing, entertaining them a great deal. Since then, I have tutored many students in speech, and I have been successful in moving them forward, from their initial fears into experiences of success and satisfaction.

Study Skills

Here are my skills: I have a mind that can take a teacher's assignment and decipher what the teacher is actually wanting to have the student deliver. I have a great appreciation of authentic voice and the use of details which come from the student's actual experience.

In preparing work to be handed in, you may need some coaching on time management, as well as such things as formatting your work to meet the teacher's assignment. You may profit from some coaching on how to study, when and where to get the most out of your study. I can help you with all of this, as well as tips on reading with comprehension and remembering, effective note taking and recall.

TOEFL

I have tutored many students to do well in the TOEFL. With my background in English grammar, writing, and especially in the graduate work that I have done in linguistics, I am well qualified to help you to a good score. I enjoy working with students who have a good motivation, such as improving their score on the TOEFL.

Vocabulary

From the extensive reading I have done in my life, including my college teaching career, I have developed an excellent vocabulary. I have studied enough languages, including Latin, to be thoroughly familiar with word roots and stems. In my tutoring, I have helped many students to improve their vocabulary, with books specifically designed for vocabulary improvement, such as Word Smart and 400 Must Have Words. I believe I am quite qualified to coach students in vocabulary study.

Writing

I taught college writing for many years and have in the last few years tutored students in writing and related English subjects. I know I could help you. Organization, clarity, nuanced use of words, focus, purpose - these are key. I can help, I can inspire, I can teach the skills.

Read all subject qualifications »

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Education

B. A., Willamette University, Salem, OR (English)

University of Washington (Graduate Coursework)

University of Chicago (Master's)

Very encouraging. Michael encourages and supports my son as he is working on his writing for school. My son struggles to finish writing assignments at home without great angst and with minimal quality. Michael has a wonderful approach to helping him push himself to create higher quality work, build confidence, and start to see that he can write. Fantastic experience! ...

— Heather from Seattle, WA on 2/26/13);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

I am willing to give you a special pricing if you take a two-hour lesson at a time.

Travel policy

Michael will travel within 10 miles of Seattle, WA 98133.

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