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Speaking with clear articulation affects the quality of one's writing - and a speech exercise.

A lot of people don't connect clear speaking with writing skills, but I've noticed that lots of students, from elementary school through college make errors in spelling and grammar because of the influence of hearing others pronounce words incorrectly. For example,  "I don't know weather I'm going" or "Could you be quite, please? or "Me and my friend are...." The first contain errors in spelling; the third has an error in grammar.  But the way people pronounce words or use ungrammatical speech can "crossover" into written language.  And the less someone reads, the more apt this is to happen.  I observe these errors a lot when I'm tutoring.   I studied voice articulation with someone considered to be the "best" teacher of this subject in the country, and proper pronunciation was drilled into me.  Here's a little exercise to practice differentiating "whether" from "weather":   'Whether... read more

Bring a friend! Double the fun and half the price!

Do you have a friend you want to officially beat in a debate? Are my fees too high? Do you like showing off in front of people? If this sounds like you than bringing a friend is the perfect solution! Friends are only 10$ more making it fun and cheap!  But all good things must end. The largest a group can be is six persons, no more. More than six is just redundant unless it is a lecture. "But Ben!" You exclaim, "What would we do with extra people? Wouldn't they just get in our way?" No. While it is true only one person can speak at a time the whole point of public speaking is to be persuasive and convince people. Whether you are trying to sell, inspire, or simply entertain there is no point in speaking if there is no audience. Multiple people means an educated discussion with a professional moderator. But wait! It gets better... we can have debates! Although I am rarely asked to organize debates they... read more

Make 2014 Your Year to Do More!

Can you believe 2014 is already 1/4 over? Wow! Besides freezing and shoveling snow, what  have you done so far this year?   It's never too late to learn! Maybe you always wanted to blog but didn't know how ...Or buy a new computer with your tax refund ...Or finally conquer your fear of public speaking   I CAN HELP!   I have expertise in all of these areas and would be happy to help you! Make 2014 YOUR Year! Here's to 8 more months of SUCCESS!

Public Speaking- From Fear to Fierce

Public Speaking- From Fear to Fierce I went to a high school that put great emphasis on classical skills: Logic, Latin, and Rhetoric. The term “rhetoric” has a bad reputation in today’s society that is completely undeserved. The word “rhetoric” simply referred to the art of communication, often in public speaking or in discussion format. That discussion aside, I loved the methods that we were taught to overcome that fear of public speaking, and I think that others could benefit as well. I remember the first time that each person in our ninth grade class had to present a paper to our history class. We were all white-knuckled clutching our entirely pre-written papers that must have only been two or three hand written pages in length. Shaking knees and even shakier voices were quite prevalent. The next year, when we started rhetoric classes, I watched those same students, including myself, giving speeches fifteen minutes or longer with very little noticeable... read more

Learn to love making mistakes!

I used to be a quiet person who didn't like to talk in front of a group of people for fear of making a mistake and having them laugh at me.  Luckily, I learned from my high school basketball coach that making mistakes is a good thing, and nothing to be ashamed about.  "How can it be a good thing?" I wondered.     She told me that my fear of making mistakes was paralyzing me, so much so that I was not allowing myself to try new things and new approaches.     Many of my international students come to me with the same fears.  They are too ashamed of their limited spoken English, preferring to sit and listen, rather than try new situations and challenge themselves.  My goal with any new student is to help them understand, the same way my basketball coach helped me to understand, that they are free to make as many mistakes as they can when they are with me. Together, with my guidance, they will learn from their mistakes... read more

Philosophy of Education for MJ T.

Philosophy of Education for M.J. T. To me the purpose of education is threefold: (1) provide students with a basis of knowledge, (2) teach students how to reason so that they can continue their education throughout their lives, and (3) instill in them a life-long excitement about and love of learning. Students must acquire a basis of knowledge, a framework on which to sort out and understand how various aspects of information in any subject area fit together to make the whole picture of where we have been and where we are going as a civilization. Science affects philosophy which affects the arts … ad infinitum. Nothing exists in a vacuum-sealed box. All knowledge is recursive and intertwined - reaches out and affects many areas outside the discipline in which it begins. I liken this basis of knowledge to a needlepoint tapestry mesh framework. The threads of different strands of information are worked in at various points. In some way every thread touches every... read more

Confident

My cousin once asked, "Where do you get your confidence?” Before I had time to consider the idea, the response came out, "I've made mistakes, and I'm not afraid to make mistakes in the future.” In public speaking, writing, and publishing; the speaker or writer must be confident. Confidence builders for me always include preparation. Here are ways I prepare to write and to present. Brainstorming. The first step is good old-fashioned brainstorming. I prepare by thinking about the topic. What do I know? What do I want the audience to know after I'm done? How will I go about finding information for the content I do not know? while driving is one of my favorite times to ponder a topic, the audience, and the purpose of the writing or presentation. I call it TAP. Once I've considered the topic, audience, and purpose (TAP), the majority of planning is done. The second step includes drafting. I choose to outline presentations and use paragraphing of thoughts for... read more

Spanish, French, English, Language Arts and Test Preparation Tutor. Contact me today to schedule a lesson!

Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie

Starting a Career in Media Relations

As a communications professional for more than 28 years, I have served several times as a media relations representative - as communications director for a health care service, as a public relations firm account manager, as media relations specialist for a political party and as a campaign manager for a city council candidate. For an aspiring media relations specialist, education is key, but the education needs to be well-rounded. My experience has taught me that prospective employers want someone with at least a bachelor's degree in journalism/public relations or in a related field, but they also want a worldly individual with a wide base of knowledge to bring to the table. A degree in communication or English can be just as effective in providing general education to a prospective media relations specialist. In interviewing with a prospective employer, a candidate for a job in media relations should make clear that he or she understands working on time and monetary budgets... read more

Wyzant Wants to Know

Q WyzAnt wants to know If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of academic or professional advice, what would it be? My greatest piece of advice to my younger self would be to have more courage in following your true passions.  For example, I knew very early on that I loved writing but was fearful that my writing "wasn't good enough" and that I couldn't "make a living as a writer".  As a result, I spent 26 years doing a corporate job that I hated only to embark on a second career that I finally feel called to do in my 40s. If I had my academic career to do over again, I would have majored in English and creative writing and gone immediately on to graduate school focusing on a university teaching career and engaging in my own writing as a hobby.  I am thankful that I am finally doing what I feel I was born to do; I only wish I had taken the path I am currently on about twenty years sooner.

Put a tune to it

I learned in my human development class that babies learn through repetition = Rote memory You may have also witnessed the ease with which the ABC's were learned. Mary Had a Little Lamb? Twinkle Twinkle? It is easier to commit something to memory through a song. Why is it so easy to remember that annoying tune on the radio? To better memorize - Words - Phrases - Rules (Grammatical, mathematical etc) Try putting it to a simple song tune. Ex My 2 year old learned how to spell his name BINGO style. L-O-G-A-N.

Advice to my younger self- the student

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more

"Why Should I? What are you going to teach me?"

I have received this question many times in many forms. The short version is it depends on what you, the student, needs. Do you (or your children) need speaking confidence? To stop stuttering? To speak loudly and proudly? But below are some specific skills and abilities I can teach in addition to whatever you need. Proper body movement while speaking - foot work, hand gestures, even facial expressions! The removal of filler words - "um" "er" and improper use of "like" just to name a few. Word choice - words like "thing" "stuff" and slang are okay for your friends but not for a crowd! Speech writing - oh the tricks! So very, very many; but here are a few: defining words in your favor, speaking to the judge (the judge is the person or people who matter, not necessarily the crowd), and listing examples in groups of three or two (did you notice me doing that yet? If so you have some experience already!). Fixing... read more

Tutoring for Learner Excellence

In my experience working with learners from various education levels and backgrounds, I understand the feelings of frustrations and concerns that many have when struggling with a subject or studying for a test but not receiving the results you would like or expect. It creates a feeling of helplessness or the sense that you can't overcome or you'll never get it. That's not true. With the right study skills, you can improve your confidence, preparedness, and ability in any area. The keys to learner's success include having clear goals about what you want to achieve, learning effective study tips and strategies, pacing yourself, organizational skills, time management, academic planning and preparation, step-by-step instruction, committment (good work ethic), practice, and building confidence in your ability to improve and achieve your goals. It's said, if you want to succeed, try and try again. That's the only way to do it. If you have questions about assignments or... read more

I'm BACK! With fresh ideas and gentle outlook

Hello everyone! Or should I say kazoozampola! That is Dzongkha (the national language of Bhutan) for HELLO! After a few months away in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom of Bhutan, teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan, I am back and ready to see you. I am ready to apply some of the insights into teaching that I gained on this last adventure. Every year or so I try to freshen my approach to teaching. Subjects don't change that much. Let's face it - spelling stays pretty much the same, as does the pronunciation of words, and the structure of a sentence. But HOW to teach these topics -whether to a high school student struggling with essay writing or a business executive getting prepared for a presentation, or a non-native speaker hoping to improve his job prospects - refreshing teaching methods keeps me fresh, and keeps you interested (and helps towards better results). A few years ago I took some ASL (American Sign Language) courses to help inform my... read more

Favorite Quotes on Education

Here are some of my favorite quotes on education: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." --Mahatma Ghandi "Intelligence plus character--that is the true goal of education." --Martin Luther King, Jr. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." --Plutarch "The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead." --Aristotle "Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference." --Claire Fagin "You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love." --Julia Child "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." --Derek Bok "Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world's work, and the power to appreciate life." --Brigham Young "Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for... read more

Sharpen your Writing, Speaking and Persuasive Skills with the PBFA Model

While managing call centers in my corporate career, I developed a telephone presentation tool to help reps work with customers and prospects. Little did I know that I had created a useful content creation tool for written or spoken communications. I eventually called it the “PBFA Model”—“P” meaning pain, “B” for benefit, “F” for feature and “A” for advantage. While sales people for years have used feature/benefit presentations, many of them missed discussing prospect PAIN. Instead of pain, you could also substitute need, want, desire or expectation. In the first part of this blog post, I’ll briefly discuss the model. I’ll follow up in the second part with an example that better explains the PBFA. But I guarantee you if you use the PBFA structure, you’ll write and speak more clearly and increase your persuasiveness with people. PBFA Model Imagine that you’re shopping for a new bike. You find rows and rows of new bikes in the store—different colors, mountain bikes,... read more

Why tutoring?

Why teaching? Why tutoring? As a second-generation educator, I can honestly say that my education is one of the most valuable assets I possess and can share. My mother has taught hundreds of school children and both she and my father have passed along their passion for learning to me. To this day I can remember a conversation my dad had with me when I was still in high school. He shared with me that one of the greatest gifts about an education is learning how to learn. Thus, it only seems right that I take what I've learned and pass it along to others in pursuit of their own discoveries. That's why I teach. That's why I tutor.

Mrs. L.

I am proud to offer my services after more than 20 years experience. Teaching is a passion and I believe all the subjects I propose are related to the joyful personality that I have that bring a special atmosphere to my classes. My classes are targeted to the needs of the students. I am flexible to work during all the week from 10 am to 6 pm except on weekends. I can also give evening classes or virtual ones.

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