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For the Love of Romance Languages

Greetings! Today's post is about romance languages. I love languages; more specifically, I love the languages in which there is a SVO (subject-verb-object configuration) and I love languages that have a lot of Latin (much of which is derived from Greek) cognates.*In short, I love the languages that were promulgated and dispersed by the many Roman conquests. In many of these languages, the word “bella,” means beautiful and “a, e, i, o and u” are vowels. As a college student, I learned that Latin and/or its derivatives permeate the English language via legal terms, literary references, mottoes and quotes, as well as in taxonomy classifications in the sciences and that having a strong knowledge of Latin root words can elevate one's study skills for the GRE, SAT and ACT exams. The phrase, “romance language,” refers to the following languages which we most frequently think of as Roman Empire-Latin language derivatives: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. The... read more

TutorFAQs

Q. Where will we meet for tutoring? A. We will try to find a suitable place that is convenient for both of us. Though I do travel to meet you, time and distance are important factors in making this work feasible and profitable for me, so I try to find locations that minimize my travel time, while also providing convenience to you. Q. How will we decide on a time to meet? A. We will try to find a suitable time that is convenient for both of us. Q. When are you available to tutor? A. It varies from week to week, but my general availability begins at 10:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and ends at 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 3:00 pm Saturday. Please contact me for my current availability. Q. How long will each session be? A. The session length can vary, depending on the subject, the student, and the schedule. Unless otherwise agreed, the session times will be two (2) hours each. Q. Why do you recommend two (2) hours per session? A.... read more

Buying a Dictionary

Some teachers don't like beginning language students to buy Spanish-English/English-Spanish (or whatever) dictionaries, but I think they're very valuable tools. But what they say about books in general holds true for good foreign language dictionaries: you can't tell them by their covers. Some dictionaries are great, while others are terrible. But there are a couple of things to look for to see if the dictionary is worth buying. First of all, check the publication date. All languages change, and so do the words that they contain. Not only do new words show up in new dictionaries every year, but old words may go through important changes over the years, as well. For example, today words like "web," "pad," and "tablet" have definitions that they simply didn't have a decade or so ago. In general, you will want to buy a more recently published dictionary if you're a beginner. Second, in the English section go to the word "date." This... read more

Study Tips for Language Learning

I have three tips for studying a world language that I'd like to pass on to WyzAnt folk. They may seem pretty elementary to some people, but might be new to others. Even though it's somewhere near the middle of the semester, it's not too late to put them into place to improve your language skills. 1. Set aside time for language study daily. Even if you don't have written homework due or a quiz or test scheduled, review what you've learned and try to build on it every day, even if it's just for fifteen minutes or half an hour. When we are learning our first language - our mother tongue - we're immersed in it: people are talking to us all day in that language, we hear it on the TV and overhear it in adult conversations taking place literally over our heads. Most of us are not able to spend any appreciable time in a total immersion program, so we have to make a constant effort to see that our new language doesn't relegate itself in the back of our minds and get lost in the... read more

Do not give up! -- No te rindas!!

The best advice I can give you- and this goes for every lesson in my class “Is to listen to as many native speakers as you can”. The more you listen to native speakers, the more comfortable you will become with what people say when they want to express a certain meaning. As a logical as the rules in Spanish seem to be (and they may not seem very logical to you) learning a language is NOT like learning mathematics or the sciences. A language is an organic, breathing thing, is a God creation for human beings, so we need another human beings to associate... with lots of room for impreciseness, ambiguity, and imperfect grammar. Once you become familiar with the building blocks in Spanish, you shouldn't have to think hard when you’re speaking. Rather, you should be able to listen to what others say and imitate their expressions – even without knowing precisely what it all means in English! I’m native Spanish speaker and I want to help you! God Bless You!

Confidence Building, Positivism and Patience are my building blocks to break down barriers

I never thought I would enjoy and learn so much from teaching and tutoring my students. I have had the blessings to tutor/teach students as young as 6 years old, with their driven parents wanting me to teach their child/children Spanish,English, Romanian, Beg. French, Reading, Writing and Phonetics. It never failed to amaze me the memory capacity, endurance and confidence a child can gain from simple encouraging words, your faith in their abilities and your unwavering patience. Having students of all ages, cultural backgrounds and learning levels gave me the opportunity to learn lots of ways to adapt, challenge, engage, understand and enhance the lessons to better suit and challenge the students comprehension and progress. I look forward to each and every session for it gives me great pride to see the hard work, troubleshooting and progress toward their educational, social, linguistic and emotional development. When one is confident in their capabilities there is no limit... read more

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.

Last-Minute Tutoring for Students Falling Behind Poll

The above-referenced subjects include different-aged PreK-College student needs I have experienced at the beginning of each school year since Fall 2010, when I first began tutoring in earnest via WyzAnt, instead of substituting daily for lesser pay in 18 area elementaries in our school district. I am not including higher math (Grade 7 and above) in my math tutoring experience. I also have helped adults with ESL/ESOL, general and academic reading/writing/comprehension/test preparation as well as public speaking for different-sized audiences, sometimes at-the-last-minute before "the big presentation day".

About me

I hold a Masters Degree in Arts and Humanities (Spanish), and a Professional Teaching License. I teach Spanish and English regularly. I taught in college, public schools, government agencies and businesses. I'm retired from the public system, still teach at the university, and offer private tutoring.

Summer Language Learning

I have found reading to be the best way to build vocabulary when learning a foreign language. It amazes me how many words I still remember from all the books I read in Spanish and French when I was in college and grad school. No doubt it's because I learned the words in context and didn't just memorize them from a list. But be careful not to pick a book that's too far above your reading comprehension level. You'll just get bogged down and stop reading. Also, don't worry about looking up every word you don't know. The idea is to keep reading and getting the main ideas. After you've read a book for a while, it begins to get easier to understand. In addition to reading, if you're traveling to the country where your target language is spoken, take a journal with you and jot down words and phrases you hear spoken or see on signs. Then, when you are back in the hotel at night resting, pull them out and study them for a few minutes.

Speaking vs. Listening, Writing vs. Reading

Why is listening in a foreign language always easier than speaking? Why does reading in a foreign language seem so much easier than writing? That's because your brain is doing different work in each context. When you listen and when you read, you are taking in information. You are receiving information, a passive form of using your new language. However, when you speak or write, you are actively expressing your own unique ideas. Literally, you are creating and formatting new information! This is why I encourage my students to practice speaking and writing as much as possible, whether it be in English, Spanish, or whatever their new language is. For example, if you usually write your grocery list in English, try writing it in Spanish! Do you know someone who is bilingual? Try talking to them in your new language! They will appreciate you taking the time to converse with them in their native tongue, and your brain will appreciate that you are finally putting to good... read more

A little on Spanish

Hey everyone! I have currently been working two tutoring jobs, one in the subject of Spanish, with an elementary school age girl. This was my first official tutoring job. I have gained a great amount of experience with this job, I've learned many different types of lesson formats and found that when learning a new language note cards are great for vocabulary. I also think that making little songs will help in memorization and repetition is key. I also think that the format of teaching should vary, for example, starting with 20 minutes of vocabulary, then 20 of grammar, and 20 minutes of combining the two. I like to go over what was learned in the last lesson and around every four lessons or so go over what we have learned so far from the beginning. I think this is also very important because many times lessons are given and you move past that certain part, making it more difficult to remember or perhaps forgetting it all together. Hope these few tips were helpful! :)... read more

Avoiding summer slump

The worst thing for a student can be summer vacations. The last thing on their minds is to keep up on what they learned throughout the previous school year. They want fun, freedom, excitement. None of these are often used by students to describe learning or school. However, it is important to their continued mental development that they maintain their level of understanding from school year to school year. Too much time is lost at the beginning of each school year trying to catch back up. This slipping backward can be avoided by doing simple skills every day during summer vacation. Math students should continue to work on math problems throughout the summer. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division can be done easily without pen or paper. A trip to the store or gas station can be a quick quiz for most elementary math students if a motivated parent or sibling is willing to ask them questions. Fun and entertaining math problems can be found online as well that can... read more

Keeping it fresh!

Especially in the language areas (French, Spanish, and English), there are lots of ways to stay current or to at least keep aspects of your learning fresh. In the case of foreign language, whenever possible, watch a news program or a weather cast in the foreign language. It is also a good idea to watch children's shows i.e. Dora in Spanish. Reading a newspaper is a wonderful way to maintain reading, learning and analytical skills. Listening to foreign language tapes either in the car, or just before you go to sleep also helps. For those of you who are more inventive or creative, practice having conversations before a mirror. Just make it up as you go. Watch yourself in the mirror. As you encounter vocabulary that you don't know or that you have forgotten, you can look it up, and thereby add to your vocabulary. From time to time review your flash cards or your class notes, or class tests. This is very important a week or two before school begins.

Simple tips for summer knowledge maintenance!

It isn't always necessary to cram textbooks during the summer; try to find simple ways to maintain an overall positive summer in terms of learning by using simple steps: with just a few easy habits, you can reinforce what you've learned in most mainstream classes without feeling like you're under your teacher's thumb! Try typing with proper grammar/punctuation when texting, and using IMs or Facebook. This will get you into the habit of knowing when to use correct capitalization, avoiding word mix-ups such as your/you're and there/their/they're (which are surprisingly common in people who should CERTAINLY know the difference); when using an actual keyboard, this will slowly increase your typing speed, as well. I started doing this myself in 9th grade at 13 years old, have never had a message misinterpreted due to "i cdnt rd wt u sed", and have since greatly improved my typing speed, so much so as to be faster than some people I know who type without looking at... read more

Julie's First WyzAnt Blog Post

Well, students, here I am! I am fresh from Wichita, KS and awaiting tutoring opportunities in the Seattle, WA area. Just to get the ball rolling, I will create weekly blogs that include little snippets of knowledge relating to foreign languages. Here's this week's: a good quote in several languages... (Quote form brainyquote.com) "Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm." ~ Hippocrates auf Deutsch: "Machen Sie eine Gewohnheit zu zwei Dingen: zu helfen; oder mindestens keinem Schaden zuzufügen." in Italiano: "Prendere l'abitudine di due cose: aiutare; o almeno di non nuocere." en Español: "Haga un hábito de dos cosas: ayudar; o al menos no hacer daño." en francés: "Faites une habitude de deux choses : aider; ou au moins ne faire aucun mal." Can you see some similarities in the different languages? Let me know and have a great week!

Updated Summer Availability

Updated Summer Availability: Mon: No Available Sessions Tues: No Available Sessions Wed: After 3:30 pm Thurs: After 3:30 pm Fri: After 1pm Weekends: 10am-5pm (Some flexibility required for recurring weekend sessions due to prescheduled out of town obligations) Please message me to inquire about setting up a tutoring session! Having your payment information on file will allow us to begin more quickly.

What do you want to learn outside this summer?

I have been on my bicycle a few times this spring, but yesterday I took my first serious ride (without the 9-year-old). It felt so great. I was absolutely in my "happy place." I am a busy person, often looking to "kill two birds with one stone," so it got me thinking... How can I work biking into the rest of the summer? I started to calculate how many days a week I could bike to work, which regular errands I could do by bike instead of by car, what routes I would like to explore, who I know that might want to bike with me. My thoughts were rolling with the tires, so soon I was on to thinking about any activities I could do outside, and what could be combined without sacrificing mindfulness. Languages! I thought. Riding bike with a friend, I can talk. There's no reason I couldn't do it in French or Spanish instead of English. The same with taking walks, hanging out in parks, playing games outside with kids, and so on. A couple of summers ago I taught... read more

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