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As an adjunct professor at Montgomery College for more than ten years, I have seen hundreds of students strive to learn and improve their English skills in the areas of writing, speaking, and reading. I understand the struggle these students face and appreciate the long hours they take to do assignments just to get a passing grade. With individual tutoring and tailored lesson plans, I have seen these students make great progress. I admire their persistence. Individual tutoring can help a student achieve his or her goals faster. In my sessions, I also work on pronunciation using oral motor exercises including tongue placement. After years of working with speech therapists, I understand how important it is to learn to speak clearly and correctly and I have used several computer programs to help achieve this result with my students. One of my favorite movies (available now on DVD) is The King's Speech. I highly recommend that to students eager to improve their pronunciation.... read more

Dear Students, Are you nervous about writing your college application essay? According to a recent article from The University of Virgina (my alma mater) magazine, college essays have to show your unique personality. Take a look at this year's sample essays from the freshman class at www.uvamagazine.org to learn more about how you can write an effective essay that will make you stand out from the rest. I also teach students at the Montgomery College Reading and Writing Center how to improve their application essays. In addition, I teach a class on this topic for the Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD. I'm uniquely qualified to give you the edge you need on how to begin your college writing career. Until the next blog, Diana

A recent colleague of mine who teaches English composition at a local community college recently put her students' best essays together and had it published by a local company. The cost was minimal because she was able to design the book herself using the company's template. The students, who were comprised of native and not native speakers, enjoyed this task and got to put on their resume' that they were contributors to a collection of essays. Self-publishing any piece of writing (memoirs, essays, poetry) can be rewarding, especially if you've worked with a mentor who understands that English is difficult for many people. One way to improve your writing and grammar skills this year is to work with me on creating a special publication that you can be proud of. It doesn't have to be professionally published; it can also be in scrapbook format with illustrations. This is a creative way to improve your skills and have something you can share to document your journey.

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