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University of Illinois, Chicago (BA Spanish Education)
Northeastern Illinois University (Master's)
National Louis University, Illinois (Graduate Coursework)
Susan holds 2 Illinois teaching certificates, a Masters Degree, and a Bachelors Degree in Spanish Education. She has 20 years of classroom experience teaching all ages of students, specializing in high school and college students, and adults. She is a renown Spanish teacher, combining many years of experience with recent academic training of best instructional practices (e.g. scaffolding, modeling, reflective teaching, differentiation) for the acquisition of all skills of foreign language; i.e. listening, speaking, reading, writing. Her innovative teaching strategies reflect her vast knowledge and skills in teaching Spanish as a foreign language.
In addition to support for the struggling student and enrichment for the succeeding student, Susan offers tutoring for students who are preparing for standardized exams: the Spanish AP language or literature exams, the CEEB language test, or the college proficiency exams.
Susan teaches to a wide range of ability levels and learning styles. She offers her services to special needs students, Bilingual students, adult students preparing for travel or new jobs. She customizes her services for tutoring or teaching to individuals, classes, or other teachers seeking tutorials to improve their own teaching strategies.
Susan distinguished herself when she initiated, designed and taught the first interdisciplinary course of its kind in Illinois for the acquisition of language proficiency through the academic content of social sciences. She also expanded high school Spanish programs to all levels of course offerings and contributed to schools becoming foreign language academies. She has piloted television courses for all domains of language acquisition at the college level. She has successfully persuaded school districts to offer foreign language instruction at the primary grades by her research and presentations as to how the brain learns language.
Susan is a native speaker since early childhood. She has lived in Spain and Costa Rica, has traveled extensively throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and has led student trips.
Here's what others have said about her:
Ms... is very well informed about the subject of early foreign language instruction at the elementary level (Principal of an elementary school on the North Shore).
One of your former students has identified you as the best teacher of her high school years (The College of the University of Chicago).
"Superior" ratings in teaching excellence & significant contributions (Chicago Public Schools). Susan holds 2 Illinois teaching certificates, a Masters Degree, and a Bachelors Degree in Spanish Education. She has 20 years of classroom experience teaching all ages of students, specializing in high school and college students, and adults. She is a renown Spanish teacher, combining many
Susan has been a pleasure to work with. She is very responsive and flexible with scheduling. My son is having difficulty in Spanish at school and Susan has found ways to tap into his learning style and preferences, and really help him learn the complexities of the language.
She engages him in visual and auditory learning, not just textbook and worksheets, although she has also been able to effectively engage my son with the text as well. We have been very pleased and grateful that we have found Susan. She is helping to give my son a strong foundation in Spanish, which I am confident will allow him to build his skills as time goes on.
Susan has a way of using various teaching methods to stimulate the learning process. She does an amazing job of connecting with my son. His grade in Spanish has skyrocketed and he has a confidence in the subject that was not there before meeting with Susan.
My 10th grader had her first lesson with Susan last week. Prior to the session Susan had an initial phone conversation with us to understand our child's focus areas for tutoring. She understood quickly what was needed. The tutoring session began with conjugation of verbs in the present tense based on a selection of visuals, which was followed by a review of preterit tense endings and drill of present to preterit tense before then taking the 50 visuals of verbs to create a story, which was then followed by a retelling of the story and the writing of the story as it was being told. My child remarked that she had never had as much sustained conversation in Spanish as during this initial session, supported by the visuals. She walked out of the session very confident. The next day in class, she reported back that she was able to converse with the teacher better than she had been the week before. In one 90 minute session with Susan she progressed.
Additionally, my child is very picky when it comes to tutors, and is very shy. I peeked into the session once and my child was laughing and smiling, engaged, she walked out saying it was a great session. For a 15 year old to say that says a LOT about the experience she had. Most such sessions are "Boring" or a " a waste" or "I didn't learn anything". This was not the case with Susan's lessons. She is looking forward to her next session.
My son has struggled throughout his entire Freshman year of Spanish 1, never getting higher than a C. As the end of the year approached, he had a D with only a couple of opportunities to improve his grade. After a couple of weeks of some intense tutoring from Susan he received 49 out of 50 on an exam.
In the first session, Susan quickly realized why my son was struggling and came up with a plan to help him succeed. She is very accommodating with her schedule and has helped my son achieve results that he didn't think were possible.
I highly recommend Susan!!!
Susan came to me in the middle of my semester. I was struggling with Spanish 101 (I am not wired for language) and desperately needed help. We were, effectively, seven or so weeks behind the class because I had made the naive mistake of signing up for an online course with no in-person instruction. As language is a social concept, doing it completely online or through a textbook felt all but impossible no matter how many hours I spent with my nose to the grindstone. But Susan changed all that.
We went back to the beginning and made a plan. We had a little over a month to get me ready for my second exam. A month after was the oral exam. Two weeks later would be the final exam. I had already failed the first exam and was caving under the stress. But no matter how frustrated I was at my own situation or exhausted I got, Susan kept pushing me forward. She found the insanity of it, just like me, trying to learn a language without anyone to practice with. And so we got to work.
For over two months, she more or less lived at my house. We took over the dining room table, notes and written exercises and home-made visual flashcards for vocabulary in no less than fifteen different colors were strewn about to every corner of the room. In plastic bags, on massive piles of papers, and hidden within the physical textbook. For 8 hours a week, she focused entirely on ensuring that I would succeed and pass this class. As she said nearly 100 times: "When I take a student on, I fully take them on." And that was completely true. Susan doesn't work on Saturdays, but she did for me. She'd arrive, I'd make her some tea and help her with her bags, and then we'd get to work. Every aspect of the language, every part of the syllabus, every bit and piece of the textbook; we'd pour over all of it with as much efficiency and effort as we could muster. Over and over and over and over again. Her teaching methods were specifically tailored to me. Every lesson was perfectly constructed so that I could best understand it, and internalize it, as quickly as possible, because we were in a game of constant catch-up.
No matter how hard things got, no matter how stressed or ill or exhausted, she kept pushing forward because she knew, without a doubt, that I could succeed. And I did. I got a B+ on the final, a C+ on my oral exam, and an overall C for the class. That completely blows my mind. So, thank you, Susan. Thank you for your patience and creativity. Your sense of humor and your sincerity. I couldn't have done this without her, and I look forward to working with her again, soon.
Just, hopefully not this insane of a degree again. I think we could both use a break from that.
Susan has an infectious energy and passion for the subject and for teaching generally. She quickly identified my strengths and is building on those. She also identified my weaknesses and is addressing those creatively through games, role playing and other exercises. Susan is very much fun to work with.
She is very patient and truly enjoys helping students learn the language. Her schedule is somewhat flexible, however, she is in high demand. Once working with her you can see why. If you want to learn Spanish and enjoy yourself, try Susan.
I am an adult who has been studying Spanish on and off for 6 or 7 years. In that time I have used 5 or 6 tutors, Rosetta Stone, countless books and web sites- Susan is the best- not only in learning the language and correct pronunciation but also linking it to various cultures and there history- which is important to me. She makes it fun and interesting. Susan is a marvelous resource and has liberated me from looking for a “better” tutor or method. Two thumbs up!
Susan is an excellent and very detailed Spanish tutor. She assessed our son (a HS Freshman) and created a customized education program for him that focused on his specific needs. We had about 8 lessons with her last semester. In that short amount of time she was able to move our son from a B to an A. She was also very flexible in her schedule. We met for tutor sessions at a local library.
I am a college student with a Spanish minor, and I will be studying abroad this fall in Madrid. I decided to meet with Susan to help improve my conversational skills and review vocabulary. Susan is always prepared for lessons with different activities and makes the lessons very fun and engaging. Susan was able to understand my level very quickly, so the lessons were tailored to my skills right away. I feel much more confident in my abilities to hold a conversation, and I am now more excited for my time abroad!
My daughter has had a few spanish tutors this year. Wish we had found susan earlier. Knowledgeable, engaging, imaginative. We are very pleased
If you want to have lots of laughs while learning another language, Susan is the BEST!!! I have only met twice with my new tutor but already feel I have learned so much!
After many years of trying to learn to speak Spanish, I believe that Susan is going to make this happen for me. I am so motivated and having so much fun!!! Thank you so much !!
Susan always arrives full of energy and enthusiasm to teach Spanish. She is an expert on the language and an experienced and engaging tutor. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school many years ago but found myself unable to communicate effectively by speaking. Susan very quickly made clear to me some long-forgotten and confusing grammar concepts. She is also very knowledgeable about the variety of Latino cultures as well as the culture of Spain. In addition, she has shared with me several high-quality online learning resources that I can use on my own to strengthen my reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
At the onset, she will change a customary 1 hour lesson to a standard 90 minute lesson because she can't accomplish much in an hour.
When she arrives, she has her own agenda of things she would like to cover, regardless of what is being covered in your child's class.
We provide clear direction that she is to cover the material our son's teacher is working on.
She changes the lesson to a 2 hour lesson without authorization.
There won't be a lesson 3.
The numerous positive reviews that others have written about my services, cast doubt on the validity of the comments made by this particular parent. Jennifer was disgruntled that I assessed a cancellation fee after she cancelled two weeks in a row without sufficient notice. (My cancellation policy of an 8- hour notice is clearly posted and is liberal compared to that of the 24-hour policy of most tutors.) Apparently she wrote these unfounded and inaccurate comments as a way to retaliate for being charged the fee.
Our 7th grade son wasn't showing an interest in Spanish and had fallen behind. After reading some of Susan's reviews we decided to have her tutor him. We have been thrilled beyond words with his sessions with Susan. She quickly identified his learning style and level of knowledge through an initial assessment and then the learning began. My husband and I hear them speaking and even singing in Spanish almost the whole session. Our son has said, "The time goes by so quickly. She is nice and so much fun!" He is actually enjoying learning. For us as parents, seeing our son so engaged with learning is truly a gift. After their sessions he often speaks to us in Spanish, unsolicited. My husband, who has always wanted to learn the language and has tried other methods without great success, is now taking lessons with Susan as well!
My daughter's confidence has soared as well as her grade in high school Spanish since working with Ms. Nelson these past 4 months. Ms. Nelson's enthusiasm for the language and thoroughly covering the fundamentals and ongoing, new class material using a variety of strategies has been effective at keeping my daughter engaged and ready for more learning.
Susan did a great job of engaging our daughter for the initial lesson. Our daughter indicated that she both enjoyed the session and found it constructive. Our daughter also seemed very comfortable asking Susan questions - they appeared to develop a good rapport, which is important to us, as our daughter can be shy and will sometimes forgo asking for clarification or help when she needs it. We are very encouraged by this initial session.
I am marrying into a Cuban family soon, and as such wanted to learn a lot of practical Spanish and become better at speaking in realistic situations, not just for a class. Susan has helped me tremendously at increasing my fluency and ability to speak and listen, as well as my general understanding of the Spanish language, to the point that I am now able to think directly in Spanish many times. So even if you don't need help with schoolwork, and rather need to learn for travel or relationships or other reasons, Susan can still help you, and her exercises are also a ton of fun.
I cannot say enough about Susan. My son was almost failing Spanish 2 when I found Susan on Wyzant. From the very first session she had him engaged and enjoying Spanish. Making learning fun is what I love about her. She doesn't go through the book reciting and quizzing him but rather creates songs and stories that get him thinking in Spanish. If your child is like mine that thinks Spanish is too hard or boring, give her a chance and you will not be disappointed.
She is energetic and always engaging in her teaching. Her way of teaching kept my son's focus but made him enjoy the lesson at the same time. She always came prepared for the lesson. Overall, she was a great teacher that taught my son a lot of concepts in a week while keeping him focused and entertained.
I was seeking a tutor to pass the state Spanish proficiency test. I had taken the test two times prior to working with Susan. I needed to receive a 240 in order to pass my test, Susan helped me surpass this score as well as score higher than any of my friends that I know whom are native speakers. Susan's initial tutoring session consisted of us conversing and her evaluating my Spanish level. She decided what areas I was in need of some academic refreshing. Susan provided resources and materials to help study at home. She did give me "homework" assignments that we reviewed during our time together. She was a fabulous tutor that took my success to heart. She was patient and supportive. She never criticized and knew exactly when to celebrate your growth.I very much enjoyed working with Susan and would recommend her to anyone! I couldn't have passed my test (or graduated college!!) without her!
Susan is an excellent tutor. She has helped my daughter to really turn the corner and start to "get" Spanish. At the end of the lessons, my daughter is actually energized by her progress!
My daughter has now been with Susan 2 months and is getting A's on quizzes!!!
Update - we are now still with Susan - and my daughter has continued to do extremely well. Even her school teacher sent us a note saying she has never seen such a sustained and thorough turn around in a student's improvement. I can't begin to thank Susan enough!!
Final results: So what can you say when you see your child struggle with a class and then watch a complete turn around. From d's to A's on tests. I can't say enough about the connection Susan had with our child and how that helped in her progress. Final grade B.. A great effort by Susan and our daughter. We can't thank you enough.
Susan is an excellent Spanish tutor. Great personality, very energetic, knows her stuff, and actually speaks Spanish to her students during the lessons!!! We plan to take Susan again during school year.
My son didn't really like his lesson, not challenging. I guess it will be OK for someone who is fallen behind, but not if you are looking to go ahead of the school program.
In order to provide material which is challenging, it is necessary to first assess what the student has already learned; in which domain of language the student has the strongest language skill, i.e. listening, speaking, reading, or writing; and what is the learning style of the student; i.e. auditory, visual, kinesthetic learner or combination. After assessing the student and learning a little about the student in the first session, the tutor can then zoom ahead of the class if the student is ready for that acceleration.
The stated and agreed purpose of this first lesson was to assess the skills; subsequent sessions would have taken this particular student way beyond the material of the class. The numerous positive reviews that others have written about my services, validate the many students' and parents' satisfaction with this approach.
Susan is an excellent teacher in so many ways. She has really paid attention to my goals in studying Spanish and she constructs lessons according to what I need to work on to achieve them. Susan is consistently patient, her explanations are clear, and she is enthusiastic about helping me learn a language she obviously loves. She is very professional and is always prepared with new material and ideas for each meeting geared specifically to my level of ability and my interests. My lessons with her are varied, interesting and always a great deal of fun. I highly recommend Susan to anyone interested in learning Spanish; she is a terrific teacher.
Susan has really helped our child to excel in high school honors Spanish. Using a variety of creative learning modalities such as manipulating word puzzles and her singing songs to teach grammar and vocabulary, Susan is able to facilitate better retention of information than the blind memorization often taught in the schools. Susan often conducts her lessons in Spanish so that the student is hearing directions and responding to Susan in Spanish, thereby strengthening the student's speaking and listening skills. Susan as terrific resource to supplement a student's classroom instruction.
My son really enjoys his lessons with Susan, and she has made a noticeable improvement in his confidence in the material. It is so valuable to have an outside expert in both the subject and his unique learning style. I wish I had done it a year ago!
My son was struggling with his Spanish and getting frustrated. Susan's approach has helped him so much. Since working with her, he has received all As. Thanks Susan!
My son, a reluctant Spanish student, just earned an A on his Spanish test!
She uses a wide range a of strategies to motivate my son and it is working.
My son has always struggled with school and we have worked with several tutors in the past. A friend recommended WyzAnt and we could not be happier with our choice. We have had a wonderful experience working with Susan. She has a very creative and flexible way of connecting with my son and his style of learning. Susan's unique teaching style has helped him to regain his confidence and raise his grade significantly. Believe it or not, he will often ask if they can work longer than the allotted 1 hour session. That is the highest recommendation you can get from a 16 year old boy! I highly recommend Susan's services to anyone seeking a Spanish tutor.
I thought it was important to add to this review that after working with Susan for the majority of the school year, my son was able to finish the class with a much higher grade than any of us thought would be possible. She then took the next step to help us out again by writing a poignant, honest and very heart-felt letter of recommendation for my son as he begins the college search process. She has gone above and beyond to support our son and I have recommended her to many of my friends and family.
Susan was wonderful to work with. We began working together in preparation for my trip to Spain. My last Spanish lessons were about forty years ago. After an hour with Susan, who came walking through the door talking energetically in Spanish, I almost greeted our postman in Spanish. She called it "scaffolding" and had a great way of building on the words and expressions I already knew. She assigned some great readings and workbooks. Her energy is very infectious and she is really delightful to work with. Gracias, Susan!!
Susan is doing a great job. Our son loves studying Spanish now. After eight sessions with Susan, he uses Spanish in daily life and teaches us new words. His pronunciation is improved. He stays engaged for the whole tutoring session. He likes studying Spanish outside of tutoring sessions. We think Susan's approach of emphasizing extensive use with spoken language in contexts that appeal to children is a great and natural way to learn. We appreciate that Susan has extensive experience working with children from various backgrounds. We are grateful that Susan is teaching Spanish to our son.
I have been extremely pleased with the progress Susan and I have been making. She pushes me to reach toward the highest goal and fluency level. I have seen progress in myself and it has only been because of her well-prepared lessons, continued support, and meditation techniques.
Susan has an amazing way of connecting to our child's learning style. She uses a variety of techniques to create lessons that motivate and advance his skills. We couldn't be happier to have found her as our son's Spanish tutor.
Susan is great to work with and at the first lesson determined what I needed to work on.
We have had only a few lessons and I have seen great improvement
In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.