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Tennessee Technological University (Spanish and Secondary Ed)
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Master's)
One of the first things I can remember ever wanting to do as a child was learn a foreign language. I love, and always have loved, words and their sounds and meanings. It’s how I ended up in my first Spanish class years ago as a 9th grader. And it’s how I eventually managed to find my way into a college classroom teaching Spanish.
In those 25 years of teaching college Spanish my experience spanned every level of undergraduate instruction, from beginner to advanced grammar and reading courses for majors and minors, a fair number of which were bilinguals and native speakers. That means I have the breadth and depth of experience that you need in a tutor no matter where you are on the language learning continuum.
Over the years I’ve also done my fair share of translation and editing on a pro bono basis for organizations I care about. What that means is that I have a solid understanding of not only how Spanish works, but how English works, too. I understand the mechanics of language and I know what good writing style and content should be. That makes me a good choice for tutoring reading, grammar, literature, and composition. (After all, there’s no such thing as learning, or teaching, a foreign language without thoroughly knowing and understanding one’s own.)
In addition to Spanish and English, History has always been a love of mine. It was amounted to much more than my minor in college. I took so many history courses that it came close to being my third undergraduate major. (My second was in Secondary Education, by the way.)
During my years as a teacher I made a point of teaching Spanish in Spanish as much possible, but really, how one approaches teaching a foreign language very much depends on the subject at hand, the level and preparation of the students, and their particular needs and abilities. Some grammatical/lexical concepts are very complex, so at times it just works best to deal with them in English. One way or the other, learning any language means developing skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. No study of a foreign language ever succeeds in the long run without paying attention to those four skills and how they interact with one another along the way. Good teaching, or good tutoring, involves helping the student make progress in all of those areas as the need manifests.
Learning a language, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, is a complex thing. There are no short cuts, but I can help you make it through the weeds. I can help you break down the complexities into manageable concepts and constructions. I can help you practice and can advise you on how to study and on what to emphasize. I can give you the best shot at success if you’re faltering or just need that extra bit of support and practice. I have materials to work with, and plenty of ideas to make it all come together for you.
If that sounds like what you need, I invite you to get in touch. I have a flexible schedule and I’ll do all in my power to accommodate you and be of help. I'm there for you. One of the first things I can remember ever wanting to do as a child was learn a foreign language. I love, and always have loved, words and their sounds and meanings. It’s how I ended up in my first Spanish class
Group rates: $30 per student per hour
Claudia is very knowledgeable and patient with helping me reinforce the basics for Spanish 1. She goes at the right pace and provides materials. I would highly recommend her for other students who need help with Spanish 1.This is my sixth tutor within two years and I must say that Claudia is the best.
Claudia is very knowledgeable and patient with helping my son reinforce the basics for Spanish 1. She goes at the right pace and provides materials that complement what he is learning in school. I would highly recommend her for other students who need help with Spanish 1.
Upon meeting with my child, Claudia was able to evaluate my child's understanding and deficiencies of Spanish in order to work up a program to move forward quickly. My daughter has been working with Claudia for 3 weeks now and the tutoring is a huge help and is making a difference for my daughter.
I'm an adult Spanish learner. For years I have been studying Spanish on and off, mostly on my own. Claudia met with me, assessed my proficiency and quickly developed a plan to fill in my knowledge gaps and then move forward. She gave me a couple of tips for memorizing that have been really useful.
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My coursework in college was very history-heavy. I earned nearly enough credits to be able to claim it as a third major, in fact. My other two majors were Spanish and Secondary Education. I also work part-time for an educational website as a test writer and reviewer, with history taking up the bulk of my time in my work for them.
As a university educated native speaker of English I have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, and vocabulary. In short, I understand how language works, so I know what it takes to become a clear, concise writer.
I have experience teaching literature, because as a college-level foreign language teacher, I taught a variety of literature courses in that context. But whether the literature is in a foreign language or in English, the principles and the needed skills are very much the same.
Teaching literature involves knowing about the author, the period, and the genre. It involves coming to understand the content of the material and to learn to see beyond the literal meaning. It involves analyzing the style and intent of the author, and it includes learning about the technical aspects of the work.
Having a sense of history is important. It helps to place into context the events of the real world. It reminds us of who we are and where we came from. It gives us an understanding of our roots as a nation, and it helps us see where we as a society and as individuals fit into the scheme of things.
My educational background has been heavy with history courses, since it has been a passion of mine. History was my minor, and European History made up a significant portion of those studies.
My primary teaching area is university-level foreign language, but within that context I have spent many hours teaching history to my upper-level students, since it is not possible to fully appreciate or understand the literature of any era without a clear picture of the historical context in which the literary work was written. In addition, more than one of the courses I was responsible to teach had as its major emphasis either the history of a nation or region, or the cultural, sociological, and societal elements of that nation or region.
I am university educated native speaker of English with a minor in English and experience writing in both English and Spanish. I also have many years of college-level teaching experience in areas related to language acquisition, including grammar and punctuation. I made use of my students' understanding of English grammar to help them apply that information, and those grammar principles to the foreign language they were learning.
I have an undergraduate minor in English, and both B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature. As an experienced college-level Spanish teacher, I taught numerous literature courses in that language.
Teaching literature involves knowledge about the author, the period, the genre, and the work itself. It requires understanding the content of the work, its context, and its greater meaning. It includes looking the various elements of style, symbols, metaphors, analogies, etc. It seeks to understand the message behind the words and to be able to knowledgeably discuss those things.
Academic proofreading seeks to insure that a paper or a composition is error-free and easier to read by providing help with correct grammar usage, and appropriate word choice and tone. It also looks for punctuation mistakes as well as style problems and inconsistencies, such as run-on sentences, awkward constructions, and illogical organization of ideas. In short, it aims to help the student improve the clarity and organization of his or her composition or paper by guiding this process so that the act of revising becomes a substantial learning experience in and of itself.
These are skills I have acquired over years of grading compositions and term papers at the college level, and during my experience doing proofreading and editing on a pro bono basis for some organizations I contribute my time to.
I can provide my students with help with not just the mechanics of Spanish but with an authentic model of how Spanish sounds. I am able to do that because taught Spanish on the college level for 25 years. The courses I taught ranged from entry-level Spanish to advanced-level courses such as Spanish Composition and Conversation, and Advanced Grammar, Composition, and Phonetics. I also taught a wide array of literature courses. That means that I am well-positioned to provide help at all levels along the language-learning continuum, and on a wide variety of subjects within the broader category of language learning.