Margaret L.

Salem, OR


Certified ESL Instructor; Certified Writing Instructor

1000+ Hours
Background check passed as of 11/10/14
5.0 average from 335 ratings
Great ESL tutor
— Elly, Torrance, CA on 2/28/13


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Western Oregon University
University of California - Irvine - TESL Certificate Program
California State Unversity - Dominguez Hills - English - TESL + Rhetoric & Composition Certificate


Western Oregon University (Humanities)

University of California - Irvine - TESL Certificate Program (Other)

California State Unversity - Dominguez Hills - English - TESL + Rhetoric & Composition Certificate (Master's)

About Margaret

My qualifications include:

Master of Arts in English in TESL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
TESL Certificate
Rhetoric and Composition Certificate (teaching writing)
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with Minor in Writing (grammar and composition)

I am proficient in methods for teaching reading, writing, listening, speaking, conversation, pronunciation, grammar, and American culture and idioms. I use The Communicative Language Method of teaching, which balances accuracy and fluency.

I break down lessons into manageable tasks using practical real-life exercises. I am enthusiastic and compassionate, and you should expect to make progress at every lesson. I help students from middle school-age to adults, and I specialize in the adult ESL learner.

For those students who wish to focus on pronunciation or grammar, I can record your reading a short passage to diagnose your specific pronunciation or grammar errors. In this way, we can focus your lessons on those specific areas that need work.

For advanced students who seek to improve their English communication, we can focus on listening and speaking skills that help you in your professional, academic, civic, social, and/or personal life in the U.S. This includes lessons on (a) reduced and connected speech and (b) idioms and phrasal verbs--that make English so difficult to understand.

To make rapid progress, together we will create a plan for your rapid improvement:

1. Identify your personal English-speaking goals whether it be for school, the workplace, or the community.

2. Understand your main learning style (oral, visual, tactile, or kinesthetic) and use it to make an effective English language-learning plan.

3. Design a step-by-step program to help you reach your English language goals.

4. Work simultaneously on the four skills areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

5. Learn English grammar systematically using your natural language learning ability to improve your English.

My life's work is to help ESL learners at all levels and from all walks of life gain a better command of English for their future success. I would be happy to talk with you about your specific tutoring needs.
My qualifications include:

Master of Arts in English in TESL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
TESL Certificate
Rhetoric and Composition Certificate (teaching writing)
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with Minor in Writing (grammar and composition)

I am proficient in methods for teaching reading,
Read more

8 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 4 miles of Salem, OR 97301
Background Check: Passed

"Great ESL tutor"

- Elly, Torrance, CA on 2/28/13

"Knowledgeable tutor who can truly tailor the lessons based on each individual's needs"

- Hansa, Ridgway, CO on 10/23/17

"She is awesome"

- Ken, Fullerton, CA on 4/28/17

"Great teacher"

- Amanda, Long Beach, CA on 1/6/17

"Patient and knowledge"

- Ana, Anaheim, CA on 1/5/17

"It was great! Margaret is a very nice person."

- Laura M., Paramount, CA on 10/19/16

"I'm thankful to have found Margaret"

- Tanisha, Inglewood, CA on 7/28/16

"Nice and professional instructor"

- Yunsheng, Los Angeles, CA on 12/7/15

"English tutoring"

- Din, Westminster, CA on 12/1/15

"Excellent Tutor!"

- Leslia, Lynwood, CA on 11/19/15

"An experienced writer."

- Noemi, Torrance, CA on 9/28/15

"She is thorough and dynamic."

- Emma, Long Beach, CA on 8/30/15

"Knowledgeable and clear"

- Veronica, Lakewood, CA on 6/22/15

"Excellent Tutor"

- Cristina, Long Beach, CA on 12/1/14

"Great proofreader."

- Tonya, Lakewood, CA on 8/6/14


- Kim, Harbor City, CA on 10/31/13

"Great tutor."

- Lydia, Long Beach, CA on 8/23/13

"ESL and Resume Proofreading"

- Yoko, Gardena, CA on 3/24/12

"Excellent in Everyway"

- Thomas, Long Beach, CA on 3/3/12

"More than only a tutor"

- Liliana, Huntington Beach, CA on 9/8/11

"Excellent Tutor!!"

- Melody, Cerritos, CA on 1/19/11
Elementary (K-6th), GED
Test Preparation:
Career Development, GED,
General Computer, Microsoft Word
IELTS, Reading,
Special Needs:
Elementary (K-6th), Phonics,
Study Skills
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Grammar,
Study Skills,
Career Development, ESL/ESOL,
Microsoft Word, Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

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.


I am an experienced ESL tutor and teacher specializing in the learning needs of adult second language learners. My background includes training and experience in teaching writing for school, the workplace, and social purposes. I use various techniques to help students with reading, grammar, pronunciation, and conversation.


For twenty years, I have tutored students of all ages in reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and pronunciation. At the community college, I tutored ESL students one-on-one and assisted in ESL classes. In addition, I have taught weekly ESL classes in two manufacturing workplaces. My experience includes teaching survival English, workplace English, and academic writing and speaking.

While attending university, I tutored ESL and ELL undergraduate and graduate students at the campus writing center. I also taught pre-GED classes in reading, writing, and grammar to ESL and ELL community college students.

Currently I tutor ESL students privately--in-person and on-line. For each student, I create lessons that focus on his or her personal English learning needs. In 2010, I earned a TESL certificate from U.C. Irvine, and in May 2013, I completed a master's degree in English - TESL. In May 2014, I earned a Rhetoric & Composition certificate that focused on the writing needs of ESL learners.

Beyond my regular studies, I attend workshops and take extra classes to continually improve my ESL knowledge and teaching skills.


I have taught GED reading, writing, and grammar skills at a community college. I have also privately tutored several students to use a simple three-step process to prepare for and pass the GED timed essay portion of the exam. In addition, I am well qualified to teach students the subject matter for the grammar portion for the exam.


My background to teach grammar includes traditional, pedagogical, and rhetorical grammars. Traditional grammar helps students improve their graded writing assignments through editing and proofreading. Pedagogical grammar helps ESL learners with written and oral communication. Rhetorical grammar helps those students who wish to move beyond correctness and learn how to write persuasively.

I have completed the following grammar coursework: Grammar for Writers and Teachers, Qualitative Grammar Research, Teaching American Idioms, Structure of English, Advanced Structure of English, African-American Vernacular English, Teaching ESL Grammar, and ESL Pedagogical Grammar. In addition, I have done related coursework in History of English, American English, Teaching ESL Reading, ESL Reading Skills, Teaching Writing, Teaching ESL Writing, Teaching Composition, ESL Vocabulary Skills, ESL Teaching Methods (Theory), and ESL Teaching Methods (Practical).

I offer a unique service for those ESL learners who wish to have a diagnostic assessment of their spoken grammar: I record them answering interview questions and telling a story, transcribe their words, diagnose their grammar issues, and design lesson plans to help them with those grammar issues.

My goal is to help learners, whether native English speakers or second-language learners, use English grammar for their specific purposes. I keep students interested and help them succeed by using a variety of teaching tools, techniques, and activities that incorporates their specific goals and learning styles.


I completed two courses in ESL pronunciation and one course in the structure of language, which covered the International Phonetic Alphabet; North American English vowels and consonants; stress, rhythm, and connected speech; prominence and intonation; and the English sound system as it relates to listening, morphology, and spelling.

In addition, I performed a contrastive analysis of English and Spanish; diagnosed a Spanish speaker's individual pronunciation issues by recording, transcribing, and analyzing his speech; and designed learning materials to help him with his specific pronunciation issues.

Further, I completed a course in phonology that taught me to assist ESL students by (1) describing the place, manner, and voicing of English sounds; (2) evaluating the differences between English and the learner's first language; (3) explaining syllables, stress rules, and syllable weight; and (4) highlighting tone and intonation differences.

My practical teaching experience includes (1) the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet to describe English sounds; (2) charts contrasting English and a variety of first languages; (3) pictorial charts to show the correct placement of vowels and consonants using mouth, lips, teeth, and tongue; (4) a hand-held mirror that helps students see if they are producing the correct sounds; and (5) a plastic "phone" that allows students to hear if they are producing the correct sounds.

Furthermore, I can teach ESL learners spoken English emphasis patterns (content versus function words) and sentence intonation patterns. Moreover, I can perform a diagnostic speech analysis and design specific lessons to pinpoint a student's pronunciation problem areas.


I have performed proofreading tasks for over forty years, including academic assignments, workplace documents, community writing, and public relations materials. My focus is on logical organization, precise vocabulary, appropriate grammar, and consistent mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and formatting). Moreover, I can help you write forceful sentences and cohesive paragraphs. To summarize, I'm a stickler for detail, and you can count on your document being accurate and looking attractive.


Using a systematic approach, I help students use top-down and bottom-up reading processing skills to improve their reading. My educational background includes coursework in teaching reading and vocabulary to adults for academic, workplace, and pleasure reading. In addition, I have taught GED reading skills to a class of adult learners.


I am qualified to teach ESL speech in the areas of grammar and pronunciation.

I have taken a postgraduate class in Teaching ESL Pronunciation Skills and a master's class in Pronunciation for ESL Learners. Moreover, I have taken a university-level class in Phonology, the science of sound related to human speech, that covered the variations in speech sounds among different languages of the world. My students have come from a variety of first-language backgrounds, and I make a point of studying the differences between my student's first language and English.

My methods for teaching English pronunciation incorporate (1) mouth and tongue strengthening exercises, (2) charts to let students see visual examples of the differences between the sounds of their first language and the sounds of English, (3) a hand-held mirror to help students modify their mouth and tongue positions to more closely mimic those of English, (4) listening exercises, and (5) a "phone" that allows students to hear themselves and thereby know when they are more closely approaching a correct English sound.

Regarding grammar as relates to speech, my background includes coursework in English grammar (Teaching English Grammar, Structure of English, Advanced Structure of English, and Teaching ESL Grammar) and two classes in ESL Teaching Methods. I have also completed coursework in discourse that focuses on the different demands of different types of speech for different purposes and different speech acts.

My methods for teaching English grammar vary from classical pedagogical grammar to more complex linguistics-based grammar that looks at the underlying structure of English.

Study Skills

Taught GED class in reading, writing, and lab skills.


I hold both a TESL certificate and a Master's in English - TESL. My education includes extensive coursework in grammar and writing. My teaching and tutoring experience includes focused grammar and writing instruction. My specialty is the adult learner.


Whether an ESL learner, workplace communicator, or academic writer, vocabulary building is the key to success. I have completed the following vocabulary-related coursework: Teaching Vocabulary Skills, Teaching Reading Skills, and Reading in the ESL Context. In addition, I have taken classes in teaching theory and methodology with information on how the human brain learns and remembers vocabulary. Furthermore, I have taken classes in Structure of English, Advanced Structure of English, and Structure of Language with sections on mophology (parts of words). Moreover, I have earned credits in American English, History of English that provided a background in word classes (parts of speech), where words come from, and how words change over time. Finally, I have completed writing and teaching of writing classes that included sections on word choice for appropriate register and precise meaning.

When meeting a new word, learners need to know its spelling, its part of speech, its pronunciation, its definition, its collocations (how it "goes together" with other words), its use in a sentence. I have many methods learners can try out and choose to expand their vocabulary knowledge and use.


I coach students to discover and develop their personal writing process. This process begins with understanding the assignment, brainstorming and organizing ideas, drafting, revising and editing, and final proofreading. In addition, I help each student develop a personalized editing and proofreading checklist to use for all future writing tasks.

Western Oregon University
University of California - Irvine - TESL Certificate Program
California State Unversity - Dominguez Hills - English - TESL + Rhetoric & Composition Certificate


Western Oregon University (Humanities)

University of California - Irvine - TESL Certificate Program (Other)

California State Unversity - Dominguez Hills - English - TESL + Rhetoric & Composition Certificate (Master's)

Great ESL tutor

Margaret is a very knowledgeable and experienced ESL teacher. She is responsible and took her job seriously. All my questions are answered. Sometimes, she had to do some research and provided the answer on the next meeting. I will definitely contact her again if I have to write reports for my work in the future.

— Elly, Torrance, CA on 2/28/13

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $40.00

Cancellation: 8 hours notice required

Travel policy

Margaret will travel within 4 miles of Salem, OR 97301.