ESL Tutoring

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I am a freelance tutor specializing in English as a second language (ESL). I completed the Russian language immersion program at the Defense Language Institute in California while serving in the United States Air Force, and I have a BA in both linguistics and Russian language and literature from the University of Washington. I have been tutoring English composition and English as a second language since 2004. In 2017, I received my editing certificate from the University of Washington, at which time I started freelance editing and tutoring as Belmont Editing & Tutoring Services.

My interests include philosophy, psychology, linguistics (English and Russian), photography, photo editing, music, creative writing, yoga, and mindfulness meditation.

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My Tutoring Philosophy – Why I Am a Tutor

I enjoy tutoring because of its personal nature. As a tutor, I can get to know my clients as individuals as well as hone in on their specific needs, which permits me to create a highly customized curriculum. And, unlike teachers in large classrooms, who must strictly adhere to a standard, established curriculum, I have more flexibility and time to alter my lesson plans based on in-the-moment student feedback. Tutoring, to me, is not necessarily better than teaching; it is simply a more individualized way of learning.

The number one thing I offer my ESL clients is my ability to empathize. Learning a foreign language is a difficult undertaking that demands rigorous and consistent effort. As a child, I lived in Mexico City for a year where I had to learn Spanish, and later, while serving in the United States Air Force, I was required to learn Russian in just fifty-four weeks at the Defense Language Institute in California. Every time I meet with an ESL student, I am reminded of the pressure I felt to succeed at something that I often experienced as overwhelming. It is my belief that a tutor or teacher who can relate to his or her students’ experiences is much more capable of affecting change and growth.

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My Tutoring Servicesfor Whom and How I Work

I tutor ESL to immigrants and visitors to the United States who want to improve their English writing and speaking. The majority of my students are business professionals and undergraduate- and graduate-level college students. I tutor the following:

  • Grammar
  • Essay writing
  • Pronunciation (American English)
  • Conversation

My ESL tutoring method varies based on each client’s individual needs, but generally I employ a nonrigid, flexible approach. The following are just a few ways I might engage my clients during a tutoring session:

  • Freewriting: My client and I write for the first ten minutes of a session about any topic. Then we share our writing and discuss any errors that may come up, or any language I use that is new to the student.
  • Conversation: I engage my clients in general conversation while monitoring for errors. In order to encourage my clients to relax and do the best they can, I provide feedback and correct errors at a rate based on each individual client’s particular comfort level—I do not overcorrect.
  • Error recording: During tutoring sessions, I take my own notes, recording client errors as well as successes. I review these notes with my clients and then record them in a shareable spreadsheet. In this way, clients may review their progress at any time they wish.

I am wholly invested in helping my clients address their language needs.

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Member NW Independent Editors Guild
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