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.
Since 2004, I have been employed part time at North Seattle College (NSC) as an English and ESL tutor. Since that same time, I have also been running my own business tutoring English, ESL, Russian, and English pronunciation. I am wholly invested in helping my clients address their language needs.
As well as tutoring the basics of grammar and punctuation, I also tutor higher level writing skills, which include rhetorical analysis, critical thinking skills, and personal statement writing. My academic English clients tend to be students who are attending high school or college.
I enjoy tutoring writing that showcases a client’s individuality. I believe our writing should not only reflect our understanding of the subject matter, but also who we are in relation to it. In my experience, teachers and professors more often give higher marks to those students who can inject their being into their writing than to those who rigidly stay within the lines. I am passionate about helping my clients express not only their understanding of the material, but more importantly, who they are.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
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.
My ESL tutoring method varies based on each client’s individual needs, but generally I employ a non-rigid, flexible approach. The following are just a few ways I engage with my clients during a session:
- Freewriting: Both student 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 the student with a lot of general conversation. I monitor the conversation for errors and correct them as they occur.
- Error recording: I take my own notes, recording errors and/or successes that the student makes. I then organize and send my notes to the student after the tutoring session. See sample email below:
While serving in the United States Air Force, I graduated from the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California, a fifty-four-week Russian language immersion program. I then went on to earn my BA in Russian language and literature and linguistics. I tutor basic Russian, the equivalent to first and second year Russian at a university.
October 18, 2019 – ESL Writing, Business English, Translation (Russian/English)
As an English as a Second Language student, writing in English has always been challenging for me. I came across John’s profile more than a year ago. His extensive editing experience, knowledge of my native Russian language, and linguistic background caught my attention. He was able to explain “why,” in grammatical terms, and clearly articulate the comparison between the two languages. My ability to express my thoughts in writing improves after every review of my editor’s comments. In addition to the grammar suggestions, John makes every effort to help me with the logic and clarity of my work. He also provides incredible sources for my further writing and linguistic advancement. John’s assistance has exceeded my expectations and transformed me into a confident writer.
I highly recommend his services to anyone who needs help with grammar, editing, or logical coherence of any style of writing – John can do it all! He is an incredibly knowledgeable, patient, affirmative, and reliable educator.
Olga B., Executive Assistant, Real Estate – Fairfax, VA
September 26, 2018 – ESL Tutoring, Conversation Practice, Accent Reduction
Our captivating discussions with John are always high quality. His skills in psychology and linguistics increase my self-confidence because I have a chance to talk to such a deep and interesting person. To be honest, I consider our meetings not as a lessons but rather as self-development. The rest of the day is always good after our conversations with John.
Pavlo and Iryna P., Construction Management – Kirkland, WA
February 28, 2018 – Accent Reduction
Excellent tutor! Im so glad I was able to schedule a lesson with John. He is so knowledgable and patient! I really like the way he was able to explain the different things I couldn’t understand earlier; so looking forward to our next lesson!
Anna G., Commercial Airline Pilot – Los Angeles, CA
September 19, 2017 – English Tutoring, High School
John has gotten our son excited about learning! He was conscientious in learning what our goals were, discovering our son’s strengths and weaknesses, and tailored his approach to our son’s interests. Highly recommended!
Mason M., RN – Seattle, WA
May 3, 2017 – ESL Tutoring
I’ve been working with John on my English for months. John is a very passionate and professional English tutor. He is good at making conversation with his students, highly flexible with topics, and he knows many ways of tutoring. Also, he is very sensitive to the small grammar, pronunciation, and English usage mistakes. The best thing I work with John is I feel like chatting with an American friend, not an English tutor!
Da Xie, PE Research Adviser at Kinetic Capital – Seattle, WA
April 28, 2017 – ESL Tutoring and Accent Reduction
I was initially impressed with John Belmont’s enthusiasm, communication skills, and professional approach as a tutor. During more than six months, John has consistently demonstrated all the qualities needed to be an effective tutor and more.
John is reliable, dedicated, and eternally upbeat—these characteristics help strengthen your pronunciation, raise your level of understanding of grammar, and clarify your writing. He has a perfect grasp of the English language, and he has consistently met, or surpassed, all my expectations while always being very flexible with his time.
John is a hardworking and top-performing professional tutor. He has my highest recommendation, and I am happy to furnish more details if you would like additional information.
Jean-Philippe Eichinger, Safran Engineering Services – Saclay, France
February 28, 2017 – English and ESL Tutoring, College
He helped me to improve my counter argument essay become stronger. I am an international student and I don’t speak well. He is very patient and ask my ideas. He is very thoughtful. He even took notes, and then gave to me later on. I am really appreciate. Highly recommend this tutor.
Yinlu Z., Seattle Central College – Seattle, WA
For information about my work history please refer to my résumé or LinkedIn profile below. You may also contact me directly at email@example.com.