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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 individualized 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 personal way of learning.


What I do

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 working as a freelance English, ESL, and Russian tutor. I am passionate about helping my clients address their language needs.

Academic English

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 empathy. 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:

Sample ESL Feedback Email

Russian Language

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.

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Tutoring Testimonials

May 3, 2017

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 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

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

He helped me to improve my counter argument essay become stronger. I am an international students 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., ESL Student, Seattle Central College – Seattle, WA

September 19, 2017

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


For information about my work history please refer to my résumé or LinkedIn profile below. You may also contact me directly at john@belmontediting.com.

Tutoring ResumeLinkedin Profile

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