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Melvyn

I am patient, humble, and listen well. I have been tutoring for over 20 years and know the questions to ask and what to look for with a troubled student. I can also tell when the student is drained and can't absorb any more information, which is equally as important.

I've been speaking Spanish for over 23 years when I started from not speaking a word to reading and speaking with my Latin family. Who knew an interest built upon necessity would follow me through middle school, high school, and all the way to a major in college? This skill has helped me extensively in my personal travels and professional career. Let me extend the same opportunity to you and make learning a new language truly enjoyable.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of Maryland - Bachelors, Spanish

Graduate Degree:

 Roger Williams University - Current Grad Student, Law

Cars, Comic Books, Legal Crime Shows, Sailing, Writing, History Nerd, Learning New Languages

Conversational Spanish

What is your teaching philosophy?

Anyone can learn anything. Some people may be more naturally predisposed to something, and occasionally there are some that takes that capability to an exponential level, but there is nothing that any willing person cannot learn.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I like to judge what the student may have covered previously by them telling me, asking them what their trouble spots are, and then giving them a brief oral quiz to judge for myself what their problems are. That takes about 10-15 min. Then we get to work on sharpening what they do know and helping with what they don't!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Outside resources and creating interest are the key to learning. Independent learning can be accomplished through research papers, outside books and tools, the arts through film and music, and even sports...whatever best correlates to that student's interest.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to call them "Ringer questions," aka confidence-building questions mixed in troublesome material, consistent oral encouragement and review, and testing on the new skills that they are learning. These are great confidence boosters and continual motivators.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Sometimes it is best to take a step back to see a new approach. At times, that may require approaching the problem from a real world perspective, from something of interest to the student, or even changing subjects or concepts and allowing time for the mind to rest, and then later returning to the topic.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Whatever their passion may be, the key is to show them that reading can be a passion rather than a chore. Reading comprehension is all about language. When learning any language...including your own 2 important things are: 1) grammar and 2) vocabulary. We would keep a vocabulary diary for new words and cover grammar. We would also find literature and subjects preferable to the student...comic books, car magazines, dance, etc.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Allowing the student to tell me about themselves works wonders at breaking the ice. Younger students telling me what their favorite subject is and sharing with me who their favorite teacher works well. With older students, understanding what their main goal or takeaway for taking the course is works well. Understanding who they are and their motivation allows me to better understand how to tailor an approach to them learning the information.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

By correlating the subject to one of their interests, you generally get the best results at keeping the student engaged in the learning process. Also, ask the student questions, versus always speaking. Interacting with the student will keep them engaged and force them to think.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Oral drills, handmade quizzes, reviewing problems from failed exams and book questions. Have them teach me the material as if I had never seen it before.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Paper, Pencil, Computer for notes and referencing of outside material.