I am professional working in Houston tutoring German on the side. I was born and raised in Germany. It was in Germany where I spent the first 18 years of my life. After that, I went to Austria to pursue my undergrad studies in Political Science at the University of Vienna. From there I went straight on continue my graduate studies at the London School of Economics, also in Political Science.
It was after my year in London that I started my professional life in Washington where I worked for a think tank for a year. During that year I got my first experience in tutoring American students in German. My students included middle school level all the way up to senior-level professionals. My favorite part of teaching German to my students was following their progress and seeing them reach their goals together with me.
My approach to tutoring really depends on the student and his or her needs. However, as a general rule of thumb I try to stick to the doctrine of "learning by doing" as much as possible as I believe that it is the best way for any student to learn a foreign language.
Outside of work and tutoring, I really enjoy running, playing golf, skiing and watching professional and college sports. I am a very outgoing and easy-going person that people can get easily along with.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Vienna - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Graduate Degree: London School of Economics - Masters, Politcal Science
Running, Golf, and Soccer.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning by doing is the best way to learn a language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will ask the student about his or her objectives, why he/she wants to learn German, and what the short, medium and long-term goals are. Then, I will ask what the current level of German skills is to work on a game plan with the student that matches his/her needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By letting the student set his own goals and agenda, I will support him/her to achieve those. It is important though, to let the student stay active and in charge, to keep the motivation up and let the student improve the active language skills.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Letting the student set the agenda to meet his or her goals is key to keeping the student engaged and motivated. After working with a student for a while, it is crucial to frequently reevaluate if the current approach and methods are still working and stimulating.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It is imperative to understand what it is that the student doesn't understand- If it is the methodology or the content that is hard to comprehend. After that initial analysis, I would research different methods to present the concept/skill in a different light.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Working with the student to learn what drives and motivates him/her is a crucial first step.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to connect the subject to one of the student's interest areas.