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I am certified to teach ESL in New York State (K-12) and received my Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) through Fordham University. As a NYC Public School teacher for 6 years, and as a private tutor in South Korea, I have experience instructing elementary, middle school, and high school students, as well as adults, to reach their academic goals. Additionally, I have taught test preparation for the SAT, PSAT, SHSAT, NYS ELA Regents, NYSESLAT exams, and more.

I specialize in increasing the literacy skills of all learners through vocabulary building, step-by-step approaches and inquiry. I use direct teaching, video, audio, PowerPoints, and even props to demonstrate concepts. I am excellent at helping students to organize their ideas for essays and to deliver clear arguments to defend any position. If you are looking to create and edit an essay (college application, English essay, science report, etc.), to make an oral presentation, or if you just need some useful writing advice, I will be happy to assist you in reaching your goals!

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Karan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: Fordham University - Masters, TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


I enjoy pilates, video games, composing music, watching television, reading, and writing.

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

If you think you can't do something, then that's exactly the thing you should try to do, especially if it's something you really want to do. Sounds simple, but we often get in our own way when we think our dreams are unattainable. "I'm not good enough, not smart enough, or not talented enough." But listen to your other voices instead. "I am smart enough; I can do it, even though I don't know how to yet." Let's work together to make what seems impossible, possible.

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

I would assess his or her needs by asking questions about academic goals. Then, I would try to relate to the student by finding out about the student's interests within and outside of academics. What makes the student tick? That's what I like to find out.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A student who is interested in the subject he or she is learning about is an independent learner. I like to ask questions that relate to a student's life and hear their unique answers. This is a way for students to begin to ask questions themselves about the subject matter, not just how to perform a task properly.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

A student stays motivated when you stir their critical thinking skills by asking both simple and in-depth questions which may be open-ended. This may actually frustrate the student at times, but a little difficulty is what helps students grow, along with healthy doses of encouragement.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I'd do the following: * repeat the concept in a different way, * ask questions to determine what the student understands, and * help the student to solve the problem by looking at the information in an organized fashioned (metacognition).

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

Reading is not just word-by-word or line-by-line. It's connecting ideas. Details are not as important as the whole when going through the reading the first time. Asking the reader questions unlocks most things that are not readily apparent.

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

Strategies that work well with students are getting the student invested in the critical thinking as an audience member in any type of reading, be it literature, nonfiction, or content-based. The way to invest a student is to begin a dialogue with inquiry, in which both the student and teacher ask questions of the text and of themselves. I honestly think you don't have to know everything to relate to anything, meaning that it's possible to find almost anything at least slightly interesting when your mind is eager for knowledge and unafraid of problem solving.

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

Back to the student. What do you love? What do you hate? Get them to express through writing if they hate writing, or anything they want to express. If they hate reading because it's difficult or "boring," get them to see that they have that intelligence, logic, and emotion that can be used to discern so much more than they believe the text initially does. Part of engaging a student is also to lower anxiety to challenges.

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

Assess, assess, assess. I am a broken record, and I will continue to ask every student similar questions throughout the lesson. "What do you think that means?" is one of my favorites. Also, "What do you think about this topic?" and "What did you learn?" A student must articulate the material before he truly understands it.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Praise is needed in different quantities and styles for different students. But if the praise about a student's talents, qualities, and building skills is not genuine, they will not believe you. But I have had my own difficulties as a student, and I use it to show how you may feel like you can't do something now, but wait until you see that wonderful person (you) who is actually doing it.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Back to questions. I find out from the student as well as the parents what the child may need. I look at past work, and assess both strengths and weaknesses. I constantly assess throughout the lesson and have the student participate in inquiry about the subject.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Leaf shapes = people. No two are exactly alike. Why would I not adapt? If I don't change, people won't learn. So here it is: I'm always listening to you. I want you to connect your life experience to what you're learning, and to come up with your own ideas and questions about the subject. Learning with me is a personalized process.

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

Anything! Websites, media, videos, me writing down ideas on Google Drive, visuals, music, and more. But it's hard to put all that stuff into a sandwich, so I don't use all these methods in one lesson.

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