I am a native of Port au Prince, Haiti, where I completed all my classical schooling (from grammar school to high school) and some college in French. I immigrated to the U.S. in 2006 to further my studies. When I am not at work or some other engagements, you will find me playing with my two-year old daughter and my six-month old son, or going on a walk with my wife (and the children), or hanging out with friends. When I am alone, you will find my eyes riveted on a TV or computer screen or, better yet, a book. Although I am no philosopher by any stretch of the imagination, I enjoy deep thinking, especially on philosophical matters. That constitutes most of my quiet moments in life.
Languages and people are my passion. I speak four living languages and I am proficient in two dead languages. Few sights bring me more joy than seeing a person learn and grow. I hold a MA in Biblical Exegesis (Ancient Greek and Hebrew Interpretation) from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and a BA is Pastoral Ministry from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL.
I believe every person can learn any language he or she desires. Therefore, I tutor with one conviction--what stands between a student and his or her target language is a tutor who listens and taps into the student's dominant learning style. Because (in my view) motivation and passion drive learning, rather than focusing on weaknesses, I emphasize the student's strengths. I have seen students who were struggling in learning French obtain an A at the end of the same semester. I have also helped others gain a passion for the language while showing slow but steady improvement in learning it.
No matter where you stand in your learning journey, it is my pleasure and honor to serve as your guide and ensure that you reach your goal.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Moody Bible Institute - Bachelors, Pastoral Pre-Seminary (with Ancient Languages)
Graduate Degree: Wheaton College (Illinois) - Masters, Biblical Exegesis--Ancient Greek and Hebrew
Public speaking, films, non-fiction books, ancient Greek and Hebrew interpretation
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe every person can learn any language he or she desires. Therefore, I teach with one conviction--what stands between a student and his or her target language is a tutor who listens and taps into the student's dominant learning style. Because, in my view, motivation and passion drive learning, rather than focusing on her or his weaknesses, I emphasize the student's strengths.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student, seek to understand his or her reasons for learning the subject at hand, his or her motivation in life, and spell out the goals for the next few sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by emphasizing keys to unlock the language/subject, rather than emphasizing rote memory. Among those keys are critical thinking, systematic reading and writing techniques, and most importantly the student's learning style.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would probe until the student and I come to a mutual understanding of what constitutes the learning blockage, and help the student address it. However, if the issue seems more psychological than intellectual, I skip the concept at hand and move to a more accessible notion that helps the student build confidence when he or she returns to the more difficult concept (of course, sometimes the lesson plan does not allow rearranging certain learning items).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
With reading comprehension, I help struggling students observe details that matter in the text at hand. I like using the analogy of a detective who patiently observes the crime scene until he or she solves the case.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find making a personal connection with students as a professional tends to make for a successful tutoring partnership. Students tend to learn from whom they like, and when that is coupled with confidence in you, their hope to learn the subject soars.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To enhance excitement/engagement with a tough subject, I seek to discover the student's passion in life and dominant learning style. I use the student's passion (e.g. reading fiction, TV, music, save the trees etc.) as a source of analogy and illustrations for my explanations, and I use the student's dominant learning style (e.g. visual or auditory clues to emphasize key concepts).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Knowledge check such as quizzes, asking for examples that expand the notion I just explained, or allowing the student to process pieces of the argument with me, instead of spoon feeding him/her.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By allowing him/her to proceed from simple to complex in the learning journey, by providing praises often, allowing them to realize how much they already know, and letting them know that the battle is more mental than intellectual.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask open-ended questions concerning fear, difficulties with the subject and reasons, and then I listen. Also, I use exercises that proceed from simple to complex to see how much the student already knows.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I arrange my lesson plans to the student's goals and allow the student to participate at all times.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use textbooks, chalkboards, YouTube videos, notebooks, flashcards and computerized exercises.