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Elizabeth

Born in England, raised in Malta, I have a global perspective and an appreciation for cultural diversity. I am a “people person” who works well with others both as a leader and team-player. Empowering students and moving them beyond “I can’t” has always been the hallmark of my teaching, so much so that DePaul’s Alpha Lambda Delta National Honors Society named me as “Faculty of the Year” in 2000.
Even before “experiential learning” became a cliché, I was providing “hands-on,” sensory-based activities for my students; before “diversity training” became a mandate, I exposed my students to texts which focused on racism, sexism, homophobia, colonialism and anti-Semitism; years before the English speaking world caught onto the pedagogical theories of Paulo Freire, I insisted on student-centered learning, creating a safe environment in which my students could explore their deepest thoughts, sharing what was appropriate with their peers. My students are motivated and engaged with their studies; together we form a circle of learning in which all are expert critical thinkers. My task, as I see it, is to facilitate, encourage, and stay informed. A hand-written message from Mother Teresa, faithfully carried from Calcutta by a former student, hangs on my study wall: “Liz, Teach for the glory of God.” And that’s what I endeavor to do….

Undergraduate Degree:

DePaul University - Bachelors, English & Linguistics

Graduate Degree:

DePaul University - Masters, English & Linguistics/ Also hold TESOL credentials from College of Teachers, U.K.

Graduate Degree:

University of Malta - PHD, Theology

Travel, Argentine Tango,Photography

10th Grade Writing

College English

Comparative Literature

Fiction Writing

High School English

High School Writing

World Literature

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By encouraging critical thinking and by teaching the skills necessary to accomplish academic goals.

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

Find different ways of demonstrating the skill or concept until it makes sense to the student.

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

By looking for thesis statements and topic sentences, key ideas, subordinate ideas, details, examples, illustrations; by exploring the context of the reading with the student; by encouraging vocabulary work.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Born in England, raised in Malta, I have a global perspective and an appreciation for cultural diversity. I am a "people person" who works well with others both as a leader and team-player. Empowering students and moving them beyond "I can't" has always been the hallmark of my teaching, so much so that DePaul's Alpha Lambda Delta National Honors Society named me as "Faculty of the Year" in 2000. Even before "experiential learning" became a clichÌ©, I was providing "hands-on," sensory-based activities for my students; before "diversity training" became a mandate, I exposed my students to texts which focused on racism, sexism, homophobia, colonialism and anti-Semitism; years before the English speaking world caught onto the pedagogical theories of Paulo Freire, I insisted on student-centered learning, creating a safe environment in which my students could explore their deepest thoughts, sharing what was appropriate with their peers. My students are motivated and engaged with their studies; together we form a circle of learning in which all are expert critical thinkers. My task, as I see it, is to facilitate, encourage, and stay informed. A hand-written message from Mother Teresa, faithfully carried from Calcutta by a former student, hangs on my study wall: "Liz, Teach for the glory of God." And that's what I endeavor to do‰Û_.

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

In a first session, I like to get to know the student and what he or she needs in terms of academic coaching. Session One is a time for planning next steps and getting started.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I was known as "the great motivator" because of my belief in each student's abilities, and my commitment to making learning a fun and meaningful experience.

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

A key strategy to success is identifying a student's strengths and weaknesses with a particular subject; having figured out a student's present skill set, the next step is to build new skills that will help the student reach his or her goals.

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

I try to find ways of making learning relevant to the student's own life and future prospects. Building on small successes, I help the student see that a "big" success is quite possible with work and effort.

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

I always check in with students to see if they can explain the material in their own words, identify key ideas and see the relationship between key ideas, subordinate ideas and supporting material.

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

Small steps first lead to bigger steps. Students can build on small successes, thereby gaining confidence and mastering more complex material. Ensuring that the students are working at their ability and are not overreaching prevents frustration.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

If the students are ESL students or writing students, I like to look at sample work or give a quiz to get a sense of their achievement level in spoken and written English. If the students are studying literature, I evaluate their reading comprehension.

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

Since I always begin with diagnostics, I can gear my tutoring approach to the particular student. Though I have taught primarily in universities and colleges, I have also worked extensively with children as well as with professionals who need to improve their language skills. As a tutor, I am quite the chameleon.

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

Materials depend upon the subject matter. I use whatever a session calls for-- literary anthologies, grammar books, ESL workbooks, original writing exercises, informal dialogue, brainstorming exercises, popular materials, current events, etc.