I will graduate Magna Cum Laude in May 2017 from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Foreign Language and Literature. My major was Spanish with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. I also earned an A.A. with High Honors (concentration in Spanish) from City Colleges of Chicago. In the future, I am interested in pursing an M.A. in Education.
While attending City Colleges of Chicago, I worked at the Daley Campus as a tutor for students taking English 101 and 102 Composition. While taking classes at Northeastern Illinois University, I was certified by Literacy Works as an English as a Second Language tutor, and then worked at the Albany Park Community Center tutoring ESL students. There, I worked primarily with native Spanish and Arabic speakers. I have also tutored Spanish privately, and I translate correspondence and documents, mainly from Spanish to English.
Although I have thoroughly enjoyed tutoring English 101 and 102 Composition, my favorite subjects to tutor are Spanish and English as a Second/Foreign Language. I find working with students learning another language particularly rewarding. Based on my experience as a Spanish language learner, I can definitely relate to and empathize with anyone putting forth the effort to learn a second language, and I am well aware of the accompanying rewards. For me, studying another language and working with students involved in second/foreign language acquisition have opened up new channels of communication, new relationships, and new worlds to explore. It has helped me to understand and more fully appreciate the many complexities, cultures, and countries of the world.
In teaching and tutoring, I think one must foster a positive, welcoming, low-anxiety environment built upon the mutual respect of all involved, so that students feel comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences and are able to learn new material. I try to incorporate as much material from real life as possible into instruction so that it becomes relevant to a students life in some way. I also try to maintain a student-centered approach and focus on what makes each student unique as an individual in order to develop strategies for meaningful instruction and learning. Having information about a students life gives insight into the home language, cultural values, beliefs, and traditions that may affect individual learning styles. This knowledge can then be used to devise instructional techniques that build on what a student already knows, which serves as a bridge to new learning.
In my spare time I enjoy studying guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicagos Lincoln Square neighborhood. I particularly like Jazz and Latin styles of playing like Flamenco, Bossa Nova, and Bolero. Whenever I can get away, I love to travel, particularly to Spanish speaking countries to learn more about different Spanish dialects and cultures. So far I have visited Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica. I am also an avid bicyclist and enjoy playing tennis during the warm weather months.