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Tara

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I am a graduating University of Arizona senior pursuing a B.A. in German Studies, with emphases in translation studies, second language acquisition and teaching, and (as of recently!) Medieval literature.

As far as tutoring goes, I'm a language specialist with three main interests--English, German, and Spanish. For each of these languages I'm happy to help students achieve those goals which are most important to them--whether it's preparing for a test, revising their writing, or simply practicing their conversational skills.

I especially enjoy helping students with the early stages of non-L1 language acquisition (in either English, Spanish, or German). Something about this stage in the process of learning a language is especially stimulating and fun. The learning curve is steep, and I get to find out a students' particular ways of acquiring a language.

Outside of class, I like hiking around the Tucson area, hanging out with my friends (and my friends' dogs), and keeping up with Game of Thrones and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Tara’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, German Studies

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 31

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 27

ACT Reading: 32

ACT Science: 31

SAT Composite: 1330

SAT Math: 630

SAT Verbal: 700

SAT Writing: 700

Hobbies

Playing guitar, going to concerts, translation, travel, stand-up comedy, 30 Rock.

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT English

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

American Literature

AP Art History

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

Art History

College Application Essays

College English

College Essays

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Conversational German

Conversational Spanish

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

German

German 1

German 2

German 3

German 4

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

IB Extended Essay

Languages

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Public Speaking

SAT Subject Test in German

SAT Subject Test in Spanish

SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Social studies

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

In teaching foreign languages it is important to combine playfulness and rigorous practice in ways that hone students' listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills while also engaging their personalities and unique motivations.

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

In a first session, it's important that the student and I discuss their goals for tutoring. Will they need continuous support throughout freshman Spanish? Do they wish to take the SAT Writing portion with confidence? Do they simply wish to brush up on German vocabulary and conversation? In the first session we will begin a dialogue about the student's learning goals, and then make a plan together for the time allotted.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In foreign languages, it's important to teach resourcefulness. We will work on tasks during our time together with materials that I bring, and I will instruct them on how to replicate those tasks at home with materials to which they can be directed--foreign language television and news, music, etc. This will give them the opportunity to apply their newly-acquired skills using primary sources.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I think it's important to add an element of performance to some sessions. One activity that I've found especially helpful is the dialogue assignment -- in foreign language teaching, I will ask a student to write a dialogue between two (or more) characters (either of their choosing or who pertain to a particular topic in their target area). Over a couple of sessions, we will work together on editing this draft (taking the writing from the brainstorming to the developed draft stage). Once the writing is prepared, I expect that we perform it together, in whichever format best suits the student (video, table reading, "staged" performance, etc). This is a multi-modal assignment which, in my experience, has proven to keep students motivated and engaged.

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

Multi-modal education is key. If they are having difficulty with a topic, it is likely because it hasn't been presented to them in a familiar enough way. There are many modes of learning and teaching, most of which exceed the limits of a 50- or 90- minute lecture. I intend to work hard to find modalities which pique students' interests and which resonate with their ways of thinking and learning. I have hit many a roadblock in my own academic career, so from personal experience I know how limited a mono-modal education can be. I'm very committed to tailoring sessions to each student's unique needs and interests.

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

As a translator, I find that "translation" exercises are helpful in this department. Often the obstacles which stand between a student (in particular a high school student or young adult) and a text are the differences that exist between the register and tone of the text, and the register with which the student is familiar. Spending some time "translating" a passage from "The Tempest" can scaffold a students' ability to comprehend the passage, which comes afterwards.

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

For foreign language learning, striking a balance between humor/playfulness/gaming structures and rigor/memorization/repetition seems to work quite well. That is, it's important to facilitate the student's confidence in speaking and making mistakes, while also communicating and practicing the formal elements of language.