I grew up in Berlin, in former East Germany. I hold a degree in physical therapy and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy.
After moving to the United States in 1984, I began teaching German Language at a number of language schools in Washington D.C. My clients were children as well as professionals who were transferring to businesses, members of the US Military and the US Coast guard and of the US State Department. I also coached opera singers at the National Opera (former Washington Opera). As a college teacher of voice and at Loyola University New Orleans, I had the pleasure of teaching German to aspiring young opera singers and taught German Lieder (art song repertoire).
My teaching style is varied and depends on the goals and the levels of each student. I am a stickler for grammar but I have lots of fun ways to practice it. Games and pictures are an integral part in my teaching method.
I am very friendly, personable and laugh a lot. Learning a language is a wonderful thing and should be a happy pursuit!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Humboldt University Berlin Germany - Bachelors, Physical Therapy, Music Performamce
Graduate Degree: Loyola University New Orleans - Masters, Music
camping, hiking, swimming, gardening and, of course, performing classical music and attending concerts
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning and practicing a language is a wonderful thing. It should be an inspiring and enjoyable experience. I make every lesson such an experience.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first thing is to find out some details about the student, such as age, prior knowledge of the language, goals and interests. In a typical tutoring setting, I would need to assess where the student needs particular help.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
There are many different resources for students to learn independently. Particularly the Internet offers websites with grammar games, pictorials and dialogues. It all depends on the level of motivation of the student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In order to keep students interested and motivated, I create a positive and encouraging lesson plan and environment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I use creative ways to help my students understand grammar concepts and skills. That includes repetitions, drills and lots of practice. Vocabulary pictures are a fun way remember new words.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In most cases this can helped by examining the key vocabulary and extrapolating the particular difficulties.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Talk, talk, talk! Starting out with introductions, e.g. "I am...", "You are..." "Who are you?", etc. Getting the student to speak and learn basic introductions is a great way to set up a feeling of success early on.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It always helps to find out which aspects of the subject are particularly problematic, and which aspects are easy and perhaps most interesting for the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In this particular subject - German language - it is easy to find out if a student has a good understanding by talking about the subject, asking questions about the materials and having the student ask questions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement is very important in order to boost student confidence. I give students enough time to reinforce their knowledge through repetition and Q&A.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I find out where a student ism and where he/she needs to get to and what the time frame is. I familiarize myself with the textbook or other materials that the student is currently working with. Speaking and Q&A can reveal very quickly what needs to be accomplished.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Meeting the student's needs is most important, and I accomplish this by first thoroughly assessing the current level and the anticipated goal.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the task at hand, I work with the materials the student has from their school or institution, and find materials to enhance and deepen the knowledge and abilities.