A photo of Ellen, a tutor from CUNY LaGuardia Community College


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I'm here to serve and help you speak, read, write and be fluent in Spanish... I feel so bless to be able to assist you in this fun journey!

Ellen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY LaGuardia Community College - Current Undergrad, Computer Office Technology


Reading, dancing, hiking, yoga, meditation, self development, latin, R&B, reggae music, movies, basketball, tennis, drumming

Tutoring Subjects

Conversational Spanish



Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My main focus is on each student's learning style, and to a more holistic approach by incorporating course material in their own lives, applying abstract theories to what they experience in their everyday life. I believe this approach empowers students to articulate ideas and process concepts in ways that are meaningful to them, which requires deep understanding that can only come when students internalize and actively apply knowledge in creative and meaningful ways. I define "teaching and learning" much as I would define "communication:" giving knowledge and facilitating understanding; theory and application, helping and challenging; maintaining rigor and encouraging creative experimentation; and respecting helped develop the skills necessary to make that possible. For this reason, I encourage critical thinking and the improvement of oral, reading and written skills in all of my tutoring sessions.

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

Get to know the student by asking questions that allow me to help the student more efficiently.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By providing instruction that allow students to become intrigued, yet in a challenging way that foster attention; letting them know that mistake are precious opportunities to learn and become better as well as setting goals to accomplish the desired outcome.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

One of my favorite ways to keep students motivated is by praising them every opportunity I find. I always let them know that I believe in them and know they can achieve their goals, and that I know they can learn Spanish.

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

Find fun ways that they can learn a concept; for example playing games, listening to music, watching a movie/video, etc.

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

I like to use storytelling techniques.

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

Finding what is the best way the student learns... some students might learn best by using visual, aural, hands-on, or in a social setting. The idea is to learn what work best for each student and focus the learning experience by using that form of learning that serves the student.

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

Take advantage of every opportunity to engage with the student; show them you care for them and that you believe in their ability to learn and use the new skills.

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

Ask questions that reinforce that student has a full understanding of the material before you move on to the next task. Ask the student what he/she feels has helped him/her do the work by themselves... then ask what they are having challenges with.

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

By focusing on what he/she does well and how they have come to be good at it, and by letting them know that everyone at one point or another has been able to overcome challenges by practicing and having the courage to put the time and effort to become better at a given subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I use surveys to ask students about our tutoring sessions. If the student is passing his/her class, that usually is a good sign; and last but not least... if the student is becoming more fluent in the language, that tells me that we are achieving our goal.

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

I'm here for the student, so it is very important for me to assist the student in the best way that the student learns; ex.: visual, aural, experiential, etc.

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

I use music, videos, movies, flashcards with images, and experiential/ social techniques, if necessary.