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L1 = English, L2 = French, L3 = Hebrew, L4 = Spanish

# Linguistics, phonetics, speech acoustics (spectrograms), speech accent, and writing "accent"
I welcome students taking introductory linguistics and any level of phonetics and phonology, articulatory phonetics (articulation), morphology, and morpho-semantics, including the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (the DLAB) and the NACLO.

#English as a Second Language (ESL), #English as a Foreign Language (EFL), #English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)
I work with professionals in music, teaching, medicine, real estate/construction, and business/accounting so they can expand their skills in public speaking and learn to select managerial writing styles, as appropriate for formal and informal writing.

#Need to pass a professional exam?
I am passionate about preparing teachers to pass the physical education, American history/civics language portions of the CBEST and CSET teaching exams. The CBEST pass rate for California first-time test-takers hovers at 70%, so it is important to have a tutor who provides encouragement along with practice essays and grammar exercises. Please email me a writing sample prior to our first meeting.

#My background
I have been teaching college reading/writing for non-native speakers since 2010. I earned both an MA in linguistics and a BA in computer science from UC San Diego. I formerly worked in language analysis and database design as a GS-12 Computer Scientist in the civil service, while also volunteering as a NASA Hands-on Science teacher with elementary schoolers. I am currently preparing high school students to pass the Spanish GED and the English GED exams while I complete a TESOL certificate that includes ESL PRAXIS preparation. TESOL -- Teaching English as a Second Language -- and TEFL -- Teaching English as a Foreign Language -- differ in their respective goals. I am also becoming certified in the Color Vowel method, which the US State Department uses.

#More on my education
I have additional graduate coursework in neurology, PEERS (r) social communication/autism, anatomy, first and second language acquisition, literacy skills, articulation, stuttering, lifespan communication disorders (aphasia and childhood vocabulary lags, particularly in emerging bilinguals), and sociolinguistics. At one time or another, I have studied these languages: Spanish, French, Hebrew, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), Iraqi Arabic, Persian, German, Yiddish, ASL (American Sign Language), and Japanese. Turkish is next on my list!

Adults: We begin by using familiar words and icons that we customize to leverage your own experience.
Teens and younger:
I expect parents to print out our review exercises and participate for a few minutes to provide feedback and to assure that your student has a working sound and video system.
Please come ready to use or select a Hebrew version of your name and to select either the Ashkenazi or Sephardic pronunciation. We will be using block letters, with and without vowels. Initially, you will use music and song to become acquainted with the names of the letters. We will be using online resources with a Hebrew primer such as Dina Maiben's Alef Bet Quest from Behrman House Publishing.

I am a music librarian for a klezmer band. I played the violin in my college's community orchestra. I currently play the piano. I do not teach voice but can help with preparing for the music portion on education exams.

Although I have experience creating and implementing IEPs and 504 plans and I have successfully prepared candidates to pass the Civics and interview portions of the United States citizenship exam, please know that I cannot guarantee outcomes or compensate you financially if you do not pass exams. I do not hold a teaching credential nor am I certified as a speech-language pathologist.

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Michelle’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - Bachelor in Arts, Computer Science

Graduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - Master of Arts, Linguistics

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1450

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 750


Research in guided language acquisition, Yiddish jazz, Mizrahi music, YMCA Yoga, Literature of Asia in translation, Vegan cuisine, Volunteering as an English tutor with immigrants from Ethiopia.

Tutoring Subjects



Business Writing

CBEST - The California Basic Educational Skills Test


College English

CSET - California Subject Examinations for Teachers


English Grammar and Syntax


GED Prep

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts

GED Social Studies



Learning Differences



Professional Certifications

Social Studies

Special Education

Technical Writing

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Test Prep

US Constitutional History



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