Foreign Language


French/Le français

Bonjour! Vous désirez apprendre le français?

I'm available to tutor French privately-- any level, from rank beginner to advanced-level French. If you're a high school student needing help with French, I'm willing to work within your county's curriculum and will gladly provide supplementary teaching and study materials. I'm also available to help you if you're planning to take the French AP exam or another French-related standardized test.

My first-ever teaching job, at a private Catholic high school in northern Virginia, involved teaching both French language and English. French was my undergraduate major; I've spent time living in both France and Switzerland, and I remain in contact with my respective French and Swiss host families. Every few years, I find myself back in French-speaking Europe, visiting my host families.

If you're new to the language, I'll be happy to guide you through the learning process, and can even take you from total beginner to high-intermediate level within a single year.

Course options:

FR001 = French 1 (junior high or high school level)
FR002 = French 2
FR003 = French 3
FR004 = French 4 (probably AP-level in most counties)
FR005 = French 5 (probably AP)
FR006 = Advanced French for students who have lived in France

FT001 = French tutoring, absolute beginner
FT002 = French tutoring, "high" beginner
FT003 = French tutoring, low intermediate
FT004 = French tutoring, high intermediate
FT005 = French tutoring, low advanced
FT006 = French tutoring, high advanced

Teaching/learning options:

1. Teaching via Skype
2. In-residence teaching (i.e., at the student's home; extra fee will be charged for gas and travel time if student is more than 15 minutes away by car)

Please visit the RATE CHART for specifics regarding tutoring costs.

Korean/한국어 (韓國語)

안녕하세요? (annyeong-hasaeyo? How are you?)

Honestly, I have no clue how many people in the Shenandoah area might be interested in learning Korean. You might, however, be curious to know that Korean is one of the top 25 most-spoken languages in the world: the combined populations of North and South Korea add up to about 80 million-- with at least a million or so Koreans scattered across the globe. That's a little more than a fourth of the US population!

Learning Korean is nothing like learning a Western European language such as French: the vocabulary is totally foreign, the grammar is almost exactly the reverse of the grammar of Western European languages, and the cultural assumptions that underlie the language are often quite alien to the way Americans (and Westerners in general) think.

But that's what makes learning Korean such fun!

There is, however, a small subset of people who might need to learn Korean for more than personal enrichment: young twenty-somethings who are contemplating an English-teaching career in South Korea. If you're one of those people, then consider me as a potential resource!

No matter who you are or what your reasons for learning Korean might be, I can take you through Level 1 and Level 2 Korean within about a year's time-- faster if you opt for an intensive regimen. Along with the language, I'll be teaching you about Korean culture-- its customs, its art forms, its food (yes, I cook, so I can offer some samples of Korean cooking), its history, and so on. Koreans use a writing system called hangeul, an alphabet that's surprisingly easy to learn. They also use hanja, which is Chinese (or more precisely, Sino-Korean) characters pronounced the Korean way. Examples of hangeul and hanja both appear at the top of this section.

Our course will concentrate on hangeul, but if you're a motivated student, I'll be happy to teach the basics of hanja as well.

Course options:

KT001 = Korean tutoring, absolute beginner
KT002 = Korean tutoring, "high" beginner
KT003 = Korean tutoring, low intermediate

Teaching/learning options:

1. Teaching via Skype
2. In-residence teaching (i.e., at the student's home; extra fee will be charged for gas and travel time if student is more than 15 minutes away by car)

Please visit the RATE CHART for specifics regarding tutoring costs.

My Language Teaching Philosophy

As they taught me in linguistics class so many years ago, when it comes to language learning, there are four macroskills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Two of these skills are "passive": listening and reading. Two are "active": speaking and writing. All four skills are necessary in the modern world, and my aim is to teach all four. Where possible, my approach will conform to a "notional-functional" syllabus, which is a popular, and rather commonsense, method for teaching a language. In this style of teaching, lesson units are based on "notions," e.g., the notion of time, and specific lessons are based on functions, e.g., how to tell time, how to read calendars, etc.

The specifics on how I teach a language will vary according to the mode of interaction. If the lessons are done through Skype via computer, for example, then the electronic medium will change the nature of the student-teacher interaction; the same goes for tutoring done at the student's home. All three formats come with advantages and disadvantages; it'll be up to the student to express a preference.

Ultimately, if a student is sincere about learning French or Korean with me, that's all that matters. I will do my absolute best to help that student master the language(s) of his or her choice. Learning is part work and part fun; I think we can incorporate both.