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I have a B.A. in French and Psychology from Bridgewater College in Virginia. I have an M.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. I have taught French in middle school and high school for 26 years. I taught French in college when I was a grad student at the University of Virginia and also for the last five years at James Madison University. I love the language and the culture and I think that I am able to explain the grammar in such a was as to make it understandable. I am very patient and have the experience to know the areas in which students need help and where they make mistakes.

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Laura’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Bridgewater College - Bachelors, French; Psychology

Graduate Degree: University of Virginia-Main Campus - Masters, French


Travel and Reading

Tutoring Subjects

Conversational French


French 1

French 2

French 3

French 4


Q & A

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To help a student become an independent learner, I make sure that he or she has the tools needed for success and know where to look for help when I am not there.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Positive reinforcement is a great way to keep students motivated. You have to constantly assess the level of the student and give them work that they can be successful with, but that will also challenge them.

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

If a student has difficulty with a concept, I would try to explain it in different ways. I would give a number of examples and then give the student examples to try, starting with the less complex and moving to more complexity.

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

When I start to work with a student, I like to find out what the student thinks he or she has the most problems with. I assess the level of the student by asking some questions about that area and determining what we need to work on.

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

Showing a student that he or she can be successful is the best way to get him or her engaged in the subject.

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

To be sure that a student understands the material, I would ask questions and have the student work on questions/sentences. If there are still things that the student is missing, we would talk about them and try to figure out what he or she isn't getting.

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

By making sure to give the student practice items which show that he or she CAN succeed, and gradually building up to more complex items.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I talk to the student to determine his or her problem areas, and then give the student some informal assessments to find out exactly where they are and what they need.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that every student is capable of being successful, and it's up to the teacher to determine how that student learns best and to show him or her the path to success.

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

In a first session, I would talk to the student to find out what exactly he or she thinks is the biggest area (or areas) of difficulty. I would then ask some questions and give some examples to evaluate the student's level of comprehension of the problem areas.

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