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I am currently studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and will obtain my B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) next year. I am also acquiring a Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and hope to receive certification for that next year as well. I became interested in tutoring students initially through my internship at the Intensive English Institute (IEI) at UIUC. As an intern, I was tasked with helping students acclimate to American culture and allow them to begin their life at an American university with as few hiccups as possible. I would often answer their questions regarding English language and American culture. By and large, this broadened my perspective on these topics and allowed me to view them from many different angles, which has helped shape myself as a tutor.

From the fall of 2015 I studied abroad in Japan at two institutions. The first was at Konan University in Kobe, Japan where the focus was largely on Japanese language study, and I also took elective courses dealing with Japanese culture, history, literature, etc. The second institution was at the Hokkaido International Foundation (HIF) in Hakodate, Japan where the focus was strictly on Japanese language study. This experience abroad has greatly illuminated my perspective and understanding of language study. Not only of the difficulties inherent with studying a second or third language, but also that of English language study. While abroad, as an English language tutor I helped Japanese students with conversation practice and essay writing. Being able to approach the English language through the eyes of an English language learner has benefited me tremendously with insight and know-how that will help me explain concepts/material to future learners.

The focus of my tutoring lies in language and cultural study. More specifically, I feel confident in tutoring English as a Second/Foreign language, Japanese language and culture, and essay revision and editing. My work as an intern at the IEI, my study abroad experience, and an extensive academic career have given me the tools and experience to help others studying those topics.

When I am not in school or at work, I like to find ways to remain productive but also discover enjoyable ways of doing so. As a way to maintain my proficiency in Japanese, I enjoy listening to Japanese music, watching films/movies in Japanese, and reading works by authors such as Murakami Haruki. You can also find me spending a lot of downtime with family and friends or doing some outdoor activities I particularly enjoy such as hiking and frisbee.

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Matt’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Bachelors, East Asian Languages and Cultures


Language and culture in general, but specifically Japanese language and culture; reading; hiking; frisbee; hanging out with family/friends.

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

When it comes to teaching, I believe an approach where the learner and instructor work interactively and cooperatively is the best arrangement. I have never found it extremely useful or beneficial when the instructor plays the role of a distanced, uninvolved lecturer. I have extracted the most from my studies when the instructor has been willing to interact and personally involve themselves in my studies. Thus, that is the approach I take towards tutoring learners. Additionally, I understand that I will not be in my learners' lives forever, so I aim to help them build a strong understanding of the material that will help them succeed in the future when I am not present. Therefore, acting as more of a facilitator of learning rather than a lecturer I aim to instill within my students understanding, confidence, and motivation that will ultimately help propel them into future studies and enable them to attain their academic goals.

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