I am a linguist; I believe that learning other languages and cultures empowers one and clarifies other perspectives on reality than one's own. For instance, growing up in Brazil with Russian parents, I taught myself French to be able to talk to our French neighbors in Rio; I taught myself Italian to be able to understand Italian Operas --who was betraying whom and why; I memorized whole chapters in the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit, to glean ancient insights into the nature of reality. The desire to understand other cultures also motivated me to study Spanish, Korean, Amharic, Farsi, Hindi and Arabic.
I have a BA in music from the Rio de Janeiro Conservatory of Music; a B.A. In French, M.A. In Linguistics, a PhD. In Russian Literature from the Universityt of Pennsylvania, certificates in computer networking and in automotive mechanics.
Teaching experience at Berlitz, Georgetown U., the Defense Intelligence Agency-- includes college students, intelligence personnel, State Department diplomats on their way to Brazil and Russia, foreign service officers on assignment to African lusophone countries, corporate staff at the Millenium Challenge Corporation.
My own studies and success with students confirm that learning is directly proportional to motivation, which is linked with the student's area of interest. It is most effective when addressing student-specific area of interest.
Learning is more effortless when one is enabled to express oneself about subjects of importance to self, and specific to own concerns in personal and professional themes.
My latest student , from DOS, wanted to be able to discuss Brazilian and American politics and economics with Brazilian officials on his assignment as American Consul .
Assignments consisted of various articles from Brazilian newspapers and newscasts like the BBC Brazil. Each 4 hour class consisted of reading an article (for instance, the desindustrialization of Brazilian economy), making a list of relevant, economics-specific terminology terms and turns of phrase, reading a paragraph, summarizing it, commenting on it, and fielding questions on it, as he would be doing at press-conferences. Extremely effective.
By the end of the course, my student was able to pass the FSI proficiency exam and talk with ease about himself and other DOS-specific matters.
Started teaching college students twenty+ years ago, then moved on to freelance trainer in Russian and Portuguese for Berlitz and Cape Fox (USAID) . Still on call by both, and with time for new students.
Have taught hundreds of students, college age and adult professionals. On call from Berlitz and Cape Fox to administer Oral Proficiency exams in Portuguese, and to prepare FSO candidates for FSI panel exams.
Discussed and detailed above.
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