My teaching approach is to use the language as soon and as much as possible in order to practice the listening and reading (receptive) skills so that, in communicative situations, the learner develops the ability and confidence to speak and write (the productive skills) the language. The learner will appreciate discovering how much s/he already knows from words and phrases that are borrowed from or cognates of English and will procede to acquire new structures, vocabulary and grammar through interesting stories, tasks, videos, articles and activities that are engaging and fun. In addition, many "low-stake" quizzes help to prepare the learner for "high-stake" tasks and tests.
I have taught on the high school and college/university levels. My students and I have travelled to Mexico, Chile and Argentina where they experienced learning the language within authentic hispanic cultural contexts and with native speakers. Not only did the learners' grades improve, but many students have been inspired to take Advanced Placement Spanish.
My wife and I just returned from a 3-year stay in Ecuador where we used Spanish daily and developed friendships with many Spanish-speaking people.
The student will pay for the full lesson if s/he fails to notify me of the intent to cancel at least 1 hour in advance of the agreed meeting time.
Curriculum Vitæ Michael J. Smith, D.M.L.
Higher Education Degrees & certificates completed:
Online courses taken to expand my language teaching skills to include online instruction: NILE ONLINE and FutureLearn
MASTER’s Credential in TEFL of 120 hours – BridgeTEFL, Denver, CO - Certificate #: TOØØ28216 & Teaching English Online – certificate # (concealed information)
DML* in French/Spanish, 1999, Middlebury College, Vermont
*Doctor of Modern Languages degree in French/Spanish from Middlebury College Graduate School of Languages
Thesis: Les apports des recherches effectuées sur le cerveau humain entre 1985 et 1995 à l’apprentissage/
l’acquisition et à l’enseignement d’une langue étrangère/seconde (The contribution of recent brain research
to second language acquisition and teaching - written in French, defended in French and Spanish).
MA in French, 1973, Middlebury College, Vermont and Institut des Professeurs de français à l’étranger, Sorbonne, Paris, France
BS in French with minors in Spanish and Linguistics, 1971, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Centro de Estudios Interamericanos (Jan. 2018-Mar. 2020) Cuenca, Ecuador – teacher of English beginners to advanced
-taught French and Spanish for 42+ years, full-time from high school to university (beginners through Advanced Placement, Literature, Phonetics & Stylistics, Culture & Civilization)
Jan. – Dec. 2016 – Professor of French at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, VA
Aug. 2008 - June 2012- appointed Scholar-in-Residence of the Honors College at Norfolk State University, VA
Summer 2008 – Director of the inaugural Middlebury-Monterey French Language Academy, Amherst, Massachusetts
2008 – 2015: Assistant Professor of French and Spanish at Norfolk State University, Virginia
2006 – 2007: Associate Professor of French and Spanish at Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, GA
2002 – 2006: Assistant Professor of French and Spanish at Lee University, Cleveland, TN
1993 – 2002: Trinity High School, Manchester, NH, where I served as World Languages Department Chairman
1986 – 1992: Triton Regional High School, Byfield, MA
1978 – 1986: Salem High School, Salem, NH
1974 – 1978: Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA
1973 – 1974: Winchendon High School, Winchendon, MA
- lived in Paris, France, for ten months of the MA program at the Sorbonne (1972-73) through Middlebury College,
- chaperoned student trips to Germany and Austria and to Québec (Canada) and Normandy (France),
- traveled to Canada, Luxembourg, France, Spain, México, Puerto Rico and Martinique, and
- taught Spanish to university students in Santiago, Chile, Zamora, México, and Mendoza, Argentina,
-lived in Cuenca, Ecuador, for 3 years where I taught English at the Centro de Estudios Interamericanos.
I am a past President of the NHATFL (New Hampshire Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages, now NHATWL …World Languages)
- retired member of: AATF (American Association of Teachers of French),
AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese),
ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and
ACTC (Association of Core Texts and Courses),
- honorary member of 2 National Honor Societies: Pi Delta Phi (French) & Sigma Tau Delta (Spanish) and
- lifetime member of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity
- My wife Michelle and I were a weekend presenting couple for Worldwide Marriage Encounter (in NH) from 1981 to 2002.
- We served as NH coordinators for Marriage Encounter in 1984 and were re-elected in 1999 to serve as an ecclesial team with the late Fr. Roger Leroux.
- We have been ministers of song and Eucharist at Sainte Thérèse of Lisieux Catholic parish in Cleveland, Tennessee.
- I organized and led an interfaith, bilingual walking way of the Cross in Cleveland, TN on Good Friday, 2005.
- My wife and I were ministers of the Eucharist at Christ the King Catholic Church, Norfolk, VA from 2009-2016.
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