My specialist subjects are Spanish and Philosophy and I also teach French and interview skills. I have always enjoyed tutoring and sharing my love of the subject with my tutees. I am always willing to explain a subject from a new angle. We all learn in different ways and I think the role of a good tutor is to be flexible and work with their tutee in order to find a method which works for them. Having worked as a teacher for a number of years I have encountered many different situations and enjoyed working with students of all ages, abilities and nationalities.
2008-2012, University of Oxford, BA Hons Philosophy and Modern Languages
2008: A2 Level 4 A grades (Spanish, French, Philosophy)
2007: AS Level 3 A grades (Spanish, French, Philosophy, Biology)
2006: 9 GCSES 6A* and 3A (French, Spanish, RS, Geography, Dual Science, English Literature and Language, Maths)
I am currently working with a little girl who is preparing for her 4+ assessments at a number of good primary schools. We are focussing on developing her confidence as a learner as well as learning how to focus when an adult asks you to do so. We have been focussing on basic numeracy and literacy through dance, art and writing practice. She is responding well to the tuition and it is always nice to be asked not to leave by your clients!
Experience of KS3 (Ages 11-14)
Whilst working as a teacher I have introduced Spanish to two well renowned schools, both of which have appeared with positive reviews in the national press. I have devised my own curriculum for KS3 which focuses primarily on grammar and culture as I firmly believe that students need to understand why we view learning a language as such a valuable skill. In my opinion, the cultural aspect and experience of original material inspires and engages students. I mainly teach through games as this develops the spoken language and certainly makes learning grammar less painful! It also reinforces all the learning styles - visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.
Exam Board Preparation - GCSE and A Level
I have taught both GCSE and A level Spanish. So I am well versed in the exam boards demands. Again, I primarily avoid textbooks and focus on original language resources which I have devised myself. I have worked with students who require both stretching and support. I was lucky enough to be working with a group of lovely girls who sadly lacked confidence in their ability, particularly after being told that they were predicted not to pass their GCSEs. Through a combination of teaching study skills to help them learn vocabulary, an intensive grammar course and a confidence boosting exercises all passed their GCSEs well - one went from a predicted U to a B, an incredible achievement of which she should be proud. I also worked with a wonderful Sixth Former who was worried that she would fail her oral exam due to a profound lack of self confidence. Through a combination of us focussing on exam technique and an awful lot of hard work she passed her oral, arguably the most stressful part of any modern language exam.
I have provided stretching programs as well - introducing AS level texts and grammar to able GCSE students which encouraged them to take their studies to the next level. With my A level students we went on field trips and focussed on novels and films to develop their critical thinking skills in the target language.
Interview and Personal Statement Workshops
Whilst working at schools, I have been closely involved with the Oxbridge entrance program and university entrance in general. I have discussed and helped develop their ideas behind personal statements, as well as recommended reading and areas for the students to consider. I also provided practice interviews via the charity Oxbridge Interviews as well as through the school and so have plenty of experience in this sphere. It is so inspiring to discuss ideas with such interesting and intelligent young people. I really enjoy discussing nascent philosophical ideas as I did with my philosophy club, especially as we can focus on what interests the students - for example the ethics of war in video games!
English as an additional language (EAL)
During my year abroad I worked as both a nursery nurse and primary teacher in the north of Spain. I worked in a bilingual nursery so I would have to conduct classes and activities in English for Spanish speaking three year olds. The classes and activities thus had to be fun and interactive to maintain their attention. We learnt through play, song and art. It was so rewarding to see the childrens progress over the year especially when they would use English outside the classroom. With my older students, as they had been learning from the age of three years old, their English was normally very good so there were a different set of objectives. This was to engage them in British culture. In order to do this I introduced them to the venerable David Attenborough and we created "wildlife" documentaries in English. I was also lucky enough to be in Spain during the royal wedding during which we created bunting to practice the colours, invitations to practice formal language and discussed the differences between Spanish and British weddings.
I also have experience of teaching EAL to older students. I was working with a very hard working and charming Spanish Sixth Former who was aiming to get into university but was expected to fail her English exams. This was due to the fact that her English teacher had not taught her class the course and had thus been fired. She had thus missed a whole year of English tuition. However, through an intensive grammar course and plenty of speaking practice (often about celebrity gossip) she passed her Bachillerato (the equivalent of A2 level). She is now studying to be a veterinary nurse.
Hobbies and Interests
My idea of a very good afternoon is being curled up with a new book, be it fact or fiction, and I am currently working my way through this years Bookers nominees.When I feel a little more active, I love playing netball and was part of the college team throughout my time at university. I am mostly a centre court player as I am so short! If I am lucky enough to have free time I enjoy travelling and spent last summer interrailing from Copenhagen to Hvar, learning a lot I did not previously know about eastern Europe.