My specialist subjects are Mandarin and English as a Second Language. My own experience of rigorously learning a second language to a high, technical level combined with my pastoral/mentoring experience makes me a true all-rounder. I am also in an excellent position to instruct in English, Literature, Philosophy, French, extended writing/thesis skills, and Oxbridge admissions.
WHAT MY EXPERIENCE DEMONSTRATES
PREPAREDNESS: For all of my tutoring jobs in Beijing, I was required to develop my own syllabus and lesson material from scratch, with a very minimal brief.
ADAPTABILITY: I adapted my lesson plans and syllabus to learners from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and skill levels.
CLIENT SATISFACTION: The clients at my posts in Beijing all offered to resume contracts with me whenever I return to China. The strongest testimonial is that of the 9-year-old tutee, who saved her pocket money to purchase me a leaving present engraved with the message re my favourite teacher!"
AREAS I TEACH
I am familiar with the relevant level syllabuses of all areas that I teach.
LANGUAGES: MANDARIN, ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, AND FRENCH
My tutoring experience consists in teaching English as a Second Language.
My academic background assures that I can offer a rigorous, grammar-centred training in both Mandarin and English, even for those looking to attain a high level of fluency and academic-level composition skills. Equally, my own personal experience of learning a second language to a high level also means that I have a deep understanding of the process of language-learning - I understand what it takes to become a confident, accurate, and fluent communicator.
On the technical side, I can effectively instruct students in a variety of strategies for understanding, memorising, and practising new vocabulary, idioms, grammar rules, and sentence patterns, drawing on both my own learning experiences and my technical knowledge. For example, my training in the discipline of Mandarin to English and English to Mandarin translation means that I have a highly nuanced appreciation for the fundamental differences of expression between these languages.
My particular strength lies, however, on the communications-skills side: boosting students-active language and developing conversation skills. This is often an emotional journey as much as an academic one, and I have experience in effectively helping students whose fear, lack of morale, and confidence issues had previously affected their spoken communication skills.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND EXTENDED WRITING
I am strong instructor in extended writing skills: composition, argumentative technique, evaluation, and general technique for essay-format exams.
My undergraduate thesis won the Davis Prize for best undergraduate dissertation submitted for Final Honours School Chinese Studies in 2014, testifying to my highly developed skills of composition, argument construction, and evaluation.
Furthermore, I have a small portfolio of proofreading and editing work for academic research papers and academic job applications in my field. This work was gain entirely through recommendation, and testimonials are available upon request.
I have an extensive academic research background in philosophy and I am very familiar with the content of the AQA Philosophy A-Level syllabus. Furthermore, I am strong instructor of extended writing skills and technique for essay-format exams (as described above), and these skills are absolutely critical for students of A-Level Philosophy.
My undergraduate thesis (Philosophical Coherence in the Zhibeiyou chapter of the Zhuangzi) took a classic of Chinese philosophy as its central subject of analysis. This paper won the Davis Prize for best undergraduate dissertation submitted for Final Honours School Chinese Studies in 2014, demonstrating rigour of philosophical understanding and philosophical analysis.
I have a solid academic research background in classical Chinese literature and I am very familiar with the content of the AQA English Literature A-Level syllabus. Furthermore, I am strong instructor of extended writing skills and technique for essay-format exams (as described above), and these skills are absolutely critical for students of A-Level Literature.
My degree- and Masters-level training in Sinology primarily consists in the treatment and criticism of texts. Naturally, I have been trained to a high level in the discipline of literary criticism. I challenge brighter students to confidently tackle issues such as the impact of rival frameworks of interpretation upon a text, to independently pinpoint and appraise the effects of key narrative elements (structure, narrative voice, character development, etc.), and to consider historical-hermeneutical issues such as the historical and social context of the texts production and the personal circumstances of its author(s).
As an Oxford alumna myself, I can offer guidance on how to prepare for every aspect of your Oxbridge application - particularly for those applying for Oriental Studies. Applying for courses such as BA Chinese and BA Japanese can be a mystifying process for applicants who have never studied their intended discipline before and are therefore unaware of how and on what knowledge they will be appraised. With my insider knowledge of the courses and the academics who teach and convene them, I can advise on key readings, what clicha s/common points of error to avoid, and what the personal hot button topics-are for the individual interviewers you are likely to face.
Aside from my formidable academic background and technical skills, I am also a mature, patient mentor with excellent interpersonal skills. As a tutor, I have had ample first-hand experience working in a pastoral role for students from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and skill levels, including special needs English learners from an LAC background. As a language student myself, I have first-hand experience of the intimidating process that is going from beginner to fluent speaker, and I realise the importance of morale, interest, and confidence for language learners.
Most importantly, my experience has shown me that I truly enjoy teaching and delight in seeing my students improve, grow, and discover true enjoyment in learning.
2010 - 2014
BA Chinese Studies with subsidiary Korean, St Annes College, Oxford University, Oxford
First Class Honours.
2003 - 2010
Alcester Grammar School, Warwickshire
A Levels: French - A*, Economics - A, English Literature - A, Religion Philosophy - A
- Volunteer Interpreter, Mentor, and Carer
Bread of Life Bakery, Langfang, China
In this role, I was responsible for interpreting for a staff of disabled and disadvantaged women from LAC backgrounds and their American carer. It was my job to actively support the womens English learning, personal development, and professional development.
- English teacher
private agency, Beijing, China
Independently innovated lesson plans and materials for a mixed-ability class of students aged 18 and up
- Private tutor
Developed and delivered a bespoke program of multimedia-based learning for a beginner-level 9 year old.
This particular pupil had a strong passive knowledge of English grammar and a developed passive vocabulary, was strong at rote learning, and was naturally intelligent. However, her willingness to actively and spontaneously produce original English sentences was very limited. This was due to a combination of factors: firstly, her school curriculum made only scant contingencies for developing conversation skills
secondly, she was herself naturally shy and quiet
thirdly, her parents-and her teachers-emphasis on grades and scores had conditioned her to be fearful of making any mistakes whatsoever. As such, she had not developed the ability to communicate in English.
I designed a series of lessons to improve her willingness to engage in conversation, her confidence in speaking and being listened to (particularly, to eliminate her fear of making mistakes during continuous conversation), and her ability to speak continuously, accurately, at a natural pace, incorporating sophisticated grammar forms and new words precisely. The various elements of the lessons worked to improve these skills.
During the first session, I identified that the pupil was very interested in monsters, ancient civilizations, aliens, mythology, etc. and she even owned a number of English-language books on these topics. As such, I alternated the topics of the lessons between conventional content (hobbies, holidays) and content directly related to these interests. This ultimately proved to be pivotal in sparking the pupils enthusiasm for communication and discussion, and she began to view speaking in English as a pleasure. She also told me that she was very interested in creating her own comics and playing online games and fantasy RPGs. I tried to build at least one of these media forms into each lesson (in addition to online activities on the British Council Kids website).
Hobbies and Interests
I was on the committee of Magdalen Film Society while at Oxford. I also frequently pursue my interest life drawing (I practised at the Ruskin while in Oxford).