Working as a private tutor and an English classroom teacher since 2012 has meant that I have learned different suitable communicative approaches to learning which I have effectively applied to produce excellent results. Having had the opportunity to teach students of different ages and abilities has meant that I have had to adapt my teaching skills to each individual. This in turn has made me a tutor who is well equipped to improve the quality of learning that enables tutees to grow in confidence as learners. I am constantly improving myself and looking at new materials along with my own inspirational methods to consistently produce big improvements in the students learning.
My specialist subjects are English as a foreign language, 7+, 8+, 11+ and 13 + common entrance exam preparation in English.
January-February 2012: International House Barcelona, CELTA Qualification (B)
2008-2011: Kings College London BA in Geography (Upper Second Class Honours)
1995-2008: The Mary Erskine School Advanced Highers in Geography (B), French (B) and Business Management (B)
Highers in English (A), Maths (A), French (A), Geography (A) and Biology (B)
Standard Grades in English, Maths, French, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Art Design and Business Management
Tuition experience in Hong Kong with Hong Kong students:
Tuition with 15 year-old Katrina focused on sharpening her English reading and writing skills, and to prepare her for admission requirements for UK schools, where she was considering going to study for her A levels or IB. Initially, Katrinas English foundation was a bit rocky and she lacked confidence in her English ability which made her reluctant to use the language either in her speaking or writing. Our lessons were based around pieces of literature and worked on how to annotate and analyse these pieces. We also worked on essay writing, both explorative and discursive. Through Katrinas tuition, her English is certainly much stronger than it was and she has become a thoughtful and articulate writer and speaker in English.
Brian and Wilson were twin boys who were preparing their 13+ entrance exam and focussing on their English exam paper. They struggled with literature analysis and answering comprehension questions which required them to look at the language used and different writing techniques. We also incorporated interview preparation to ensure the twins elaborated their answers and were able to comment on how they think the experience of studying in the UK will differ to their current schooling in Hong Kong. I also helped them with their IGCSE literature work, focussing on To Kill a Mockingbird, An Inspector Calls and A View from the Bridge. They needed help with gaining a deeper understanding of the information and evidence they use from the text to answer exam type questions. From the tuition, both Brian and Wilson were successfully accepted to their desired boarding schools in England.
13+ Interview Preparation
10 year-old Arthur required two intensive lessons focussing on interview technique prior to his interview and pre-tests for his entry to Winchester College in September 2017. Arthur needed help working on his thought processes, confidence and self-expression. His mother commented on the fact that Arthur is not very opinionated and is reluctant to commit to any viewpoints. We looked at questions that he might be asked to ensure that he was able to answer fully and show enthusiasm and drive to do well in school life in the UK. The lessons proved to be extremely valuable and the work we did showed he could steer questions he felt he couldnt answer to his advantage.
Ongoing tuition with 9 year-old Megan produced big improvements in her general English reading and writing skills. Megan was beginning to prepare for her 11+ exam and like many other Hong Kong students, her main area of weakness was the English paper. We worked on how to improve her in-depth responses to the reading comprehension questions and how to demonstrate her understanding and knowledge of the way in which the reading passage is written and how this affects meaning. The creative writing aspect of the paper saw her take more control of her own writing in terms of content, structure and appropriate tone and style. We worked together to build her skills over the course of our lessons, and she went on to enter a creative writing competition between Hong Kong schools and won second place overall.
Continuous weekly tuition with Emma resulted in huge improvements in Emmas confidence of using and speaking English. Our lessons focussed on conversational English and creative writing. I got Emma talking as much as possible in our lessons and encouraged her to articulate and enunciate. Emma also lacked a lot of confidence with her writing skills, but she went on to produce a lovely story book written entirely by herself, which she was massively proud of.
Elliot had an excellent level of English but his mother was keen for him to develop a love of reading and to start forming independent thoughts when writing creatively. We did a lot of work on different styles of creative writing, critical thinking skills and reading comprehension work, as his comprehension and deduction skills seemed weak initially. We made sure our lessons were fun and engaging, and worked hard to ensure he enjoyed reading at home.
William had a very strong phonics foundation and was able to recognise blends and sound out unknown words. So our ongoing tuition focussed on Williams general English skills, improving his reading, writing, spelling, listening and speaking skills.
4 year-old Max was very advanced for his age in English, and had a very creative mind. To complement this, we incorporated different phonics programmes with lots of artwork and Montessori type concepts in our lessons. Max also aimed to expand his vocabulary, continue to learn new sounds as well as review old ones, and most importantly have fun and enjoy himself while learning.
English as a foreign language
Natali and her 11 year-old son Alejandro had recently moved to Hong Kong from Venezuela and were looking to learn English so that Alejandro could start school by September 2015. I tutored them both separately everyday intensively and saw massive improvements in all areas of their English skills, including reading, writing, speaking, grammar and vocabulary and listening skills. We covered a huge amount together, and from initially having very broken conversations to being able to communicate without hesitation was very rewarding to see. Alejandro has now been accepted into an English boarding school starting September 2015.
Experience in Barcelona teaching English as a foreign language:
During my time in Barcelona, I tutored a family with four children and their mother three times a week. The mother was at beginner level and we slowly built up her knowledge of all areas in English. The children were of all different levels but the main aim of the lessons were to supplement the English they were learning at school with more practice, and tailoring it to areas they wanted more help with. The two older children were studying at university in Barcelona and I was helping them prepare for their Cambridge English Language Assessments at First Certificate and Advanced levels.
Many university students in Barcelona were hoping to sit their Cambridge English Language Assessments either at First Certificate or Advanced level. I tutored a number of students in preparation for their exams and adapted the lessons to focus on their needs to ensure they pass their exams successfully.
I also tutored Mireia and Rosa, who were both looking to learn English leisurely. They both had beginner levels of English and over the course of their lessons, they began to be able to use their every day conversational English skills and hoped to use what they had learned to travel to the UK.
Hobbies and Interests
When I am not tutoring, I enjoy being outdoors walking or cycling in the countryside. I am also passionate about food and have a keen interest in going to local farmers markets to buy local and seasonal produce to cook with. And having lived abroad in Barcelona and Hong Kong, I like to keep up my language learning by attending language exchange meet-ups.