Work with me
Lessons are tailored to individual needs and can cover any combination of the following:
Like a detective scouring for clues, students will learn to analyse a text not just for superficial meaning, but for meaning which is less obviously stated. Sub-skills include: skimming; identifying key words; scanning; reading for detail; reading between the lines; use of context/cognates to work out the likely meaning of words; analysis of an author's word choice.
For multiple choice, students learn to pay close attention to the detailed wording of each option - to look out for 'traps' which are designed to catch them out! For standard format, there is a strong emphasis on explaining your answer with evidence from the text - attention to the marks available for each question will help learners structure their response.
All the while, through progressively more difficult texts, students will expand their vocabulary and improve their own writing skills at the same time. I have a vast quantity of practice materials and sample papers on which to draw.
This is not an obvious skill to master, but through meaningful tasks and detailed feedback, I can help your child learn to write with depth and maturity. One-to-one tuition is a popular option. Small groups may also be arranged - students can learn as much from their own errors as from feedback on others in the group.
For students wishing to work specifically on CREATIVE WRITING, I have designed a course for that purpose. It is perfect preparation for private school entrance exams, grammar schools that require a two-stage selection process, or for anyone wishing to develop their writing skills in general. To view course content and entry requirements,
If, on the other hand, you need to work on the basics of Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar (SPaG), general English may be a more suitable course at this stage.
This refers the rules of English (spelling/punctuation/grammar) as well as the words (vocabulary). It can be covered in a very natural way through reading comprehension and writing, but can also be taught discretely if your child is weak in any particular area.
For SPELLING, we explore different techniques to match your child's learning style (I have training and experience in dyslexia). As for PUNCTUATION, this can usually be resolved by addressing the question: "What is a sentence?" Also, by encouraging students to read aloud, they will find that punctuation is in fact quite intuitive, rather than some abstract system of conventions imposed by linguists to make their life difficult!
Assuming your child has spoken English from a young age, they will have a mostly innate understanding of GRAMMAR. Increasingly however (for exams such as SATS), students are expected to know the technical terminology and explicit reasons why you use one form over another. I have been praised for my clarity of explanation and am genuinely fascinated by this and all matters relating to language.
Much emphasis is placed on building up a rich and varied VOCABULARY. I have many resources and tips to share on this matter.
I always loved maths at school - the patterns, the logic, the challenge. I rediscovered my passion for numbers when my own son was preparing for the 11+ exams, while at the same time becoming more involved with GCSE maths at the college where I was working.
For the 11+ exams (be it for grammar or independent schools), a solid knowledge of Key Stage 2 maths is required. The first few questions are fairly straightforward, gradually progressing to more challenging questions that could be solved in multiple ways. A child who truly understands the basic concepts will have an advantage over children who have memorised a method without understanding why.
My approach involves presenting abstract concepts in a visual way, so that learners can 'see' what is really going on, and drawing links between seemingly discrete sub-topics (fractions, ratios, area/volume etc.). In this way, my learners understand questions with clarity and have a range of tools at their finger tips to approach even the most challenging questions.
english as a foreign language (adults/children)
I originally trained as an EFL teacher, having taught both abroad (Portugal and Thailand) and to overseas students in the UK. With online teaching, I now have access to anywhere in the world, any timezone. Therefore I am excited to get back to my EFL roots!
My extensive experience is supported by a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics. Not only does this give me clarity of understanding (both English and world languages), but it is matched by an enthusiasm which I pass on to my students.
EFL lends itself well to group teaching (maximum 4 per group). The context of the lesson is very natural - based around conversation or a text that matches the interests and purpose of learners in the group. There is a grammar and vocab focus to each lesson, as well as opportunities to work on pronunciation. I promise not only rapid progress, but an enjoyable journey too.