For me, the key to tutoring is to establish from the outset what the student's goals and motivation are\ and to ensure that we understand and feel comfortable with each other. Especially when preparing for an English exam, the most important thing is to have clear and honest communication with the student(s) about their weaknesses, and then to focus in ruthlessly on those. I think that I am a relaxed person, but I am not afraid to be demanding when I think that that is what the student needs from me. I am proud of the fact that I have had several students recently who got scores of 7.5 and even 8 on IELTS.
Besides the academic English, I particularly enjoy teaching pronunciation, which I tend to approach with quite an academic method. I like to break pronunciation down into bite-size exercises, which students can work on by themselves.
Please read below to learn about my extensive teaching/tutoring experience.
I have been an English Language teacher for the last five years, working at several language schools in London and also spending one year (2016-17) in Leeds. Most recently I have mainly been teaching IELTS, which suits my academic background very well. I also have lots of experience of preparing students for the Cambridge exams, FCE and CAE. Back in the mists of time, after graduating from my first degree at Cambridge, I taught for two years in a school on a small Japanese island called Iki, followed by a year of private tutoring in the nearby Japanese city of Fukuoka.
Before teaching English I spent five years doing postgraduate work at the University of Edinburgh, primarily in history and linguistics, but also in an area which is highly political. After that I spent several years involved in political activism with the Green Party in London, and given the amount of time that I still spend reading on the subject I am able to discuss and even tutor in that area as well as in any of the others mentioned.
As a linguist, I know several languages. French is the one that I am most confident and fluent in, but I also studied German and Russian A Level, Hebrew at university, and spent three years altogether teaching English in Japan. My Italian is competent, aided of course by my French and the fact that I have been living with an Italian partner for the last year! I find that my languages and background in linguistics help me enormously to understand the issues that learners have in their learning. While the languages mentioned above are those which I know with some degree of competency, I have taught students from many countries (notably China, Thailand, Turkey, and many Arabic-speaking countries), and marked more than enough writing from those people to be fully aware of the problems which they have with English.
While working/campaigning for the Green Party, I had a tutoring job with a charitable organisation in London called UCanDoIT, which helps disabled people to adapt to and succeed in modern life by using computer technology. This included teaching blind and partially sighted people to use screen reading software.
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