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Royal tunbridge wells 
Royal tunbridge wells 
  • Ambassador
  • (5 reviews)
E
Ella
« Continuing on with French to A level was a challenge, but the weekly... More »
E
Ella
« Continuing on with French to A level was a challenge, but the weekly help I have received from Isabelle has really boosted my confidence. We focus on the areas which I am weakest in, as well as having debates, which help with my aural exam. »
£40/h
Profile and degree verified
Response Time 24h
Lessons offered by Isabelle
  • Individual
  • In group
The lessons will be held
  • at her home
  • at your home
  • By webcam
Taught subjects
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Advanced Placement
Levels
  • All Levels

Isabelle - Royal Tunbridge Wells - International Baccalaureate

Methodology

Forget school days! Learning French can be fun and rewarding. Methods and materials have changed - so have you!- it is therefore important not to let any past experience hinder you. What matters is your dedication and the goals you have set yourself.

- Which subject(s) do you teach?

I teach French on a tailor-made basis ; adults and teenagers ; all levels, ages and abilities (including tutoring for GCSE, A level, IB, DELF, DALF, American SAT).
The beauty of private tuition is that it is totally student-centered : if you wish to completely start from scratch, manage a short holiday in France, be proficient at work, study French literature, French modern society, read the press, enjoy listening to French radio and TV, if you need a grammar boost, or prefer just conversation, I will design a course just for you.
I also run one-to-one more specific courses, like a 7h one day course and a grammar course.
Come and talk to me about your plans and we will work from there.

- Tell me about your qualifications.

I have a First Class Degree (BA Honours) in Modern Languages studies (French and Spanish) and a Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate.

- How much do you charge?

General private tuition : £38/h.
Couple : £50/h (£25 each) .
Groups (from 3) : £20/person/1h.
Adult exams : £40/h
Intensive day course (7h) including a yummy lunch and conversation with two tutors : £325

- Where do you teach?

From my home in Tunbridge Wells or in your offices (within reasonable distance).
Lessons on Skype available too.

- When are you available?

Weekdays only, daytime and evening. I work from 9am to 8pm most days.

- Which ages and levels do you teach?

Ages 10 and up! I have many years experience teaching children as well as adults. The youngest person I currently teach is 10 and the oldest 91!
Both seem to be enjoying the lessons tremendously and are making steady progress!

- Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?

Teenagers : GCSE, AS/A2, IB, American SAT.
Adults : Edexcel IGCSE (international version) ; Edexcel AS/A2 (A levels), DELF and DALF. Exams taken in a London centre.

- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.

Ideal for those who have to travel for work, live a litlle far from me, have young children at home, have mobility problems, etc.... I will usually send you some documents to work on beforehand (unless we have agreed to work on a specific book) and we will work on camera afterwards.
I find this better suited to students of a rusty beginner or intermediate level.

- Do you have a personal message for students?

Yes! Nothing is impossible....there is a method perfectly suited to your needs and learning ability out there and I will definitely identify it and put it to good use!
Lessons should be enjoyable, varied and well targetted. Provided you do your homework, there is nothing you can't do!

Ambassador

One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualifications verified and response guaranteed. Isabelle will plan your first lesson with care.

Background

- What kind of experience do you have?

I have been teaching for over 20 years. I have taught in Australia (Alliance Francaise in Melbourne and primary schools in Geelong and Portland) ; in London (Alliance Francaise) and in Tunbridge Wells (Adult Education Centre, Cicero Language School and privately).
I was also Head of the Ealing Broadway Alliance Francaise (London) branch before moving to T.Wells.
Related experience include : 4 years working as a journalist in a French newspaper, and 2 years writing and recording for the educational French magazines "La vie" and "Rendez-vous" (Concorde publications).

- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?

Yes. Copy on request.

- Where and with whom did you train?

Private language school in Ottawa (Canada) ; Alliance Francaise in Melbourne (Australia) ; Alliance Francaise in London ; City and Guilds London ; Open University UK.

- Tell me about some of your current students.

Among my students are : an A level student I am helping to achieve her A* grade ; we are practising her oral presentation as well as polishing her grammar. /
A mother of 5, finally finding time for herself to study, after years spent raising her children, and thoroughly enjoying her lessons ; especially after she discovered France last summer and put her new skills to the test. /
A family of 3 young children, all learning whilst having fun and challenging each other.
A 91 year old gentleman, very nearly fluent in French, who nevertheless wishes to continue discussing current affairs each week.

Rates

Rate for online lessons : £40/h
Lessons offered by Isabelle
Individual
In group
The lessons will be held
at her home
at your home
webcam
Taught subjects
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Advanced Placement
Levels
  • All Levels

Isabelle's CV

• BA Honours (First Class) Modern Languages Studies (French and Spanish)
• Further and Adult Education teacher's certificate
• CRB Enhanced Disclosure

5 reviews on Isabelle
  • 5/5

All our ratings are collected by us and are given in confidence, they correspond to a real experience.

5 recommendations

E
Ella

Continuing on with French to A level was a challenge, but the weekly help I have received from Isabelle has really boosted my confidence. We focus on the areas which I am weakest in, as well as having debates, which help with my aural exam.

P
Peter

After my first lesson with Isabelle I realised how lucky I was to have found a teacher like her. We agreed on how to proceed - I want to learn French in my retirement - with conversation and translations of carefully chosen passages.

D
Dorothy

With Isabelle it is a positive experience, I have progressed quite quickly with her and feel confident in expressing myself in everyday situations, as well as basic listening. Isabelle is encouraging and patient and has adapted the teaching to my needs.

Interview with Isabelle

QUESTION 01 | 08
When did you develop an interest in your chosen field and in private tutoring?
Isabelle — My Mum always says it was in my blood.... Because from age 6/7, when I had started school and absolutely loved it, I would spend hours in my bedroom with my dolls, each perched on a chair with a book, a piece of paper and a pen in hand, playing teacher! My dolls had mainly dictation as homework : a favourite of mine!
My passion for the French language never wavered and I became a journalist in my town, before travelling the world, then training as a French teacher so I could share the language and culture with all I met. I taught many years in schools before becoming a self-employed tutor, when my children were little and it was easier to teach from home. Still today, my work is my passion.
QUESTION 02 | 08
Tell us more about the subject you teach, the topics you like to discuss with students (and possibly those you like a little less).
Isabelle — he topics we discuss ? Absolutely everything! And in French of course! Many of my adult students have been with me for years, because they genuinely love the language and want to keep learning about the culture. This means I know them well and can prepare material that exactly suit their needs and interests, whether it be literature, current affairs, French culture in general, grammar, specific vocabulary, etc.
Students come to me for many reasons : they have exams to take ; they have bought a house in France and want to be proficient and fully enjoy life there ; they need it for their career ; they want to make the most of their holiday ; they just love the language and want to keep progressing, etc. For this reason my work is varied : from beginners to fluent speakers ; from exam practice, writing essays, to discussing the news.
I like to welcome each student with a cup of tea/coffee, which I make whilst we talk about their week, allowing them to practice in a real conversational environment, before we start the lesson.
QUESTION 03 | 08
Did you have any role models; a teacher that inspired you?
Isabelle — Yes, I can think of one teacher in particular. I was about 13 and he was my French, History and Geography teacher for three years (bright guy!). He was truely inspirational for many reasons : his knowledge on all three subjects was immense and there was no question he could not answer, or so it seemed. You could tell he was passionate about his subjects ; his lessons made sense ; he was of course a great storyteller, and to me he seemed fulfilled and content. There was no messing around in his class either, we respected him because he respected us, and himself ; he never refused a discussion, he would listen to our points and then give his informed and honest opinion.
French, History and Geography remained -with English- my favourite and strongest subjects, and in those three years I also acquired a love of learning, reading ; discovered I was a good speller and essay writer ; and forever linked learning to happiness, freedom and respect.
Because life is always full of surprises, many years later, when I was working for the local newspaper, guess who came to my desk to publish an article ? Yes, Monsieur Cloix himself! Amazingly, he had not changed that much....but not so surprisingly it took him a while to recognise and remember me. We had a good chat and somehow I felt proud to be a journalist and show him all his good work had not been in vain....
QUESTION 04 | 08
What do you think are the qualities required to be a good tutor?
Isabelle — Like with Monsieur Cloix I think deep knowledge and passion for what you teach are a must. How else could you engage with and inspire students to give their best? Apart from that, as a teacher of adults (mainly) I think a great rapport is essential, and it is always born of mutual respect, good listening skills and patience.
QUESTION 05 | 08
Provide a valuable anecdote related to your subject or your days at school.
Isabelle — I can remember being completely baffled once, when I was teaching a new group at l'Alliance Francaise in London, when one evening a (mature) student started reading to the class his written piece of homework and I discovered most of it was in English! To be more precise, a sort of broken English, or an English pronounced with a French accent. Really bizarre! He proceeded and I corrected the first few words as he went along, thinking he had not found the French equivalent word, but then soon realised -along with all the other students, looking at me equally confused- it would not do : every second word or so was in English! Perplexed I asked the student if he had had trouble remembering of finding the vocabulary, but he looked as confused as me and said that, on the contrary, he had looked them up in the dictionary... "But you have used English words", I said gently, disbelieving. "No, I didn't!", he protested, opening his dictionary to prove me wrong. This is when I discovered that, having looked a word up in English for its translation, he had in fact taken the first word he had encountered after it, which was the phonetic, in brackets (explained the odd pronunciation), and ignored the translation that followed.
With that mystery solved, a valuable lesson was learnt : not everyone has used a bilingual dictionary before, not everyone has tried to learn a foreign language before, or even been much exposed to it, and definitely no-one wants to feel silly or different on their second day at night class. Luckily it was a good-natured class, we all shared silly stories, had a good laugh, and eventually everyone had a little piece of homework involving using the bilingual dictionary ....
QUESTION 06 | 08
What were the difficulties or challenges you faced or still facing in your subject?
Isabelle — Challenges are part of the job and I embrace them! Every student is different. Different background in learning a foreign language, different way and pace of learning, different amount of time to dedicate to it, different aims, etc..... I guess the most challenging for me has been to work with two students with dyslexia, because my use of written material had to be adapted or scraped, but we found ways and all learnt something from the experience.
QUESTION 07 | 08
Do you have a particular passion? Is it teaching in general or an element of the subject or something completely different?
Isabelle — I have to confess I am quite fond of grammar. Very fond in fact. But that does not mean I impose it on students ; I only use the required dose. What it does mean, however, is that I am always very willing to answer all their questions on the subject and I like to see their faces illuminate, as they finally get it.
QUESTION 08 | 08
What makes you a Superprof (besides answering this interview questions :-P)?
Isabelle — I know I always come highly recommended to prospective students, and I get very nice feedback indeed from existing ones. I love what I do and dedicate myself totally to every lesson and student ; I think it shows and bears fruit. I think my job is wonderful ; I get to do what I like most, in my home, and I have very eager visitors each day who arrive and leave happy!

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