Natasha (i'm english despite my name).
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We can think of countless reasons to pursue studies in English literature or English language with a private tutor. Whatever your motivation, London is the place to do it!
‘English studies’ encompasses a whole myriad of disciplines - from reading and writing to the spoken word - and keeping on top of all aspects of your English education can be tricky alone. It’s no surprise that you’re looking for a private tutor to help you to juggle all aspects of your studies and brush up on weaknesses.
Unlike more scientific subjects, there is no one answer to an English essay question. At GCSE, A level and university level, your response to an essay should demonstrate both your ability to think critically and to structure your thoughts and ideas coherently. There is no right or wrong answer, which is what makes English studies so nuanced! You may want a private tutor to give you more detailed feedback on your essays that you might get in class, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and helping you to progress.
Maybe you struggle with reading comprehension, with analysing texts and identifying themes. You might be looking for someone to help you to ask the right questions so that you can develop your critical thinking skills – a private tutor might be the answer.
Or maybe the exam season is coming and you’re starting to feel the need for some dedicated revision with a knowledgeable teacher or tutor!
There are many reasons why you might be seeking additional support in English studies, but where better to learn than England’s capital – a city that has been a major contributor to English literature on a global scale?
There’s no questioning that London has played a major role in the development of literature in England.
Geoffrey Chaucer himself – author of the Canterbury Tales and the father of English literature – was born and lived in London… He now rests in Westminster Abbey.
And he’s not the only one! For hundreds of years London has been the home of countless authors who have played pivotal roles in our literary history. Edward Blunden, E.M. Forster, Francis Bacon and Lord Byron, to name a few. National treasure Beatrix Potter was born and raised in London, and Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot spent much of their lives there.
With so many authors living in London, it’s no surprise that the city has inspired many of our greatest works and many are set in London. From folklore such as Dick Whittington and his Cat through to Dickens’ Great Expectations – as well as many of his more famous works. Oscar Wilde uses London as a backdrop the once controversial The Picture of Dorian Gray, and who could forget Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes - 221b Baker street is famous worldwide. Characters in contemporary fiction continue to prowl the streets of London – who can go to London King’s Cross Station without thinking of Ron Weasley’s Blue Ford Escort flying over the city?
In addition to serving as the backdrop of works of our literary canon, London has been at the heart of many literary movements. Take the Bloomsbury group (an informal network of writers based around Bloomsbury), who played key roles in the modernist movement – both collectively and as individuals.
With so many important literary figures in London, it’s hardly a surprise that some of Britains most important literary institutions are based there too. Historically important texts such as Beowulf are now housed in the British Library in London, with the National Poetry Library providing a suitable haunt for poem lovers. For those interested in specific authors, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and Charles Dickens Museum are hugely beneficial to any English studies education!
In addition to written works, London is a hub for those who flourish in spoken word and drama, with a whole host of theatres where individuals can participate in mainstream, traditional and contemporary theatre. Nothing brings the text on a page to life more than seeing Shakespeare on the theatre stage, and what better way to animate your English studies?
With such a wealth of inspiration for your English studies in London, it is no surprise that there is also a wealth of specialist educational institutions offering English tuition for learners of all ages and abilities.
The Institute of English Studies (IES) one such example. Part of the School of Advanced Study University of London, the IES offers anything from summer schools and study weeks focussing on subjects like palaeography, rare books, nineteenth century literature or T.S. Eliot for the pure enjoyment of learning, through to Masters Courses and Fellowships to advanced researchers dedicating their lives to studying English.
If you want to pursue studies in English linguistics, we can’t think of anywhere better than UCL’s School of Linguistics where you can study the science behind language acquisition or specialise in syntax, pragmatics or phonology.
Maybe you’ve always been interested in writing features or articles? In which case, London School of Journalism might be your school of choice. With options such as Freelance and Feature Writing, News Writing, Story Writing and Internet Journalism, it’s the ideal place to start off as a writer or journalist.
All these institutions can open plenty of doors and provide you with bucketloads of inspiration for your English Studies, but to obtain a place on courses and truly make the most of them you must have good fundamental understanding and knowledge of English literature and language. If you’re worried that you’re a little rusty in certain areas, additional tuition or support could set you on the right path.
When it comes to finding support for your English studies in London, there are many different routes you could take.
Book groups are an excellent starting point for developing your critical thinking skills and becoming more comfortable with discussing literature with your peers. Over the course of a month you read a book with your book club and discuss it with them at a monthly meeting. These meetings are often free to attend and provide a great opportunity for meeting like-minded literature fans. For North Londonians, the North London Book Club might be the ideal group!
If you’re looking to develop your mastery of the spoken word or your understanding of the language of Shakespeare, enrolling in a drama club could help bring the words on the page to life. Nothing quite illuminates the meaning behind Shakespearian English like experiencing it on stage, and by performing old English prose you may find that your understanding of the sonnets improves too. Drama groups often help you to improve your vocabulary and oral expression too, making them ideal for those wishing to improve their spoken English.
If it’s structuring ideas and arguments that you want work on, joining a debate club might help you to improve your speaking and listening skills, helping you get used to thinking critically about others’ arguments before forming your own response.
Whatever your focus in your pursuit of English studies, and whatever your level, consider joining a group in London to develop your skills and confidence!
Whilst groups are excellent for developing your skills and meeting like-minded learners, private lessons provide you with tailored, structured tuition where you have the space to learn at your own pace.
Unlike in a group or classroom context, a private tutor can identify your strengths and help you to address your weaknesses. If you struggle with poetry, your tutor might focus on poetry to help you to develop your understanding. If grammar is your achilles heel, in a private session you have the time to ask as many grammar questions as you like and even work through grammar drills with your tutor. If you lack confidence in your essay writing abilities, your private tutor could talk you through essay writing technique, read your essays and provide you with detailed feedback and points for improvements. You can choose to see your tutor once a month, once a fortnight, or even twice a week if you want to! With private tuition, your education is personalised.
In brief, private tuition is one of the most efficient ways for you to improve in English.
If you’ve decided to find a private tutor, you’ll be confronted with myriad avenues to search for the right person.
If you’re in school or university, additional support may be available to you through your institution in the form of study groups or extra time with a tutor.
Some teachers offer additional tuition after school, so do some investigating in your school to see if any additional tuition is available.
You can also look for private tutors in the newspapers, on the internet, through English studies schools, in community centres or on local shop noticeboards. There are so many options that it can be hard to choose which tutor is right for you!
This is where Superprof comes in. Superprof makes it simple for you to compare tutors based across London, and to tailor your search to your specific requirements – be it price, location, experience, subject areas or tuition style. You can even read reviews from other learners to give you an idea of the tutors’ skill and experience.
What are you waiting for? The world of English literature and language awaits!