Having been an English teacher as well as giving English private lessons, I am more than aware of the importance of language teaching. Certainly the government’s national curriculum strategy has made it clear that in each and every school in the UK, children need to achieve and progress in Language competences under the key stages. From key stage one through to key stage four there are clear and distinct language objectives. These are headed under Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. Under each of these key umbrellas are distinct “assessment focuses” which are further broken down into other sub-strands.
Having been an English teacher mainly at key stage 3 and 4, I am more than aware of the National curriculum and the importance of language. Part of my role is to ensure that children undertaking English private lessons become competent in the Assessment focuses; that they are able to comprehend, assess and analyse as well as evaluate the written word. Furthermore it is also crucial to ensure children are able to write competently and appropriately according to purpose, audience and format.
English private lessons – Speaking and Listening
Within the English private lessons focus can be on the way each pupil communicates: their voice and in the inflections within their voice which should make what is said interesting. Furthermore strategies will be given to pupils to enable them to be able to speak confidently. Many pupils in a busy classroom situation do not have the opportunity for a one to one with their English teacher to give them advice and guidance as to how to improve their English speaking skills.
So as a private English tutor, I will be noting the tone and pace of their voice, use of vocabulary and how gestures and eye contact is utilised to communicate effectively. Furthermore in the age where competition is rife, it is important that children are able to speak with knowledge, confidence and expression. For those pupils with problems with speaking and listening, this is an area which should not be ignored.
Parents, are you aware that for GCSE English 20% of marks are awarded to speaking and listening skills? Furthermore are you also aware that students at university will be expected to carry out at least one presentation per year on a regular basis? We have not even broached interviews and the skills required to be competent. This is an area which can also be covered during their English private lessons.
Private English tutor – Reading
I cannot overstate the value of reading.
The old adage: “The pen is mightier than the sword” is not just a proverb. It has its basis in truth and in history. It is a clear testimony of the power of the word…The written word. But the word needs to be read.
As a private English tutor I know reading is a crucial part of the learning process. In the 21st century, educators are even more in agreement that early exposure to the printed word leads to sound academic achievement. Parents or a respected stand-in needs to read to children on a regular basis. Firstly, because the early reading of books starts to engage a child’s imagination and allows the child to develop an interest in the written word. More importantly if the story is read, it becomes a shared experience in which both the parent/guardian and the child are “engaged or involved in that tale”. It is another form of parent/child bonding. I can certainly say that I have many happy memories which stem from that very experience.
On the basic level if the child/person cannot read, not only is the curriculum closed to them but to some extent so is the world; so too is their understanding of themselves as they cannot put into words precisely what they are experiencing or feeling as they lack the vocabulary to express themselves. Certainly as a private English tutor as well as a classroom teacher, I have noticed that those pupils who write well; who use imaginative vocabulary; whose writing really engages the reader: they tend to be avid readers of “good” quality books
Reading as part of private tuition to GCSE in English language is necessary to inspire and create. Children need to read a range of non fiction texts as well as good novels. Furthermore even the ability to read instructions is important in the age of growing new technology.
With my English private lessons emphasis on Reading will also serve another purpose. Yes, its function cannot be underrated but the ability to develop vocabulary, to understand other people’s motives and relationships, the ability to grow as a person stems from reading and exploring other relationships; different attitudes and cultures; experiencing vicariously people living in different times is a tremendous learning experience not only of the imagination but of the mind, spirit and heart. For example in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” Atticus Finch, the father of the protagonist, Scout, gives her an invaluable piece of advice which I use constantly. Atticus informs Scout that in order to grow up and mature she needs to put herself in someone else’s shoes and walk around in them for a bit.
That piece of advice has never left me. So as a English teacher when pupils are being selfish or unreasonable even with each other, I often ask them to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. It does give them pause for thought. There are many other nuggets of information, advice, insight and experiences which enable us to learn about the world, other people and ourselves so when considering private English lessons and especially tuition for GCSE English language remember reading is crucial.
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Private English lessons: Contact me now for consultation and prices please call 07944 248917, or drop me an email.