Emma, our expert language tutor, talks to us about why tuition should be something to look forward to, and the satisfaction she feels when her students have their ‘aha’ moment.
What is a day in the life of a TutorsPlus tutor?
Well one thing is for sure – no two days are ever the same. My students, whether IB French or IGCSE Italian, are all so different. Not just in terms of age, but they are also different in their individual characters and personalities.
“This is the fun and interesting part; seeing students of all types: shy or introverted, open-minded, expressive, interested in the subject they are learning or less keen to learn.”
Every student is unique and for the tutor it is important to adapt to his or her needs, expectations and temperament. When the tutor comes through the door, even after a long school day, the student should be happy to see them… the lesson should be a pleasure!
I love working with all ages: my Primary students are fresh, fun, inquisitive, and often cheeky and noisy! The older ones, studying the IB or IGCSE, are very interesting with challenging questions, whether it is the ‘why’ of a language grammar rule or the importance of the signature of a historical treaty. Sometimes they ask, “what’s the point of all these dates, events, names, battles to be memorized?” This is when the tutor-student relationship and dialogue becomes particularly valuable and enjoyable!
What is the most common challenge you see your students face?
Once again it depends on the student, their age and specific study program but often it is not having understood or grasped what was said in the classroom.
During class time, it can be challenging for the teacher to cater to all students. Some students are afraid to ask questions or raise their hand if something is not clear.
With the tutor, on a one-to-one basis, without judgement from the others, it is much easier to ask the questions and discuss subjects in more detail. For foreign language learning, it is wonderful to be able to repeat sounds and vocabulary and to talk, talk, talk! Indeed, this is often missing in language courses, where a student may rarely get to participate. With a tutor he or she can be themselves in a quiet and reassuring environment.
What would we find you doing when not tutoring?
I read a lot. I enjoy accompanying students who are studying literary texts, and it is important for me to be familiar with them, often in different languages. That keeps me busy. I also like dancing (classical ballet and jazz) and travelling. I am lucky to live in a beautiful area, surrounded by lovely towns, forests, lakes and mountains.
What is your most memorable teaching moment?
There have been many… Working with youngsters is enriching, fun and refreshing. They have a fabulous way of challenging you and keeping you on your toes!
The so called “aha moment”, when a student suddenly understands a is a good example and always very satisfying for me.
A particularly memorable moment for me is when I suggested that an IB student of mine, who claimed to dislike all reading material, read “Le Conte de Monte-Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. It was meant to be a bet between the 2 of us; I figured that an adventure novel might awaken his curiosity… and my bet paid off! He loved it and caught the reading bug. Two weeks later I suggested “Le Parfum” by Patrick Süsskind; again, the magic worked! He ended up with excellent French Bac grades and he applied to study “lettres classiques” at university.
Emma specialises in teaching English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.
An expert linguist, she has a degree from the University of Paris in Comparative Literature and a diploma from the Sorbonne in Paris in French Literature, as well as a CELTA language teaching qualification.
Emma provides support for students from primary through to secondary school level and prepares students for the TOEFL, IB and IGCSE exams as well as the French Baccalaureate and the Swiss Matu.
You can also give us a call on 022 731 81 48 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org