English Language and Literature with Astrid

I am an experienced secondary school teacher and grammar specialist, with a B.A. in English Language and Literature (UCL), and a PGCE in English, Drama and Media (Canterbury Christ Church). I have tutored in global education at Commonwork and, in addition to tutoring in English, I volunteer at the local charity Headway, where I facilitate courses in creative writing and communication skills, and am involved in adult learning.

My Approach

I begin with a diagnostic approach to identify areas of weakness, e.g. gaps in understanding or knowledge, or areas where greater challenge is required. Students follow a programme of learning with achievable steps and goals, but with the flexibility to respond to needs as they arise. Different learning styles are catered for, so as to address individual studentsí needs.

My aim is to help students to achieve and build on early progress. This in turn develops greater confidence and positive-thinking, and increases self-motivation, which is known to be the most effective type of motivation for learning and academic success.

Individual attention

Students benefit from the individual attention that tuition provides for a variety of purposes:

  • Exam support/preparation
  • Increase in knowledge and understanding
  • Confidence-building and motivation-boosting
  • Underachievement for a variety of reasons, including gaps in knowledge and understanding
  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Extra challenge to stimulate and stretch students to achieve their potential

I support students in the National Curriculum in English and any exam board specifications at GCSE and A Level, focusing on particular areas in greater depth, as needed. For example, some students benefit from reading, analysing and discussing a variety of texts for style and other textual issues, while others need support to develop particular writing skills.

I also teach writing skills to students taking essay-based A Level subjects other than English, for example, History. This includes essay-writing skills, style and fluency of expression, grammar and any other technical aspects of writing.

The Tuition

Reading
I help students develop reading skills that enable them to understand and respond to a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts:

  • novels
  • poetry
  • drama, including Shakespeare
  • non-fiction, literary and other
  • media texts

I specialise in the close reading and analytical and interpretative skills which are essential to gaining top grades at GCSE and A Level and can also be developed throughout Key Stage Three.

Writing
I help students develop their skills in key aspects of writing, including:

  • Different styles of writing to address different audiences and purposes
  • Essay-writing, style and planning
  • Organising texts for maximum effectiveness
  • Grammar, sentences and punctuation, and all technical skills necessary for Standard English use

Spoken word
I help students develop the techniques they need to achieve effective communication with confidence:

  • vocal skills
  • non-verbal skills, e.g.posture and body language
  • adapting language to task
  • developing and organising subject matter

In my tutoring I encourage students to develop their vocabulary and broaden their knowledge and understanding of the English language.

And for Adults …

I can help you brush up your reading, writing and communication skills. These core English skills and confident use of Standard English are essential in the work context:

- Reading skills enable you to understand and interpret all kinds of written material easily and effectively;

- Writing skills enable you to write any material clearly, accurately and concisely, e.g. reports, proposals, letters etc;

- Speaking skills enable you to communicate well and confidently when you present material orally, either informally or in a formal context.