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English and English (Foreign Language) Lessons in Norwich

Hi! I'm Gary. I'm based in the UK. I teach: GCSE English, Japanese, Creative Writing in English and English as a Foreign Language.

For GCSE English Language, I take a strategic approach to make sure children can satisfy the requirements of GCSE, then shepherd them through the exam to a pass or higher.

In Japanese I hold the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at N3 level. This is an upper intermediate qualification that requires an understanding of approximately 3,750 Japanese vocabulary words and the ability to understand and participate in everyday conversations. I can tutor you up to upper intermediate level. Having lived in Japan, I can also help you with information about life there and travel arrangements.

Creative writing: I've published three novels with mainstream publishers and twelve other non-fiction books, also with mainstream publishers. My books have been translated into seven languages. I can guide you through the whole process of writing a novel from the first idea to plot, characterization and so on, to finding an agent to finding a publisher. I have a Masters degree in Modern Poetry and I have written as a national columnist for the Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. I can also teach creative writing to children.

I have worked teaching English in Turkey, Oxford, London, Norwich and Japan, in a classroom setting, in small groups, one-to-one and online, and have tutored hundreds of students. I have also contributed to numerous textbooks for EFL (please see below).

I am friendly!

Some of my books:

• Chief editor of the 2003 edition of the Chambers Concise Biographical Dictionary
• Major contributor to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (1999)
• Many other works of EFL reference as editor and contributor, including The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, The Oxford Elementary Learners’ Dictionary, The Oxford Guide to British and American Culture, and others
• Why Not Catch-21? (Frances Lincoln, 2007; paperback 2008). A best-selling exploration of the derivation of book titles. Nicholas Lezard’s ‘Paperback Choice of the Week’ in the Guardian.
• The Oxford Despoiler (Old St, 2009; paperback 2009). A Victorian detective mystery. ‘Grossly entertaining’ – Observer.
• Poisoned Pens (Frances Lincoln, 2009; paperback 2010). An anthology of splenetic writers. ‘Always compelling’ - Sunday Tribune.
• 102 Free Things to Do (Frances Lincoln, 2009). A self-help book listing free activities anyone can take part in. Many other works in this series, including 102 English Things to Do, 102 Ways to Improve your Partner, Things to Do at Night, 102 Things to Do in Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter, etc.
• All the Materials for a Midnight Feast (Old St, July 2011). A novel about the peace movement of the 1980s. ‘A beautifully crafted work of fiction’ – Sunday Telegraph.
• The People's Favourite Poems (a poetry-reciting memoir), Old St 2019

Tutoring Experience

I have taught in Turkey, Oxford, London, Norwich and Japan, both in a classroom setting, in small groups, one-to-one and online. I have been involved in English language and literature throughout my career.

Tutoring Approach

I enjoy teaching, and I know that everyone learns in a different way. I hope that I am always patient and encouraging. Personal rapport is of the greatest importance, and learning can't take place if the learner feels forced or doesn't feel able to ask questions. Learning should always be enjoyable. Learners must feel that they have something to contribute to the subject and that their insights are valuable.

LanguagesEnglish (British), Japanese
AvailabilityWeekends, Weekdays (all times)
References Available On File


Stirling University1988MastersModern Poetry
Middlesex University1987BachelorsModern English Studies
Bournemouth EFL College1988ProfessionalRSA TEFL Certificate
Japan Foundation2019OtherJLPT N3 Japanese

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