With over ten years tutoring French GCSE, IGCSE, A-level and Westminster School candidates, I'm a 48-year old graduate of the excellent University of Sussex languages course with a First Class Honours degree in French and Russian. I lived for four years in Paris where I mastered the language and the accent!
I have also acted in plays in French, taking on the role of Alphonse in a production of The School for Wives, and touring to schools abroad to perform in front of students learning French elsewhere in Europe.
I like to stay abreast of French culture and society, read Le Figaro everyday, and regularly watch French TV news and discussion shows.
I have tutored students at all levels, covering most UK exam boards at GCSE, IGCSE and A-level, and I have also helped prepare older students for the DELF. I've taught adults who are complete beginners, or have some vague memories of what they learned at schoo, as well as helping several students gain entry to Westminster School via their Challenge exam
Successes from the last (2017-18) academic year included: an A* at A-level, three As at IGCSE, an 8 in GCSE, an entrance to Winchester College via their own exam, and an entrance to City of London school via the Common Entrance.
For A-level students, I have already taught Camus's L'Etranger, Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse and Zola's Thérèse Raquin, and am very familiar with all the other set texts. Au Revoir Les Enfants, Intouchables, and La Haine are the films I am best acquainted with from a teaching point of view.
Here are some comments from a few previous students - originals available on request.
'We could not have asked for a better result - A*s! He got full marks for the reading paper. Thanks so much for all your help, and patience.' - Margaret (parent of home-schooled GCSE student)
'Henry won a scholarship to Westminster. Exactly what he was aiming for." (Leslie, student's mother)
'Thank you so much for all your patient hard work - you taught her exactly the right stuff and there is no way she could have done it without you! I really didn't think it was possible to teach the whole year 7 curriculum in a week but somehow you managed it. Tiffin Girls is one of the top state schools in the country and rather competitive. Chatting to the other parents outside the exam, most of the competitors went to good independents or had been tutored over a long period of time. You really knew not only what to teach but how to teach it, which shows you have exceptional skills.' - Anoushka (pupil's mother)
'Just thought I should let you know I got an A! Thanks for all your help' - Helena (A-level student)
'I ended up with an "A"... thanks for all your help, both my spoken papers improved, over my previous efforts.' - Philip, mature student sitting AS and A2 French
It is important to tailor lessons specifically to a student's needs, but my general method is to engage him or her at a level just above their 'comfort zone'. Learning is about challenging yourself to do better, and it is crucial for a tutor to be supportive and encouraging, and also to keep the bar high.
Lessons can be conducted entirely in French, or in a mixture of English and French. I can work alongside a student's existing course (that is, from a textbook a student is already following), or we can use course books that I recommend.
Where the level allows, I like to draw upon material from contemporary sources such as French news magazines.
For 'conversation classes', I find it is useful to base the discussion on an article or a book to help build vocabulary, and also think that incorporating grammar instruction (where appropriate) can be a good idea.
|Languages||English (British), French|
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|University of Sussex||1994||Bachelors||French and Russian|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|