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Elsa

"Elsa's Creative Writing workshops offered an incredibly productive, engaging, and optimistic learning environment and have helped me improve and succeed as a writer in ways I didn’t know I could.”

Undergraduate student 

  • Creative Writing

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • French

Academic History

PGCAP, Queen Mary University of London, 2023

PhD in English, UCL, 2016 – Received with minor corrections

MA in English, Université de la Sorbonne Paris IV, 2011 – Distinction (18/20)

MA in Text and Performance Studies, King’s College London, 2009 – Merit (71 for Creative Writing dissertation)

BA in English and Translation Studies – Merit (12/20)

Baccalauréat Littéraire, Lycée Gérard de Nerval, Soissons (France) 13/20

Brevet des collèges, Collège Saint-Just, Soissons (France) 15/20

About Me

I see myself as a language coach. In my French Language tutorials, I believe in creating a relaxed and stimulating environment for students to feel confident enough to make mistakes, learn from them, and try again. I make direct spoken communication in French a top priority, only resorting to English from time to time to regroup when a break is needed or to clarify an exercise’s instruction. I used written exercises to embolden students’ ability to think and express their thoughts in their own French words, choosing topics related to the students’ interests and specific learning requirements.

As a Creative Writing mentor, I believe in helping students and aspiring writers to see the uniqueness of their project and voice (whether in poetry, prose fiction or nonfiction), and from there alert them to the areas of their craft which most urgently need attention (structure, point of view, dialogue, characterisation, emotional depth, consistency of theme and message, etc.). I teach students what I didn’t know myself when I first started out writing creatively: that originality is a skill, and likely the product of long hours of work and revisions to bypass cliché and access the mind’s treasures of imagination.

Recent tuition

I have helped students prepare for their University of Oxford Admissions Interview (Modern Languages).

French and English, Year 7

I tutored G (Y7) in French (written and spoken) and English. We worked on these subjects over a one-year period. His main issue was that he got distracted during conversation in French. I managed to get his confidence and focus up through the use of song lyrics, recitations, and role play. G went on to study at Harrow from Y9.

English Language, Year 7 and 8

I tutored A (Y7 and 8) in English Language for two years while I was living in Paris (two hours a week). Over this period we built a relationship of trust which helped him open up and overcome his anxiety about speaking a foreign language. We used themed vocabulary exercises on topics that were relevant to him (sports, world cuisine, video games) to get him to engage with grammar. A went on to study at Lycée Henry IV, one of Paris’ most prestigious schools.

Media Studies, Year 11

I helped E (Y11 – Wimbledon High School) with a couple of essays she had to write for her Media Studies class (Theatre and Film). We worked on refining her argumentation, mainly to make it more focused and then develop her argumentation in greater depth of detail once we had identified what it was that she wanted to articulate. Simply conversations about the play and film treated (Shakespeare’s Hamlet and its film adaptation) helped us unpack E’s genuine thoughts and questions about the source material which made it easier for her to then articulate them clearly and succinctly in writing. E went from a B to A grade in Media Studies.

English Literature, Undergraduate

While completing my PhD at UCL, I tutored J throughout his first year of undergraduate study in English literature, assigned essays bi-monthly which I then marked and returned to him over half-hour supervision tutorials. J was passionate about his subject, he had lots of ideas but didn’t know how to express them in a structured, cohesive manner. Together we worked on building an argumentation starting off with the most simple or obvious point and working our way to the most sophisticated argument towards an overall thesis and conclusion. J started off in the mid 2:2 and finished the year with a high 2:1.

French conversation, adult

I tutored H (trainee lawyer at the Bar Council, she went on to do a Masters in Oxford) in French conversation for every day usage as well as professional practice (Law) over a period of two months (one hour weekly with recorded communication between lessons). H translated song lyrics from French to English and used a variety of tenses and vocabulary by the end of our summer course. She became more and confident in her recorded voice messages, which she was assigned to record after her viewing of audio and video material in French language (podcasts and TV series).

Hobbies and Interests

I spend most of my time writing, reading, travelling, and going to the cinema, all activities which stimulate creativity and imagination.

 Testimonials

“Elsa’s Creative Writing workshops offered incredibly productive, engaging, and optimistic learning environment and have helped me improve and succeed as a writer in ways I didn’t know I could.”

Undergraduate student

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