James has worked with Simply Learning Tuition for 4 years and has been introduced to several of our clients with great success. James also specialises in online tuition.
Simply Learning Tuition
English as a Foreign Language
Senior School Entrance
2006 Graduate Diploma in Law (Common Practice Examinations)
2000 – 2004 Edinburgh University, English Literature MA (with Hons)
2004 Cambridge University, Certificate in English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)
1994 – 1999 Eton College, A Levels (A, A, B)
My specialist subject is English (literature, language and EFL).
I studied at Eton College and then the University of Edinburgh. I subsequently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law and worked for a short time in finance, before taking up a teaching position at an independent school in Oxford where I taught English for nearly six years.
I have a very positive and encouraging approach to teaching and my students consistently achieve excellent results. As well as focusing on improving students’ key skills and widening their knowledge base, I work very hard to build their confidence, essential in allowing them to achieve their potential.
In addition to my classroom teaching, I have vast experience providing English literature and language private tuition to students preparing for exams, catching up, or looking to get ahead. I have taught English literature and language at a wide range of different levels, including KS3, GCSE, A Level, and IB, and to many exam board specifications, including AQA, OCR, WJEC and Edexcel/Pearson.
I am also a CELTA qualified and very experienced teacher of English as a Foreign Language, teaching all ages and abilities, including IELTS, business and legal English. I have over 1000 hours’ experience teaching English to non-native speakers and I teach students all over the world online.
In addition to my role as teacher and tutor, I have mentored students who have, for various reasons, needed extra help and support. I also have a great deal of experience teaching students with SEN.
I spend part of my time co-writing a tv mini-series whose development is being funded by a US studio. Tutoring allows me to continue teaching – something I have always loved doing – but also provides me with the flexibility to pursue a long held ambition to write.
Most recently, I’ve been helping lots of students to prepare for their GCSE English literature and language examinations, as well as many new arrivals to the UK, non-native speakers, who have needed help to improve their conversational and general English. Below is a snapshot of my recent tuition experience.
Simran (16, GCSE English Language):
This student was having some trouble with the Reading Comprehension part of her GCSE exam. I helped her to develop skills and strategies for close analysis of media and non-fiction texts, allowing her to quickly identify the most important information, and then apply it clearly and concisely to the question.
Miranda (15, GCSE English Literature):
This student needed some help with her essay writing technique. I worked closely with her to develop a structure that she could use for her essays (in all subjects), which had a concise introduction, a clear argument, a strong conclusion, and which made sure that she answered the question directly and effectively.
Amir and Saman (7 and 9, EFL):
I worked with two young brothers from Iran whose family had recently moved to the UK. The students knew very little English and needed intensive help to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. They made very quick progress and were soon able to express themselves clearly and effectively in the language, before taking up their places at a new school.
Tony (10, EFL and 11+):
I helped this student, based in China, who wanted to improve his reading comprehension in preparation for UK boarding school entrance examinations. I worked through a number of practice papers with him, looking at techniques and strategies he could use to improve his close reading of a text, and to make sure he was answering the questions in the most effective and efficient way possible. The student’s parents also requested that I help with interview technique and I subsequently worked on improving both the content and delivery of the student’s answers, as well as on building his confidence
Robin (16, EFL and 16+):
I taught a student, new to the UK from China, who needed help with his English – reading, writing, listening and speaking. He was due to be taking external exams the following year and so needed to improve as quickly as possible. Online one-to-one tuition with me provided him with the time and attention the student needed to make the necessary progress.
I recently taught Angelina, who needed help to improve her essay writing skills and exam technique. Angelina was very strong in Maths and Science but found English much more challenging as she had no clear framework for writing essays. I worked regularly with Angelina to develop a structure for her writing that she could use for any essay. This gave her a great deal of confidence and allowed her to write consistently high-quality essays, which answered the question precisely and effectively and provided a sufficient level of detailed analysis to achieve the highest marks.
I worked with Rosie, a year 11 student who was doing well in English but was not quite achieving the top grades that she was aiming for. Rosie’s writing lacked the depth of analysis necessary to reach the top band scores. Therefore, I provided strategies for Rosie to develop her interpretations and deepen her analysis so that her answers would merit the highest marks. At times, Rosie’s essays also deviated from the main point in the question. I also helped Rosie improve the structure of her writing so that she could answer the questions with a much greater degree of accuracy and precision.
I helped Sarah, a student who had lots of ability but lacked confidence in English. I worked with her to build her confidence in the subject whilst improving her essay structure and exam technique. I also helped Sarah to develop a very sophisticated understanding of her set texts and further improve her analytical skills so that she could fully realise her potential in the subject. As a result, Sarah achieved 98% in her English Literature GCSE exam.
Uliana (19, IELTS):
I recently helped a Russian student who needed to increase her IELTS score from 5.0 to 5.5 in order to begin her university course here in the UK the following year and we did a few weeks of intensive lessons. After these lessons, she achieved a score of 6.5 which allowed her onto her preferred course. We focused on all aspects of the exam – reading, writing, listening and speaking – and I was able to give her lots of strategies for quickly improving her score in each component. A lot of the IELTS test is about technique which makes it much easier to lift scores in a short period of time.
Pavel, Dmitry, Sasha and Anton (30s, Business English/General EFL):
I am working with a group of young tech consultants in London who have moved to the UK to work for a startup and need to improve their English for business and social purposes. I have been focusing on providing them with a strong foundation in English grammar and also expanding their vocabularies. The lessons have mostly concentrated on improving the students’ speaking abilities but we have also looked at reading texts relevant to their field and writing professional emails.
Hobbies and Interests
When I’m not teaching or writing, I very much enjoy playing sport (particularly rugby, football, cricket, tennis, squash, sailing and golf), painting, watching films, reading books, and going to the theatre.