James has worked with Simply Learning Tuition for 3 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
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 6 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 from all over the world via Skype.
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 am currently living in London and spending 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
Will (15, GCSE English Literature):
Summary: This student was having some difficulties choosing and analysing quotations from the texts he was studying. James quickly helped him to develop a capacity to identify short quotes that were relevant to the question and which supported his argument. James also provided the student with a few simple strategies that enabled him to write about these quotations with the level of precision and depth required to achieve the highest marks.
Simran (16, GCSE English Language):
Summary: This student was having some trouble with the Reading Comprehension part of her GCSE exam. James 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):
Summary: This student needed some help with her essay writing technique. James worked closely with her to develop a structure that she could use for all of her essays (in all her subjects), which had a concise introduction, a clear argument, a strong conclusion, and which made sure that she answered the question directly and effectively.
Robert (16, GCSE English Literature):
Summary: This student needed help with his Shakespeare set text. He was finding the language of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream intimidating and often overwhelming. James was able to help him see that the characters in the play were teenagers, just like the student, struggling with the anxieties and frustrations of adolescence. Once he was able to relate the text to his own life, the student was able to break through the archaic language, and write about the play with confidence and clarity.
Eleanor (16, GCSE English Literature):
Summary: This student was having trouble understanding the poems in her anthology, and also wanted help with the “unseen poetry” section of the exam. Having made certain that she had an excellent grasp of the anthology poems, James helped her to develop a clear strategy for writing about unseen poetry, giving her the confidence to tackle any poem, however obscure, and to analyse the language in sufficient depth to achieve the highest grades.
Amir and Saman (7 and 9, EFL):
Summary: James 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+):
Summary: James helped this student, based in China, who wanted to improve his reading comprehension in preparation for UK boarding school entrance examinations. James worked through a number of practice papers with the student, 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 James help with interview technique and James 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+):
Summary: James 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 James provided him with the time and attention the student needed to make the necessary progress.
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)
Summary: 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.
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