"This is just a brief note to let you know that Blythe received an A* in her French GCSE. I wanted to personally thank you for your good efforts and support in making this result possible. Considering that she had so much ground to cover when you began, this is an excellent result."
IGCSE French Tuition
English as a Foreign Language
Oct 2017 – Dec 2017: Oxford University, CPD: Effective Online Tutoring
Sept 2013-July 2014: Oxford University, PGCE Modern Languages (German and French)
2005-2012: University of Stuttgart, Staatsexamen, BA of Honours in English and Politics (2:1), Minor in French
1996-2005: Stiftsgymnasium Sindelfingen (Germany), A Levels: German, English, French, Maths, Geography.
My approach to tutoring French and German is very systematic. For me it is crucial to ensure that the foundations of the language are well established, i.e. taking a rigorous approach to grammar, sentence construction and vocabulary building. I like using authentic materials like newspaper articles, songs, movies, accident reports and interviews, which make my students curious and acquiring a language becomes fun rather than just a difficult task.
My specialist subjects are German and French. I also teach English, English as a foreign language and Maths. Due to my politics degree, I have a good knowledge about the German and European political system. I have always been able to build a strong personal relationship with my tutees and helped them to build their confidence. My tutees feel secure to ask questions and to achieve their set goals. I am able to challenge my tutees at the right level and hence they are able to push themselves and achieve great results.
Due to my extensive tutoring experience, I understand that knowing the right learning strategies can really make a difference and increase the pupil’s chances to achieve his or her goals. A sense of achievement is crucial for pupils and consequently they often just need to understand what is expected of them and where their shortcomings lie.
Please find below a snapshot of my tuition experience.
In total, I have taught French and German to over 500 students on a one-to-one basis. All of my students achieved their set goals. I have a good knowledge of various different teaching strategies and have gained teaching experience with all age levels, from beginner to high achiever. Not only have I tutored French and German, but I have also been able to provide help with subjects that are being taught at KS2 in prep schools in Germany and the UK.
Furthermore, I have taught in schools, at university and in language centres in different countries around the world, i.e. in Canada, England, Germany and Switzerland. I have also experience with online tutoring with students in Malaysia, China, Turkey, Switzerland, Canada, England, South Korea and Germany. Plenty of my tutees have been able to obtain scholarships for Eton and Harrow as they worked under specific guidance focusing on exam skills.
Those students who I supported for their I/GCSE, A-Level and IB exams passed with excellent results, ranging from A* to B.
I have worked as a private tutor in a tutoring agency in Germany and I have taught German beginner and advanced classes in the German Department at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada.
Due to my experience of teaching French and German in various countries, I have lots of classroom and one-on-one experience with a wide range of age groups.
Below is a very small selection of my past students whom I have taught in the past twelve years. My youngest students were 4 years old and the oldest student that I ever taught was 68.
Reception; French – Katja: Katja was in nursery when I started teaching her French via educational play like colouring, listening to music, singing songs and playing games. After having had lessons every weekend for half a year she is already able to respond in French when being asked simple questions. She understands most of what is said to her and has made great progress in a very short time.
Year 1; French – Vladimir: Vladimir, who is bilingual, has started learning French in Primary School and was not very keen about it from the start as he was also having Chinese lessons once per week. I have managed to get him interested in French by showing him short French cartoons every time we managed to get through a task. This reward system has worked very well with him as he enjoys watching the short clips and cartoons and knows that he only gets to see them when doing his task. He is very keen to see me every week, knowing that his lesson is not just something he needs to get through but something where he gets rewarded for his good effort throughout the lesson.
KS2; French – Renata: Renata is a very bright students who needs to be challenged accordingly to her ability. She enjoys speaking French a lot and whenever we learn new vocabulary or new grammar structures, we invent stories with these new words which we act out. This way she always remembers her newly learned words and enjoys the lessons. She is very keen to speak French and I always make sure to prepare a new plot which we can act out.
KS2; German – Lilly: Lilly spent some time living abroad in Switzerland with her family and was quite confident in speaking German. Unfortunately, her written work was rather limited and she made lots of mistakes in her texts and short essays. In order to apply for a drama scholarship which was offered by her school, she needed to improve her written German skills. I met her twice per week and by discussing her school day and writing down what she has done during the day, she quickly managed to get a grasp for the right grammatical structures and passed the scholarship exam. She was very happy about it and proud of herself as she though she would never be able to get this scholarship
Year 4; German – Ambre: Ambre is a native speaker of French and lives in Geneva with her parents. Her parents wanted her to grow up bilingually and hence sent her to a German school in Geneva. She was struggling a lot with the language at the beginning and was not keen to learn German at all. I spent three months living with her and spoke German with her during the whole afternoon when she came home from school. In order not to put any more pressure on her after coming home from school, we played lots of games, spend time playing outside where I used German in a playful manner. This way she managed to learn German without any extra pressure. She has now passed her exams with great results in the German school.
KS3, year 7; German – Claudia: I have recently taught Claudia who is a student in year 7. She has started German and was not keen about it from the start as she had learned French in previous years and preferred it to any other language. I met her a few times where I introduced authentic German materials like German music and German TV shows which she devoured and is a keen German speaker now.
KS3, year 7; French – Lukas: I have helped Lukas to prepare for his end of year French exam. Lukas is a very bright young boy who is always looking for a new challenge. Hence, when teaching him, I had to assure a good variety of different challenging exercises in order to make sure that he was pushed at the right level. Lukas had his oral French exam where he scored an A* and is now awaiting to hear back about his results from the written exam.
KS3, year 7; French – Josh: When I started teaching Josh, he thoroughly disliked his French teacher at school and hence had difficulties with French from the start. When I started teaching him, I had to make sure to build his confidence first with short competitive exercises which he enjoys a lot. Josh has never done any homework and was scared to ask questions in class. Since I started teaching him, he was able to improve his French massively and has received over 70% in his last exam which is a very good indicator of his recent progress. His teacher in class has said that she can see that his attitude towards French is slowly changing and that he is more eager to participate in class than he used to be.
KS3; English – Stefan: Stefan’s English grammar was very weak when I fist met him. He was unable to form a single correct sentence and hence his essays were very poorly written. By introducing comics to him which tend to have shorter sentences, he was slowly able to build his grammar knowledge through a fun and enjoyable way. He is a keen English learner now and has proven to himself that he can achieve great results by using learning methods that are suitable for him.
KS3; German – Joseph: Joseph is in his first year at Eton and was looking for some additional support with his GCSE German. Although he is only in Year 9, they have begun the GCSE course and he is keen to ensure that there are no gaps in his knowledge as he is a scholar and eager to do well. I usually meet him in his holidays and we have very long sessions where we cover grammar and vocabulary work at the same time. Joseph is a very keen learner and due to his previous grammar knowledge in Latin and Greek, he is able to transform his existing knowledge and match it with new topics. He is constantly performing at a high level and I need to make sure to provide him with relevant cultural work like books, movies and music which can be combined with his curriculum.
KS4; French – Henry: Henry was a very good Frech student with a B grade who wanted to get an A in his French GCSE exam. I met him once per week where we looked at previous GCSE exams in order to prepare him for the final exam. He was very eager to go through lots of past papers and his perseverance paid off as he achieved an A* in the end which made him very proud and he even chose French for his final exam.
11+; Maths – Tom: Tom is 10 years old and we are currently working towards the 11+ exam. We have started working through various 11+ maths papers for top schools and once he manages to get through them with ease, we will start working on exercises for the 13+ exam. He is a very bright young boy who already has a good knowledge of the 11+ topics and who needs to be challenged a lot.
13+ French – I worked with a student for several months in the lead up to her 13+ French exams for Cheltenham Ladies’ College. We worked together weekly and focused on practising her exam technique and fine-tuning her language skills. She passed her exams with flying colours and started at Cheltenham in September 2017.
13+ French – I am currently working with another student who is preparing for her Cheltenham Ladies’
13+ French exams, which she will sit this year. We are working together on a weekly basis, with intensive support during her school breaks.
13+ French (Scholarship) – Ongoing support for a boy applying to Harrow and who is also sitting the Westminster Scholarship exams. He is currently attending St. Thomas’ Battersea, and we are working together weekly to keep him on track for his exams, and for the high expectations of the scholarship exams.
GCSE; German – Aaron: I have started tutoring Aaron last year in September. He was scoring around 67-72% in mock papers. In his most recent mock paper however, he scored 98% which is an incredible improvement.
GCSE; German- Giorgia: Giorgia was getting lots of Bs in mock papers and was not very confident with her German vocabulary. I was tutoring her for around 7 months and in the end she got an A* in her German IGCSE exam (Edexcel exam board).
GCSE; German – Ivan: I have recently prepared Ivan for his upcoming GCSE exams. He is currently working on getting an A* in his exams, although his current grade is a B. We met every day during half term and he was working on different exercises in order to boost his exam technique. At the end of the week we did a whole mock exam and he scored an A. He is confident that with some more work he will be able to get the A* he is longing for.
GCSE; French – Max: Max has recently written his French GCSE exam and is confident to be able to achieve a B. When I first met him, he struggled a lot with his grammar and had a very limited vocabulary. We spent a few hours daily reviewing grammatical topics and then doing relevant past papers. At the beginning he struggled a lot with the exercises but was getting more and more confident as we spent a dedicated time with each exercise where grammar and vocabulary was consistently reviewed and discussed.
GCSE; French – Amy: I have prepared Amy for her oral French GCSE exam. She was panicking about the exam as she was predicted an E grade. I met her during her holidays and spend a couple weekends with her and in the end she managed to achieve a C grade. It was important to boost her confidence first before studying for the exam. Once she overcame her fear of failing, she was quite eager to push herself and proof to her teacher that she can do much better than predicted. I managed to help her to overcome her panic attacks by providing short exercises and build on her previous knowledge.
A-Level; German – Hugh: Last year I taught German to a student who was a strong candidate and wanted to achieve a B grade in his A Level exam. I knew that he just lacked a bit of confidence that was hindering him getting an A grade. Whenever I met him for his lessons I encouraged him to try harder exercises and when he realised that he was able to manage them, his confidence rose and he achieved an A* in his German A Level exam.
Undergrad student at Oxford University; German – Fei: Fei was taking German lessons at the Language Center and needed some extra help in order to prepare a presentation at the end of the course. I met her twice a week in order to help her with the writing that needed to be done for the presentation. Fei managed to prepare a very good piece of work and won the first price out of 25 students. Throughout her preparation time, I guided her by giving her new input and helped her with new ideas that she researched and used for her presentation.
Undergrad at StFX University; German – Brandon: Brandon was a beginner of German when I first met him. German was the first foreign languages he has ever learned and he was struggling with the grammar of it. By meeting him once a week and going through material in class, he was able to repeat all the exercises that were done in class and felt more confident to ask questions. At the end of the course he scored 85/100 in his final test and was very happy about his success. Although he was not very keen at the beginning of the course to continue German in his second year, he took German in his second year as well and has recently reported that he decided to go to Germany for an exchange term. His hard work paid of and he was very proud of himself.
Degree student at University of Buckingham; French – Sarah: Sarah did not do A Level French at school and was finding her French course very challenging. When I first met her, I assessed her previous knowledge and we worked out a revision plan for her which would help her to close existing knowledge gaps but at the same time help her to keep up with the requirements of the course. Sarah scored 68% in her first exam, managed to get 77% in her next exam and is now working on getting a first degree in French. She would have never thought that it was possible to close existing gaps and still keep up with her course work. However, she is a dedicated student and has proven to herself that she is able to achieve her goals with some help. I am very confident that she will get a first degree in French.
SAT; German – Larry: I am currently preparing Larry for his SAT German exam. He is applying for various IVY League universities in the US and an excellent SAT German exam result will give him extra credits and set him apart from his peers.
Hobbies and Interests
I love researching child and young adult psychology, focusing on literature on how best to help different children learn. I find this a fascinating subject and love the challenge of understanding the needs of all different children and young adults that I teach.
Furthermore, I am a committee member of Oxford10, an Oxford University alumni group, where I help organising various events.
In my free time I also love doing sports, particularly playing tennis and skiing in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. As I am passionate about languages and have recently started learning Russian, which is my fifth language. At the weekends, I can be often found in the Royal Opera House watching different ballet performances and operas, which I am very fascinated by.
Cooking and baking is also one of my great hobbies and I enjoy trying out various new recipes being inspired by chefs like Jamie Oliver, Johann Lafer and Christian Rach.
“This is just a brief note to let you know that Blythe received an A* in her French GCSE. I wanted to personally thank you for your good efforts and support in making this result possible. Considering that she had so much ground to cover when you began, this is an excellent result.” (Father of French IGCSE student)
“Roma got an a star – thank you for all your help in achieving this.” (Mother of German IGCSE student)
”The girls are undoubtedly benefitting from your lessons and enjoying them very much too. We’re very pleased with their progress and grateful for all you are doing.” (Mother of year 7 and year 8 students.)
”Thank you for all your support. It is like you have swung a magic wand and transformed Claudia’s attitude towards German. She enjoys your lessons very much and has decided to take German in her GCSE exams.” (Mother of year 8 student)
”Max thoroughly enjoyed his lessons with you and he found his lessons very beneficial, which is fantastic. Many thanks again Maggie you were great!” (Mother of French GCSE student)
”India says she loves French and wants to get really good at it. She really did enjoy her lessons with you and I’m sure we’ll be back in touch in her holidays Maggie for refreshers-thank you so much.” (Mother of Common Entrance exam student)
”Ben received an A grade in German so we were very pleased and relieved! His results have been pretty good on the whole board as he got A and A*. Thank you so much for all your help, it was much needed and came at the right time.” (Mother of German GCSE student)
“Benjamin was delighted to learn that he achieved 12 A* grades, including French. Many thanks for your excellent teaching.” (Mother of French IGCSE student)
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