An Introduction to English Tutoring for Parents

JP Gulliver English Tutoring, Tutoring

English tutoring will vary throughout a child’s school journey. From learning the basics in primary school to focussing more on planning and structuring work in high school, it can be tough for kids to grasp. It’s important to focus on the right kind of learning for English though, because putting too much emphasis on the wrong things can set children back.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about English tutoring.

Primary School English Tutoring

While it is very different to what would be required in high school, primary school English tutoring can help your child unlock a love for reading and a strong command over the basic principles of English. In primary school, English tutoring is all about solidifying the basics, teaching good habits and ensuring children don’t develop knowledge gaps which prevent them from progressing with confidence.

The Sequence of Learning English

Many parents become concerned prematurely when it comes to their child’s writing skills, but there is really no need to panic. Like anything else in life, there is a specific order in which English should be taught.

Children should start reading first, as many of their future skills will be picked up simply by being exposed to written words. Once they are starting to read more confidently, writing comes next. It should always be learned in a staged process though. Writing sentences should come first, followed by paragraphs, and then improving their paragraphs with things like complex sentences.

At an early age, it is important not to put too much emphasis on expecting a high quality of written work. This will come with practice and as vocabulary develops.

Build Confidence to Give Things a Try

During primary school, it’s reasonable to expect that a child’s spelling will not be 100% correct. While you definitely want it to improve as they progress, be sure they feel confident to give everything a go and experience as much reading and writing as possible. Covering their stories with red pen to correct spelling errors is just going to make them feel silly and disinterested in trying.

Spelling should improve naturally, and children are more likely to build their spelling skills through reading rather than corrected pieces of their own work. When it comes to writing in primary school, encourage your child to experience as much as possible. If they are confident in writing without fear of getting words wrong, you’ll find they develop much more quickly.

Don’t Focus Too Much on Spelling

If your child does seem to have an issue with spelling, the best thing for them is more reading. Once their learning becomes more involved, they will start learning rules about English, but an early age there’s no rules for them to remember. Vocabulary and spelling develops with more reading. So don’t burden your kids with spelling tests. Just get them reading, and their spelling will improve naturally by seeing words more regularly.

Don’t Stress About Instant Results

Make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on children to spell everything correctly and have all their sentences make perfect sense. The best thing for children is to just experience reading and writing.

If you’re looking for tutoring to help your primary school student with English, be sure you’re happy with the way the tutor works. Effective English tutoring will focus more on giving reading and writing experiences and encouraging the student. Building their confidence and getting them interested in reading and writing is the most important thing. Results will follow.

High School English Tutoring

English gets a lot more complex in high school. Where children may have only focussed on sentences, paragraphs, shorter pieces of writing and the basic, high school students are expected to understand English in depth. If knowledge gaps start appearing in high school, the good news is that English tutoring can help your child along.

Learning to Structure and Plan Work

A key skill in high school is learning how to plan work. In primary school it was easier for kids to just complete the tasks given to them by their teachers, however high school requires more independent working.

Essays are a particular aspect of high school that many students struggle with. They may have all the knowledge they need on a subject, but hit a wall when it comes to laying it all out in essay form.

English tutoring should assist children to plan an essay before jumping straight into it. Students should also be learning how to complete drafts of their work. Once they know how to plan and draft, the process for getting started is much easier and there’s less reason to put off their work.

Following The Current Schoolwork

One of the reasons group tutoring doesn’t work for high school English is the fact that different schools are studying different things. If a child attends a local group tutoring session with students from 3 different high schools, they’ll never be working on exactly the same content at school.

This is why tutoring should be far more personalised. A quality tutor should be working closely with their student and understanding the work they’re doing at school. Sitting in a room doing worksheets isn’t going to help a student who is struggling with essay structure and vocabulary.

Make sure your child’s English tutoring service is flexible enough to follow the students’ current work.

Building Confidence in Public Speaking

Many kids don’t enjoy public speaking. Many adults don’t either, and that’s ok. But in every school across the country, children are required to deliver reports to the rest of the class. It can be a pretty intimidating process for students, even inside a classroom full of people they know.

One way to build confidence in your child’s public speaking is through English tutoring. A good tutor will have the flexibility to spend time working with your child on their current work. This could include giving tips on how to plan a report that needs to be delivered verbally. Simple tips like how to write their own cue cards in a way that makes sense and doesn’t require them to read everything word-for-word.

Connecting Schoolwork to Modern, Relevant Topics

Much like other subjects, students often fail to see the link between their English studies and the real world. The fact is, written skills fall under the banner of ‘communication skills’ which nearly every job application will ask about. It’s important that students can see the value in what they’re learning.

Some of the material studied in school can be outdated, but English tutoring with a tutor who is up to date with more modern trends can help greatly. Being able to take the themes from a child’s current English work and apply them to modern situations can go a long way to improving comprehension.

Confidence for English

English tutoring aims to improve a student’s confidence, no matter their age. Having the confidence to give things a go and learn from mistakes is essential for children to successfully navigate through their education.If your child is beginning to lack confidence, English tutoring may be just the thing to get them back on track.

Safe, Inspiring Role Models

Finding safe, inspiring role models is a key component of selecting an English tutoring service. Choosing appropriate tutors is important to ensure they can relate to your child and give them the support they need.

A student’s needs will be different in primary school and high school, and tutors should be chosen accordingly. Particularly in high school when students are more susceptible to negative outside influences, it’s comforting to know they have a tutor they can look up to and learn from.

If a tutor can develop a good rapport with their students, it creates a sense of accountability that children want to do well and work hard.

Remove the Fear of Failure

Students of all ages can suffer from a fear of failure. In primary school it may be a fear of other kids being more advanced readers than them. Being slow and struggling with words while reading to the whole class can be embarrassing and intimidating. In high school it could be standing in front of the class delivering a book report.

At the root of it all though is a fear of failure. Nobody wants to look or feel silly in front of their peers, and that’s why English tutoring is a valuable service for kids of any age. Whether it be helping to improve their vocabulary and reading skills or helping them plan essays and feel confident talking in front of the class, English tutoring can provide help.

Creating Accountability

As children become teenagers and move through high school, it can be difficult to maintain the motivations they had when they were younger. Primary school students for the most part want to please their parents and make them proud. They don’t want to get a bad report card and this motivates them to put effort into their work. In high school, students may begin to care less about seeking their parents’ approval so it’s important to create accountability in other ways.

Forming a good relationship with a tutor is one way to instill that sense of accountability and motivate students to work hard. Sometimes a high school tutor may only be 5-10 years older than the student and becomes a role model. Children will often work hard to impress those they look up to.

Now you know all there is to know about English tutoring! At Big Improvements Tutoring we aim to provide a supportive, confidence-building environment where children who are struggling with English can be helped. If you think your child would benefit from positive, individualised tutoring, click below to book a free session today!