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Exam “season”: far from the madding crowd


I am not going to use the word “febrile”; by now, all my exam tutees are cool and collected and doing me proud – from pre-IGCSE to MA level. They know I am the Mourinho of the tutoring world and failure is not an option. I have even taken to feeding and watering them (metaphorically speaking) and they have no reason to fail or get stressed. For each tutee, I want a Winchester College boy. Regardless of gender.


The latest developments: “smartphones” seem to have replaced laptops – it looks like turning on laptops or desk PCs is too much of an effort these days. What makes me “sidérée” (like the French say), is to be expected to correct complex essays from a photo taken and sent as an attachment (I don’t charge for exam prep, but then I expect students to do a professional job of it). Or receiving essays in some version of mac Word file, which doesn’t open. Or being told that they don’t have a printer, when they have every possible gadget in the world at their reach.

Recently some well-meaning person has provided some unsolicited advice about using Game of Thrones and Harry Potter for language lessons. Never seen GoT, so the tutee is getting instead another type of GoT: the whole history of Aztecs and Mayas. If I had to read Oscar Wilde (with my private English tutor) at 15 and 16, I don’t see why anyone at that age should be watching or reading rubbish. I did it backwards and in high heels – these tutees have everything in the world, they should try even harder (and they do). Roughly speaking, I would expect my tutees to be at least two years ahead of their programme. And they are.

I have said I shall stop tutoring when I have tutored a student from every country in the world – the personal version of Julie and Julia.

Bon appétit !!!

Emilce Rees, Languages tutor

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