For a lot of students, English is a less difficult subject than maths, still, they may need help with that subject to improve their HSC results and get an excellent ATAR. For that, many of them turn to private tutors who offer tutoring services in Sydney or in other NSW cities.
HSC English may be difficult for several reasons. First of all, when students go to high school, they are not expected to speak in the same way and use the same vocabulary as in their everyday life. To succeed in their end-of-year exam, they will need to write in academic English and support their ideas with arguments.
Second, HSC English requires a good understanding of grammar. Students may be asked to analyse sentences and will need to master such terms, as subject, verb, object and so on. Learning advanced grammar can even be similar to maths at times because it is very logical.
Finally, HSC English tutoring is not online about teaching how to speak and write but also explaining cultural references and studying literary works. A good tutor needs to be able to catch their student's attention and engage them in a discussion.
Even if HSC tutoring does not require any special university qualifications, giving effective and inspiring lessons is not always easy for tutors. That is why a few tips can always be useful.
In this article, we will look at the best ways to teach HSC English to high school students. If your classes are effective and fun, more and more people will contact you and you can either have a very good extra revenue or even make private tutoring your main occupation.
If you want to learn more about HSC tutoring in NSW in general, you can have a look at our article on the topic and find plenty of useful information.
Creating a personal connection with the student
Unlike maths where answers are usually either correct or wrong, school English is a rather subjective discipline. As we start working on advanced topics, what counts more is our argumentation and style rather than factual information.
As a result, it is especially important for the HSC English tutor to create a positive working environment in which the student will feel comfortable and be willing to participate actively in the classes.
The importance of the first contact
One of the essential moments for creating such a relationship is the very first lesson in which you meet your student. Most tutors use that opportunity to test the student's level and single out the topics that need to be paid attention to.
A good way to achieve that can be to let the student speak freely about their interests and what they are planning to do after school. You may give them some tests and exercises to evaluate their level with precision but don't correct their mistakes straight away. This can wait for your next meeting.
On the whole, a good way to start a homework check is to highlight its positive points and then move to the mistakes. When addressing an error, you can present it as not very significant and express your confidence that the student will soon overcome their difficulty.
If your first lesson succeeds, your student will be motivated to take HSC English lessons with you and they will be more pleasant for both of you. In the end, tutors also better enjoy the process of tutoring when they are listened to and their efforts bear fruit.
Make them write on topics they like
During our education, we don't always have the opportunity to write about subjects that we are interested in and sometimes have to work on issues we find boring. A good student needs to be able to do both equally well because, at university, they are likely to be faced with problems of high difficulty.
Still, writing about something interesting can be very useful for learning purposes. However advanced your level of studies is, your argumentation structure is likely to be more or less the same.
So, if a student is able to present their thoughts on, say, a video game clearly, they will have all the necessary skills to deal with complex issues, like social problems or scientific phenomena.
When you start giving tutoring lessons to a student, you may work on whatever topic they like for a couple of lessons to help them hone their basic writing skills and then smoothly switch to subjects that will be relevant for their end-of-year HSC exam.
Recycle your resources
When a tutor gives private lessons, they need effective tutoring resources, such as text, exercises and activities. In some cases, tutors can find the right materials online or in a bookshop. In other cases, they need to create them themselves.
Wherever you get your tutoring resources from, obtaining them can be a time-consuming process. You may need to browse through hundreds of books and websites before you come across something really good and fit for purpose.
As a result, getting ready for your very first classes can be a long process that will take you a lot of energy. But that doesn't have to be always the case.
Once you have trained several students for the HSC English exam, you will probably have gathered a good collection of materials both on your computer and at home. Make sure not to delete them nor to throw them away because they may come in handy again very soon.
In fact, most students tend to face similar problems when studying English in high school, so you can reuse an effective exercise again and again.
The advantage of that approach is not only that you can save a lot of time but also that you'll find better ways to do the activities with students and even form sequences of tasks that can help them advance with high efficiency.
If you want to learn how to teach HSC maths to students in Sydney and other NSW cities, have a look at our article containing plenty of useful tips.
Preparing for your lessons
When we start tutoring, it may be tempting to go to a lesson without any preparation. That can be a huge mistake.
If it's your first or second year in the profession, you may not be familiar with a lot of activities to do in a lesson. It may happen that you run out of ideas and won't know what to do with your students. Such a situation can be very embarrassing for a tutor.
Another reason why HSC lessons require preparation is that it is a very special stage of education. HSC students need to develop a certain set of skills and work on particular types of exercises during the year and in the final exam.
If you don't know what those requirements are, your lessons may turn out to be useless for the students and they will look for a new tutor to improve their ATAR and chances to enter the university in Sydney or another NSW city they want.
As the HSC standards may change a lit bit every year, it can be a good idea for tutors in Sydney and NSW, in general, to get updated every now and then on new modifications. A lot of information on the HSC is published online, so you shouldn't have any trouble accessing it.
If you want to know more about teaching Science at high school and helping students get ready for university, feel free to take a look at our article on the topic.
Planning your lessons
So far, we have said that to achieve the most efficiency, a high school private teacher needs to prepare for their lessons. Even if they have years of experience, each student is different, so they may still need quick preparation.
What we have said about individual lessons also applies to the whole of the lessons you'll give during the year. If you want your students to reach a truly advanced level of English and boost their ATAR, you will need a global plan.
For example, based on your experience from previous years, you can foresee what topics you will address from one class to another or what grammar rules you'll practise.
If you know the high school curriculum very well, you may draw up your plan along its lines, so your students work on the same issues with you as they do at school. That way, they can advance even faster and get better prepared for the end-of-year exam.
A private English or maths tutor may need years of teaching experience to be able to draw up perfect learning plans in agreement with the NSW school curriculum, but even if your plan has some weaknesses, it will still help you provide high-quality tutoring services.
A big advantage of having a teaching plan is that on top of knowing what to do, you can also evaluate what has been done and adapt your methods accordingly.
If you want to know what qualifications can help you become a good HSC tutor in Sydney or elsewhere in NSW, our article on the subject contains plenty of tips.
Whether you teach English, Maths or Science, as a teacher, you will be happy to see your students boost their ATAR and enter the university of their dreams. Spending some time on planning and preparation is definitely worth it.
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