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Is English tutoring worth it?

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Hey,

I am struggling with English A1 since English isn't my mother tongue and my school didn't give me any other option. I am currently sitting on a 4 but I really want to achieve at least a 5 in the end. I just don't feel that I know enough vocabulary to find literary features in an unseen commentary. I'm also not used to the structure the IB wants for commantaries and stuff. My teacher isn't the greatest help, do you think a tutor who doesn't know IB (and the criteria...) could still help me in developing skills for English or would it just be a waste of money? My coordinator recommended me to take a tutor so I just wantes to hear your opinion or experiences with it. I've got my exams next meay so I still got a year to learn how to do it...

Thanks :)

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Why not? I think it sounds helpful to me - although you should try to make your tutor aware of the IB criteria because it's at a different level from many equivalent seeming courses - e.g. AP, so you need to make sure they're on the right track with what they're telling you to do. Perhaps show them some essays that your teacher has marked so they know what sorts of standards to expect? If your English teacher is willing to hand over some anonymised sample essays at different grade levels I'm sure that would help any tutor know what to aim for with you.

Also, in terms of improving your vocabulary, there's nothing quite like reading lots and lots of books. Highly recommend it :P

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The general rule of thumb is not to get a tutor which doesn't know IB. However i think in your case it's generally just a matter of getting a further grasp on English it'self, so sure why not - just make sure you have a focus on literary features analysis and structure :)

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I think at this stage (Language A1 level) an English tutor will not be much help. It might just be a waste of money. You could try it, but I think there are many ways you can improve on your English by yourself.

From my understanding (though extremely unscientific and based on assumptions! tongue.gif) English tutors are generally only helpful to students who are studying English at the intermediate level (I'd say, Language B level). These students typically have difficulties with grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary. However, their main, underlying problem is usually related to their understanding of the framework/structure of the language, and not so much their grasp of vocabulary.

At this level, you already have a good grasp of grammar and sentence structure. What you lack is just examination technique and vocabulary. For examination technique, you could obtain some books related to literature analysis. Our school recommends a book by Toshack, and if you Google it you can download it in .pdf form for free:

I found these PDFs through Google, using these keywords: "pdf" "writing unseen commentaries" "a student help book" toshack

********************

**********************

***************

There are also a lot of excellent resources on the internet. Just Google using keywords like "literary analysis", "terms", "glossary" and you'll find many great pages on how to analyse texts.

This page explains some common literary terms:

http://www.roanestat...lementsLit.html

This is an excellent guide to not only grammar but also analysing literature. For writing about literature you'll want to scroll down to PART FIVE, section L:

http://www.iolani.ho...rt/contents.htm

As for vocabulary, I think the most effective way is to read more books outside of class. You don't need a tutor to help you memorise words - you just have to drill them into your head by reviewing them repetitively. Anything is good to read, as long as it's not written for children and young teenagers because they tend to use rather simple vocabulary compared to Language A level vocabulary (hint: avoid Twilight series). Try books with challenging vocabulary. Look up the words you don't understand and make a list of them on a piece of paper, and just review them when you're commuting to and from school or waiting in line for something. You could even make flashcards.

Edit: Another good way is to study SAT vocabulary. I never did SAT (I'm going to the UK), but I did study SAT vocab lists from time to time and it helped me learn a lot of new words. Some SAT words are redundant and are awkward to use in other contexts, but others are actually quite useful to know.

Before you consider tutoring, there are many things you could do by yourself! Hope I was of help to you.

Edited by Mahuta ♥
Links to copyright material removed.

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Hey,

I am struggling with English A1 since English isn't my mother tongue and my school didn't give me any other option. I am currently sitting on a 4 but I really want to achieve at least a 5 in the end. I just don't feel that I know enough vocabulary to find literary features in an unseen commentary. I'm also not used to the structure the IB wants for commantaries and stuff. My teacher isn't the greatest help, do you think a tutor who doesn't know IB (and the criteria...) could still help me in developing skills for English or would it just be a waste of money? My coordinator recommended me to take a tutor so I just wantes to hear your opinion or experiences with it. I've got my exams next meay so I still got a year to learn how to do it...

Thanks :)

How about asking a fellow class mate to tutor you in English? That way they get CAS and you get a tutor who's doing the subject you need help with. I think it's also helpful if you feel comfortable with your tutor so this could be an option. :)

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