We understand students' frustrations when they study English. Students often feel that they struggle with English because they don't know what to do. From our experience, however, students do in fact know what to do; teachers at school have repeatedly instructed students what they need to include in essays, compositions, speeches and comprehension responses. Despite being repeatedly told what to do, students are unable to compose their work effectively, often omitting important components and elements in their written and spoken responses. Take an essay for instance. Students are told what to include in a body paragraph; a topic sentence, elaboration, examples with quotes and techniques, explanations with good critical analysis and synthesis, and a link back statement. Yet, students not only fail to include these important elements because they haven't understood why they're doing it, but they also feel uncertain as to how to actually approach their work.
From our experience, it’s not what students don't know that makes mastering this subject so difficult. It’s their lack of understanding regarding the "why" and "how"; two key questions that underpin everything we do at Scholardome. You might be familiar with experiencing an “aha!” moment when concepts and ideas seemingly just “click”. These moments are proven to be experiences where students learn their best and gain their confidence but they don't just conjure spontaneously. These light bulb moments happen when you understand not only the what, but the why and the how; why it's important and how to do it.
Telling students what to think and write is easy, but teaching students how to think and write is not; to teach effectively is not just to possess mastery over a subject and to impart their knowledge onto students. It takes a great deal of skill and expertise in the way they approach the development of a student’s thought. All teachers can tell you what to do, but the quality of a student’s education, especially in the context of English, depends on the way teachers elucidate why it's important and how to do, what students know they need to do.
That's why at Scholardome, we employ a unique methodology that enables students to bridge the gap between knowledge and practical application so that students will be equipped with not just an understanding of concepts and ideas, but the confidence to write effectively. We apply a holistic approach in our teaching methods so that students can understand the overarching purpose and principle prior to honing their written forms and expressions. We break down the art of writing - almost systematically - so that students will know how to write step by step and have the confidence to elaborate and explore their own unique ideas; they will be able to escape a common paralysis amongst students that stems from their overwhelming fear as to whether they have written the "correct" response in the "correct" manner.
We understand that all students are at different levels and have different learning requirements. To mould students with set booklets that purposely stretch topics over weeks is not ideal, nor can be seen as an optimal approach to tuition - especially for English. There are good reasons why students don't learn English with textbooks at school. We help students reach their peak academic results through the provision of lessons that are specialised for HSC preparation but flexible enough to focus on a student's individual needs and school assessments. We encourage students from both our private and group lessons to put in their best efforts through our provision of unlimited revisions with scrupulous feedback. For group lessons, we use unique methods and technology to ensure that group lessons feel akin to private individual tuition. Importantly, beyond looking at the deeper analysis and interpretation of complex texts that are required from the HSC English syllabus, we endeavour to not only show students why English is important but how they can find enjoyment from literature. After all, Shakespeare wasn't written to be studied, it was meant to be enjoyed.
We have extensive knowledge of the HSC curriculum and prescribed HSC texts, and have developed our own unique teaching methodologies that enable students to dramatically accelerate their learning process; students are often able to accelerate 1-3 years ahead under our tutelage. Just because a syllabus was designed to be taught over a year, it doesn't mean that it should necessarily take a year to cover. We take out the ‘fluff’ that traditional tutoring colleges and schools may employ in their lesson plans and double-down on what needs to be honed to command a mastery over all facets of not only the school curriculum but the English language. We don't just brush over important concepts but ensure that pivotal skills are set in concrete so that students can develop their critical analysis and imaginative expressions. Importantly, we never accelerate our lessons for the sake of accelerating but lessons are often accelerated simply because students at all levels can, with the right tutelage; the culmination of which our students have achieved exceptional results: dramatic improvements, high band sixes and state rankings.
Mastery of the English language
There is no doubt that communication skills - whether visual, written or verbal - are rated amongst employers as one of the most important skills to succeed in any industry. Yes - that even includes industries heavily focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As educators specialising in English, we see this as a great responsibility - we like to think of this as perhaps their last chance to hone in on their command of the English language before they finish their HSC and pursue their chosen careers. We focus on important concepts that students often neglect but can dramatically improve their written and verbal communication skills. Particularly, we show students how to engage with different forms, features and structures, use appropriate syntax and diction whilst improving their vocabulary and grammar. We don’t simply teach so that students can obtain an exceptional HSC English mark and high ATAR (although we know that this may be important to them). Beyond exceptional marks, we teach because we want all our students to have mastery of the English language so that they can be well equipped with skills that they can apply in practice; in higher education, their workplace and beyond. At the heart of what we do, we equip and prepare students not only for their HSC, but for their future - so that they can be critical thinkers, and articulate and creative communicators.