Why Small Group Tuition Works for Year 12 English Students

Why Small Group Tuition Works for Year 12 English Students

Why Small Group Tuition Works for Year 12 English Students

It is undoubtedly true that Adelaide year 12 students undertaking SACE English or Literary Studies often find themselves deluged with work. There can be a lot of reading to do, challenging texts to engage with, followed by an array of essay writing and other tasks.

As a consequence, some students find that much of their time is spent simply keeping on top of the work, without sufficient time to reflect on what they read or refine their analytical and writing skills in any meaningful way.

For many students, therefore, additional help and guidance provided by an expert English tutor can be crucial. In this scenario, there are two main options available — one-to-one tuition, or support provided by a tutor in a small group.

At REM+ Tuition, we have adopted the small group tuition model, as we believe that this is the method by which we can provide all of our pupils, and in particular our year 12 students, with the most effective learning support.

Putting ideas into practice

When learning and developing new skills, such as structuring the introduction to an essay or incorporating textual evidence into an analysis, pupils need time to consolidate these skills and put them into practice. In our tuition sessions, as they are part of a small group, students get the time to try things out for themselves once they have been given clear practical guidance on how to improve these skills, followed by immediate feedback on how well they have been able to incorporate what they have learnt.

We have found that in one-to-one tuition sessions, the emphasis can tend to be too much on the tutor, and that students don’t have the same opportunities to put new skills to the test for themselves as they do when working in a small group.

Common issues

Although the year 12 English and Literary Studies students who come to us for tuition are very often working on different texts or completing different writing assignments in any given session, there are nevertheless many issues that they all have in common.

Small group tuition provides a greater variety of ‘teaching moments’, in that an issue one student encounters is also likely to be relevant to others in the group, regardless of whether they are reading the same book or producing the same sort of text at that point in time.

For instance, if one of our English tutors is working with a student on writing an effective conclusion to an essay, this can also benefit other students in the group who, while they might not be writing an essay in that particular class, can still take part in that teaching moment. One-to-one tuition, in our experience, does not provide as many opportunities to learn as working with others does.

Personalised support and guidance

Even the best English teachers in the best schools can’t always give students the personalised support they need. The demands of getting through the curriculum and the number of students in a class often means that there are simply not enough hours in the school day for year 12 pupils to have all of their needs addressed.

Because our small group tuition sessions are structured around the students, rather than the demands of the curriculum, we can focus on very specific areas that can’t necessarily be addressed in the classroom at school.

Students can come to a tuition class asking for guidance on a very distinct challenge or issue they are facing, such as how to write a book or film review, or how to create an engaging opening to a narrative writing piece. They may be looking for suggestions as to how they can write more authoritatively about the language use in a poem, or how they might discuss a character in a novel or play in greater depth.

Our tuition sessions therefore allow students to focus on very particular issues that are of relevance to them, and for which they may not be able to get the same level of personalised support at school.

Fostering independence and responsibility for learning

Both our English tutors who have in the past provided one-to-one tuition, and our students who have worked on their own with a tutor, tell us that in this scenario there can be a tendency for pupils to become too reliant on their tutor, and that they stop taking risks and making choices for themselves.

We believe that the small group tuition model, in contrast, provides the best of both worlds. This is because our students have immediate, specific guidance and expert advice when they require it, but they also have the time and space to work on their own without intervention when they need to.

Also, as our year 12 English students bring their own work from school to their tuition sessions, this helps to foster a sense of responsibility for their learning. They essentially determine the areas in which they need support, and so this also promotes self-analysis and a greater understanding of their own particular strengths and weaknesses. They also become more adept at articulating the challenges they encounter, and understanding what it is they need to do to improve.

We believe that this approach is not only beneficial for students’ learning in the present, but also equips them well for the demands of university and further education, as they are better prepared to be able to take responsibility for their own learning.

Contact us to learn more

If you would like to find out more about tuition for Adelaide year 12 English and Literary Studies students, call REM+ Tuition on 8331 2144 or email us.