Hi, I am Gabriella, a teacher, HSC marker and consultant of English with more than 30 years of experience

I am of the opinion that small groups create a better environment for learning, nonetheless, I do offer individual tuition. The advantage of group tuition is derived by my ability to exploit the strengths and weaknesses that are common to all students, encouraging them above all to articulate and share their ideas between each other. Good communicators make for good writers. The structural or grammatical impediments a student may have is often reflected by another student and thus, all students’ strengths and weaknesses can be harnessed. Too much teacher intervention and too little teacher intervention can be effectively corrected through group learning.

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Group tuition is interactive and allows students to be exposed to the energy of different ideas and differing writing and communication styles. The stumbling blocks experienced by some are often experienced by others in the group. Texts such as Shakespeare are better taught with more than one voice both in their reading and in the exchange of ideas. All students have strengths and weaknesses which differ—group tuition allows such weaknesses and strength to find their place of acceptance.


The new HSC syllabus is not remarkably different from previous years. The creative writing component is possibly the largest difference. However, with increasing concerns over plagiarism and the tendency of many students to copy and paste work which is not their own, NESA has become, and rightly so, increasingly concerned. The nature of HSC questions now makes it increasingly difficult for such oversimplification. It is therefore mandatory that students are able to understand their texts and learn the art of expressing their own views- I cannot stress this enough.


With less reading and an educational approach which appears increasingly goal driven, students are copying and pasting the words of their teachers and other sources instead of learning how to express themselves. Even in senior years amongst my most advanced English students there appears to be a very real problem in writing essays and communicating with clarity.I place a huge emphasise on writing in my sessions. However, in order to write students must first have an opinion and feel impelled to share this. So that the writing and attention to grammatical detail is aligned with the text and composed response of the student.


Some students require a more teacher-centred approach and feel more secure within the context of individual learning. Students who have been overlooked by the system may require basic skills which they lack. During assessment students often suffer anxiety and on occasion a more individualised approach is useful. The aim is to ultimately develop their confidence and skills so that they can always join a small group if there are any openings.