Frequently Asked Questions

About TSE

What subjects do you tutor?  

We tutor all Victorian high school English subjects! This includes Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 English, as well as VCE English, VCE EAL, VCE Literature and VCE English Language

What do TSE tutors do?

TSE tutors complements the subject(s) taught at school. Our primary aim is to support classroom learning outside the classroom environment. This means we tailor each session to support the student’s learning at school. For some students, this may involve homework support or reading comprehension support, for other students it may look like enrichment activities based on the texts studied at school.

How are online sessions run?

We use a combination of video calls to meet and chat, and mainly Google products (eg Docs and Jamboard) to brainstorm, plan, write and edit together in real time. Documents are uploaded onto a private shared drive with the student, and documents there are available for the student at any time.

How long are tutoring sessions and how often should they be?

TSE tuition sessions are usually weekly and last for one hour. Depending on the student’s needs and goals, this may vary but generally they are not longer or more frequent than one-hour weekly sessions. Our past experience has taught us that overly frequent or long tutoring sessions can create learning dependency in the student and are not helpful in the long run.

TSE does not offer group sessions because we believe they are not the most effective form of tutoring.

Do you assign homework? Should there be homework?

TSE tuition does not assign homework for homework’s sake and any work assigned outside of a session is designed to empower the student. If work is assigned outside of the session, we always explain the reason (commonly vocabulary or reading) and the resulting work is always incorporated into the next session.

I want xx.xx score for my ATAR, can you help me get it?

TSE tuition believes in empowering students to be their best and that scores are not the most accurate reflection of a student’s abilities. However, an empowered student often achieves better marks. Depending on where the student is academically and what the goal is, it may or may not be achievable. The best way to find out is to contact me to book an assessment session in which the student’s current abilities are examined and then we can discuss the possible outcomes.

About tutoring in general

How can I tell if a tutor is good?

Since tutors work with students very personally, ‘good’ tutoring can be subjective. Think about how your child learns best and what kind of teachers inspire them, then look for a tutor who suits their learning style. That said, many students find tutors who listen, encourage, motivate and inspire to be good.

The easiest way to find out is to chat with the tutor. Talk about your child’s situation and ask how s/he plans to help. Did s/he listen to your concerns, ask you about your child’s past academic history or goals? Did it sound like s/he cares about your child?

With TSE’s home tuition service, an assessment will be conducted first to determine which of our capable tutors will most suit your learning styles and needs. We believe this will lead to a better match and more productive tutoring sessions.

For more information about TSE home tutoring, click here.

What qualifications should I look for in a tutor?

Currently in Victoria, a tutor does not require any qualifications in order to tutor, which means anyone can work as a tutor and students/parents/guardians must therefore choose wisely. (See my qualifications)

Some qualifications to look out for when choosing a tutor are qualifications relevant to the subject and an education degree (bachelor, postgraduate diploma or postgraduate degree). Graduates of education degrees and diplomas are equipped with theoretical knowledge about teaching and learning, extensive classroom teaching experience and a solid understanding of the education curriculum of their state. Tutors who hold a TESOL certificate would have some classroom experience and teaching theory, and less experience with the state curriculum.

TSE tutors have all been personally trained by Shirlaine in the latest AUSVELS, study designs, and TSE teaching philosophies and practices. Similar to student teachers, they have also done tutoring placement rounds with real students while under observation from Shirlaine.

For more information about our training process, click here.

When is it too late to get tutoring?

Generally speaking, difficulties should be addressed early. The skills that are examinable in most English subjects are built upon multiple layers of knowledge and skill, and early intervention makes it easier for the student to improve.

For long-lasting changes in learning habits and attitudes, the minimum time required is usually a few months (depending on the student). Structuring problems typically take a few weeks to improve, essay writing and analytical skills at least a month to improve and improvements to vocabulary require a few months (with hard work).

Got an unanswered question? Click here to ask!