Sixth Form Work Experience – French Tutoring

Sixth Form Work Experience - French Tutoring

“The UK Government’s National Careers Service specifies that the skills required for teaching include: The ability to get on well with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities; record keeping skills; patience and tact when working with those who may lack confidence; planning skills and creativity to prepare interesting activities to improve learners’ skills; and the ability to motivate and encourage learners to continue with their studies. I would agree with this summary and add that these skills apply to a much broader set of audiences than pupils alone, which underlines the power and value of a tutoring internship.”

Elizabeth Kelleher, Head of Business, Economics and Careers, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Mrs Farahnick-Mathonet says:

Young children inevitably see any kind of tutoring as more work; extra lessons imposed by their parents that take away precious playtime. It is usually only later in life that the real benefits of individualised attention become apparent. You can try to convince a child about the value of one-to-one tutoring, but in the end of the day, the only way to make it work is to find the right personality match and make the sessions engaging and fun.

When we were looking for a way to support Ines, our six-year-old daughter, with her conversational French, we were delighted to be presented with the idea of a Year 12 student from Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, rather than an older adult. Kenza clearly had the language knowledge but more than that, she was also determined to make a success of this opportunity as part of her Sixth Form work experience programme.

Throughout the year Kenza was very invested and showed great professionalism, taking her task very seriously. Sometimes my daughter did not want to listen, so Kenza had to show conviction, creativity, tolerance and firmness to get Ines’ concentration again.

I think this kind of internship is very beneficial for a student on many levels and presents an excellent opportunity. First of all, it forces the student to research how to reach out to a young child; how to keep her focused and make her want to continue learning. Kenza showed great patience and used a lot of imagination. She worked with independence and was full of resources. Based on the huge progress Ines has made in her French language – and also in piano – Kenza’s technique has worked very well indeed.

Kenza says:

I am a native French speaker and a keen musician. I wanted to use these abilities as part of my work experience and the tutoring programme has been an excellent way for me to do that. It has also allowed me to develop a number of other, less tangible skills.

I have been working with six-year-old Ines each week, helping her with her written and spoken French, as well as with her music. Each French lesson ends with a session on the piano, when we focus on performance, theory and technique. We follow the curriculum assigned by her teacher through a series of books. Essentially, I help her learn and perfect her pieces, growing her confidence and encouraging a love of playing.

For the language teaching, I have had to develop a ‘syllabus’ to help structure content, making sure my lessons cover all the relevant areas of grammar, spelling, reading and writing. Most importantly, I built in time for French conversation as that’s where Ines struggles most. To keep her engaged, I had to make each lesson different which has forced me to think long term and plan in advance which has been a real learning curve. Alongside this, I have also had to develop my independence, leadership, self-discipline and organisational abilities as well as work on my patience! There is no one else to rely on in a one-to-one teaching scenario. I am accountable for Ines’ progress and I have had to take full responsibility for that.

While my career goal does not lie in teaching, I hope to continue tutoring as I have found it very rewarding to have a positive impact on a young person and I know that the experience has helped me to build important transferable skills.

Year 12 Intern: Kenza