International Scholars English Tutors have a passion for English Literature. IST English Literature and Language Tutors have achieved excellent results in their GCSE, A-Levels, IB, SAT, ACT, AP, and university courses. Recently IST English Tutors have helped their IGCSE, IAL, IB, SAT, and AP students increase their understanding of the complex text of Shakespearean language and themes to attain outstanding exam scores on Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Othello, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition, IST English Literature Tutors enjoy teaching the linguistic conventions and grammatical terminology when studying dramatic texts such as Hobson’s Choice by Harold Brighouse; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon (adapted by Simon Stephens); A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller; An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley; Blood Brothers by Willy Russell; Kindertransport by Diane Samuels; Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka; and Journey’s End by R C Sherriff.
Furthermore, an important skill taught by IST English Literature Tutors to their students is how to read critically and efficiently, to recognise literary devices and how best to connect them to their critical analytical commentaries and the original themes and character development intended by the authors. IST English Literature Tutors have vast experience discussing Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe; Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; My Antonia by Willa Cather; In Custody by Anita Desai; Great Expectations, Hard Times, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; Spies by Michael Frayn; Silas Marner by George Eliot; The Secret River by Kate Grenville; Lord of the Flies by William Golding; The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne; The Woman in Black by Susan Hill; The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera; A Separate Peace by John Knowles; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; The English Teacher by R K Narayan; Animal Farm by George Orwell; Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R L Stevenson; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Anita and Me by Meera Syal; and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Also, IST English Literature Tutors have a great deal of experience teaching poetry students how to write excellent essays and examination answers by teaching the students how to develop deeper understandings of the literal and figurative meanings by explaining the poems in their relevant contexts. These detailed and complex ideas are best conveyed through quotations that explain the effectiveness of the literary devices deployed by the poets, especially as they apply to character and theme. Some of the most popular poems studied include: ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ by Wilfred Owen; ‘Tears, Idle Tears” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson; ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ by Emily Dickinson; ‘Cold in the Earth’ by Emily Bronte; ‘Elegy for my Father’s Father’ by James K Baxter; ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling; and ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost.
Most of IST’s English Literature students attend boarding schools in the UK or the US, international schools in Hong Kong, or IST, as self-study private candidates, who have chosen either CIE or Edexcel. Some of IST’s younger English language students, who would like to attend the top boarding schools in America, like Philips Exeter Academy or Milton Academy, need help preparing for the SSAT or ISEE, which is also the entrance exam for HKIS. While other young IST English students, who would like to attend top boarding schools in the Britain, like Eton College or Wycombe Abbey, may need to prepare for the Common Entrance Exam at 11+ / 13+ or the UKiset. In either case, young students must have extensive vocabularies and the ability to display a full comprehension of their readings on multiple choice questions, short written answers, longer essays, and spoken responses during an aural exam or interview. Lessons will focus on analysing the language of a broad range of multicultural poetry, prose, and plays. IST students will learn the grammatical and syntactical parts of speech and punctuation, especially speech or quotation marks when they are being used to summarise or provide evidence to support logically reasoned arguments. To teach, IST Tutors will encourage idea generation and provide model answers. To practice and drill, IST English Tutors shall give students many opportunities to write creative stories in the first person and the third person, descriptive essays based on picture stimuli or personal experiences, personal argumentative opinion essays, and book reviews; and provide meaningful feedback. These same skills are required by older IST students, who are targeting top sixth form colleges in the UK, like Cardiff (CSFC) and Queen Ethelburga’s, or our IELTS or TOEFL students, who have received offers from the top universities in the UK, USA, Canada, or Austrailia.
Mr Matthew Whitehead joined IST as an English Tutor in September 2017. Matthew attended boarding school in England before graduating from the University of Cambridge in 2012. He then went on to read for a Master’s degree at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
During his time at Cambridge, Matthew focused on using action research methods to critically evaluate the ways in which dramatic approaches to pedagogy enhance students’ understanding of English Literature. His thesis argued that the use of dramatic techniques in teaching literary study can facilitate students’ engagement and enhance their depth of understanding.
His Master’s thesis utilized a literary methodology to examine critically the ways in which certain gender tropes have been valorized in World Literature throughout time. He developed his thesis by asserting that a hegemonic gender configuration has become inscribed as the societally preferred gender order. The thesis concluded that different gender configurations should become more amenable to younger readerships. The importance of which has particularly significant implications with regards to the child reader’s sense of identity and self-formation.
Matthew specialises in the study of Twentieth- Century Drama, Modern English Literature and Literary Theory. At university, he was an active member of drama troupes and took leading roles in a range of drama plays, from English Restoration comedies to Shakespearian tragedies.
Matthew has a wealth of experience teaching English. He has worked in boys schools, girls schools, mixed schools, further education colleges and has taught across the age and ability range for GCSE, IGCSE, IB, AS & A2 level. He is a dynamic teacher with a passion for literature and learning and a dedication to quality. This year, Matthew has planned and delivered schemes of work with differentiated learning outcomes, assessing and catering for the individual needs of a variety of recent students. He has taught a student, who is currently studying at Eton College, preparing him for the BMAT, the admissions tests for applicants intending to read Medicine at university. He has also been teaching Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and The Great Gatsby to students from the Victoria Shanghai Academy and Uppingham School, preparing them for their GCSE and IGCSE examinations. Matthew has been teaching Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House to students studying for the International Baccalaureate exams. At Key Stage 3, Matthew has been guiding students from Kellett on an exploration of the novels Holes by Louis Sachar and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Ian Thomas is a solicitor of the Supreme Court in England and Wales. He sat as a Permanent Magistrate in Hong Kong for over twenty years. As a lawyer, Ian believes that the law is based on the meaning of language and that the language of the law should be simple and easy to understand. He therefore belongs to a global group that is dedicated to making and keeping the language of the law simple to understand, clear and elegant. Lawyers are wordsmiths and should always bear in mind that the law is about communication and clarity. Over the years, Ian has listened to much bad English in court and is determined that students of the language should understand how much pleasure a mastery of English literature can bring.
Ian is firmly of the view that lawyers and non-lawyers alike should should read and understand a wide variety of English books and texts. In this way, readers of English literature will gain a fuller understanding of life, culture and people than is possible from their immediate surroundings and environment.
Ian studied English language and English literature at school, gaining ‘O’ and ‘A’ level GCE passes. He also passed the examination in ‘The Use of English’. Ian earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Queen Mary and a Master of Law (LLM) from HKU.
Ian has read widely, not only in terms of chronology but in terms of the scope of the English-speaking world. He has read the classics such as Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ and Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, including ‘Sonnet 116’ ‘The Merchant of Venice’ ‘Othello’, ‘King Lear’ and the history plays such as ‘Henry IV Parts I and II’ and ‘Richard III’. He has delved into the world of Victorian England through Charles Dickens (‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Bleak House’) as well as coming up to date with such masterpieces as Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ and ‘The Four Quartets’ and Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy.
Ian acknowledges his Welsh roots by having read the ancient tales in ‘The Mabinogion’ as well as the more recent exploration of Welsh culture in Dylan Thomas’ ‘play for voices’, ‘Under Milk Wood’, and the poem raging against the travails of old age, ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’.
Ian’s interest in international texts have led him to such diverse works as Mark Twain’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’, Alan Paton’s ‘Cry The Beloved Country’ and Harper Lee’s classic story of prejudice and the power of law and reason ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. He finds that works such as those of John Steinbeck’s ‘Cannery Row’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’ are eerily relevant to modern circumstances.
Above all, Ian hopes to transfer his love of the rich meaning, rhythms and significance of the entire range of English Literature to students and to show them that they can enjoy English texts in their own right as well as preparing themselves to do well in examinations on such texts.
Mr Don Ho is the Principal of International Scholars Tuition School. He has been tutoring English in Hong Kong since 2000. Don has tutored many Hong Kong students who were preparing for English Winchester Entrance Exams, King’s Scholarship Papers at Eton College, IB Diploma Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL), AS and A2 Level GCE, IAL, IGCSE, Common Entrance Exam (CEE) at 13+ and 11+, Common Academic Scholarship at 13+, UKiset, SSAT, ISEE, ACT, and SAT.
As an English Language and Literature Tutor, Don has successfully tutored an IB Diploma student from Sevenoaks School (UK), formerly of Wai Yan College (HK), who now attends LSE (London School of Economics) in how to write literary criticism essays that best demonstrate the student’s abilities to understand the explicit and implicit meanings in the poems The Road Not Taken by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Robert Frost, Death of Naturalist by Seamus Heaney, who won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, and the Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. To IB Diploma English Literature students from South Island School and West Island School who were preparing for the internally assessed Individual Oral Commentary (IOC) and the Individual Oral Presentation (IOP), Don has tutored the beautifully chilling novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by German writer Patrick Suskind; the viciously innocent novel, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima; the courageously feminist novel, Woman at Point Zero by Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi; the tragically spirited novel, Of Mice and Men by Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck; the passionately violent drama, A Streetcar Named Desire written by Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright Tennessee Williams; and the passionately unrestrained play, The House of Bernarda Alba by the Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca. To an A-Level student from Kellet School, Don tutored William Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Don tutored his students on how to critically analyse the texts and logically structure arguments, in addition to working on improving confidence and presentation skills in order to engage an audience.
To IGCSE English Language and Literature students from KGV (King George V) and Harrow International School (HK), Don tutored on how to recognize and appreciate the different ways writers use language, literary devices, structure, and form for effect to create and shape meanings. Texts covered included Shakespearean romantic comedy, The Tempest; the romantically simplistic novel, The Sound of Waves, which was awarded the Shincho Prize, by Japanese author Yukio Mishima; and the turbulently inspiring play, An Enemy of the People by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen; The Stories of Ourselves: The University of Cambridge International Examinations Anthology of Stories in English and Songs of Ourselves: The University of Cambridge International Examinations Anthology of Poetry in English.
For IB Diploma English Literature students from Shatin College and Island School, Don has tutored Antigone, the Greek Tragedy by Sophocles and The Catcher in the Rye, the novel filled with adolescent angst, by J.D. Salinger. These lessons focused on how to best write commentaries using quotations and detailed references in order to display a thorough knowledge of the content of texts.
IB MYP English and literature students from Victoria Shanghai Academy were tutored using the dystopian novel The Giver by Lois Lowry and the romantic Shakespearian romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Theme, motifs, and symbols, were emphasized during these tutorial lessons, as well as plot and character development. The graphic novels Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang were tutored to students studying literature at CDNIS.
The politically tragic drama Julius Ceasar by William Shakespeare; the intensely jealous classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; the poetically autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou; and the compassionate humane The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham, which is set in Hong Kong, have been tutored by Don to IGCSE English Literature students from French International School (FIS).
During holiday breaks and study leaves, British boarding school GCSE students studying at Taunton School and Badminton School were tutored in English Literature by Don on texts including the humorously somber Death of a Salesman and the delusionally devastating drama, A View from the Bridge, which were both written by American playwright Arthur Miller; The Great Gatsby, written by fellow-American author F.Scott Fitzgerald; and the comically romantic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.