Elisa S.
IBDP Alumni who recently graduated and currently studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the UK with 4+ years of IB tutoring experience.
Currently Perusing Bachelors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
International Baccalaureate, Italian A (6), English A (6), French B (6), Biology (6), History (6), Mathematics (7), Vittoria International School, Torino


I am a former IB student, and I tutored IB and non-IB students over the last four years, especially English A and B, Italian A and B, French B and AB initio, History HL, and SL ToK. I helped students with their IAs and essays in English, French, Italian, History, and ToK.
I recently completed my IB, so I am very familiar with the new approaches and marking criteria; I am now studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Warwick.

Teaching Experience

History HL/SL
I tutored HL and SL students on essay strategies and history concepts, teaching in an analytical and balanced approach, which is essential to acquire top grades in this subject.
English A Language and Literature HL/SL
Tutored students on Extended Essays, IAs, and essay structures. My Extended Essay was on Category 3, where I developed analytical skills to understand how contextual and linguistic devices shape texts.

English B HL/SL
I tutored English in a volunteering association to children and adolescents, explaining grammar and expanding their vocabulary.
I have also taught English in Kathmandu, Nepal.
English is my second language and, even though I have a proficiency-level certificate (C2), I understand the struggle behind expressing yourself in another language. I know how to teach English with techniques on how to communicate clearly and concisely.

French B HL/SL / AB initio
I took French B HL and studied French for 13 years with a variety of learning approaches.

Theory of Knowledge
I helped students with their essays over the past year. Additionally, I am a current undergraduate Philosophy student.

Italian A Literaure / B / AB Initio
Italian is my native language, and I have taught students both the language itself and the IB techniques for IB Literature A course.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that there is always a different way to tackle the problem if the traditional one does not work. In class, teachers tend to adopt a classic form of explaining concepts; however, this might not work for everyone. It is necessary that the student personally makes the concepts clear so that it is not a sciolistic learning but an active, almost personal one.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Understanding students’ concerns Many students struggle because they do not know how to solve their weaknesses, even if they understand the problem itself. I believe that understanding student concerns targets the issue because it focuses on simple but problematic misunderstandings that lie at the basis of every work subsequently produces.

Understand their methodology, strengths, and weaknesses. Usually, going through a past paper, the student explains how the essay was approached, what he/she feels is good (preferably also from teachers’ feedback), and what instead might be improved.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Subject-wise, by creating a fixed but pragmatic structure that can be applied to every future paper. During the sessions, these techniques are used to training papers so that, little by little, the mechanism will spontaneously arise.

Nonetheless, the student must become independent in approaching new challenges too.
Hence, through the lessons, the student will learn how to tackle difficulties by creating a practical approach that can be used in other IB subjects and later studies.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I always keep a positive attitude, I am aware of how stressful IB may become, so I know when it is important to have small ‘checks’ and recall that, even if there is room for improvement, the student must always be aware of his/her pre-existing strengths.

Besides, IB strengthens students’ stress and time management abilities. Hence, I am always happy to offer little but essential tips on doing well on an emotional level.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

It is common to struggle to understand certain concepts, so I usually let the student explain what he understood.
Most of the time, while repeating what seems unclear, our mind clears out, and everything makes sense. If this does not work, while the student explains the concept, the fallacy will eventually emerge, and we can start by working from that.
If this is not enough, I provide sheets with schematic notions to use in texts as an ‘open book exam’ at first.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

As an international student in my first IB year, I immensely struggled too with reading comprehension. With time, I developed my own strategies to tackle even the most tedious readings. These involve highlighting, breaking down sentences, and acknowledging the impossibility of understanding every single word and hence understanding concepts instead of literal meanings.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

The most successful strategy is empathizing with the student, as this really helps to get to the core of the problems and insecurities.
Secondly, I realize that, for many students, schematic hand-outs to apply to past papers are very helpful.
Lastly, going through the syllabus and the marking criteria is the classic option that never fails. However, this must be done in a proactive way, where the student should fully understand what is meant in every requirement.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling with?

I keep the sessions on a friendly note, engaging and very conversational, where both the student and the tutor are free to share their viewpoints and come up with the best-combined technique that can best fit the student.

Also, I try to go to the ‘core’ of the subject, explaining to the student the ‘sense’ behind it. This appears to be extremely useful as IB students have to study subjects they dislike too.
Hence, getting to the point, to the ‘nice side’ of the subject, will both make them realize what it might teach them and what the examiners want to see it taught them.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I’ll ask questions to check the reasoning behind it, and I’ll use acronyms to help students remember important information, and, lastly, we’ll go through past papers and grade them together.

How do you build a student’s confidence in a subject?

I always make sure that the student knows what has been done well when I discuss improvement areas. Throughout the sessions, I also ensure that students acknowledge their improvements and see them due to commitment and effort.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

I directly ask students how they feel about the lessons and the content. Furthermore, I pay attention to how students approach tasks and which type of questions they ask me.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student’s needs?

Adapting to students’ needs is an essential part of the tutoring sessions. In the first session, both the student and the tutor discuss their concerns and their preferable ways of working to develop the best and most effective learning experience possible. However, specific needs tend to show up after several sessions. Hence I will do some ‘check-ups’ to understand what can be improved, what should be removed because it might be ineffective, or what turns out to be useful, thus applying it more often.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use Google Docs as it enables live editing. Secondly, I use screen-sharing often as I can share with the student extra-material.

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
History HL
History SL
Language B HL
Language B SL
Language ab Intio SL
Theory of Knowledge​ (TOK)
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” Alfred Mercier

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