Helen H.
Qualified and experienced IB teacher and examiner with 10+ years teaching English B and English Language and Literature in international schools; holds a MA in Modern European Languages and European Union Studies.
Masters in Modern European Languages and European Union Studies, University of Edinburgh
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for Modern Foreign Languages: German, University of London


As someone who has always been an enthusiastic student of languages and literature, it is wonderful to share this love with students. I have taught various subjects and courses but really found my niche teaching English in the international schools’ sector. Having taught and experienced the developments in English B and English Language and Literature developments over several years, I have developed an in-depth understanding of what the subjects aim to achieve and what is expected and required to succeed. My experience as an examiner has further added to these insights.

Teaching Experience

Teacher, August 2011 – April 2017
Subject Coordinator: International Baccalaureate, English B, Diploma Programme

• IB DP English B
• IB DP English Language and Literature
• IB MYP English Language and Literature
• IB MYP English Language Acquisition
• Subject Coordinator IB English B DP
• Personal Project Supervisor, Extended Essay Supervisor

Teacher, August 2010 – August 2011
• IB DP English A2
• Certificate of Advanced English (Cambridge)
• English classes for children in the Bilingual section
• Classes taught to adults: Certificate of Advanced English (Cambridge) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (Cambridge)

Teacher August 2007-2010
Head of Lower Secondary English Department 2009 – 2010

• IB DP English B
• IGCSE English as a Foreign Language
• Intensive English (ESL) Programme
• Regular English Programme

Experience and expertise in teaching:
• Literary analysis
• Text analysis
• Structuring and writing of essays and other text types
• Preparation for internal and external assessment – written and oral
• Grammar, vocabulary extension, fluency, pronunciation

What is your teaching philosophy?

In teaching, I value experiential learning using authentic activities that draw on students’ own interests. This should be achieved in a learning environment where students feel comfortable and challenged and can reach their full potential. I have a flexible, student-centered approach in which I tailor lessons to the needs of the class.

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

A first session would be dedicated to gauging the student’s needs and how we could most effectively meet them. I would ask pertinent questions and listen carefully to the student’s responses. I would then explain the approach I would recommend to see whether the student agreed that this approach would lead to accomplishing their goals. I would emphasize the importance of communication and tell the student that they should always feel free to communicate how they feel about their progress. I would clarify that the approach is flexible and dictated by what is best for the student. Depending on the time remaining and the information already provided by the student, we could make a start with our work.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

One of the reasons I’m a proponent of the IB program is fostering independent learning. An independent learner is encouraged by their having some input into what they are learning. The approach of an IB teacher should be a teacher – student-led and not simply teacher-focused. When the teacher has taken into account the students’ interests and learning styles, they are more motivated to take ownership of their own learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Students need encouragement. I am always cautious about emphasizing the positive aspects of a student’s work while also providing them with the targets needed to improve their work and explain how to achieve this.

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

If a student finds it difficult to grasp a new concept, I change my approach and try to explain it differently, and I offer examples so they can really visualize what they need to do.

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

My subject lends itself well to finding something to work with which matches the student’s personal interests. If teaching literary analysis helps, for example, to allow students to select which poetry to analyze.

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

Throughout lessons, I always check students’ understanding by asking questions. At the end of a lesson, I check for understanding using further questions or, if appropriate, a short quiz.

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

By gradually building up the complexity of the tasks that I give them. Tasks should never be unachievable for a student. I push students, but not beyond what I know they can achieve. And I always praise students for work well done.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

From examples of their written work and through discussion with them.

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

Google docs, presentations, and screen sharing.

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
Extended Essay ​(EE)
Language A: Literature And Language HL
Language A: Literature And Language SL
Language B HL
Language B SL
A passionate and committed teacher with diverse international experience, who strives to create a stimulating educational environment in which students can achieve their full potential.

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