Johanna - English Tutor Hawthorn

Published in ESL Tutors


Johanna Profile Picture

As an ESL tutor I've been privileged to meet and work with students of different ages and from various cultural and professional backgrounds.

My four years of experience as a tutor has granted me insight into the challenges faced by ESL learners in their host cultures. I have found that these challenges are numerous and complex, and have as much to do with cultural barriers as they do with language proficiency. Therefore, I endeavour to tailor my lessons with the learner's everyday life and activities in mind so that these language and culture specific challenges might be overcome.

ESL Tutoring

My lessons include a range of exercises that allow me to identify a student's strengths and weaknesses and that also reflect what students wish to learn. A typical lesson may include dialogue exercises; discussion on a range of current topics; situation-specific language use, such as how to make a dinner reservation or an appointment with a doctor; reading comprehension exercises, which include reading newspaper articles or articles selected by the student; pronunciation exercises specific to the student's pronunciation difficulties; grammar exercises; and also homework exercises if the student expresses interest in doing work outside of class time.

I have also found it beneficial to record students speaking and to provide them with a transcript after every lesson. This transcript includes what the student has said, a correction of their speaking, and finally an alternative way of phrasing what has been said to familiarise students with English in the Australian context. The majority of my students consider this a helpful way of learning more about the aspects of their language use that are most in need of improvement.

VCE Students

As well as having the opportunity to tutor ESL learners I have also conducted lessons with VCE students who have wanted help with various texts and tasks presented to them in their VCE English classes. In these lessons my role has been to help guide students towards their own understanding of such texts, and perhaps more importantly, to give them the tools and knowledge necessary to express their ideas and opinions clearly and concisely in the different assessment tasks required of them.

These lessons have been extremely rewarding as I have found that with some guidance and emphasis on the expression of their own ideas, students whose interest in English had been low were now able to find a new appreciation for it as an important part of their learning and growth.

My Research

My interest in tutoring ESL students stems in part from the many international students I met during my time at university, and also from the research I conducted for my Honours degree in Anthropology. My areas of interest include the concepts of identity and belonging among ESL learners in their host cultures, and the ways in which my students navigate these concepts in their second language.

As a result, I am not only interested in helping improve a student's proficiency in English but also in understanding their experiences and short and long-term goals in Australia. I have found that giving students the opportunity to discuss their second language experiences helps them understand that language learning is a process and that patience is key to overcoming some of the obstacles they encounter on this journey.


Johanna has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Anthropology at Latrobe University, Melbourne. She grew up in Warrnambool, Victoria before travelling to the US on an athletic scholarship, studied for a year while competing in high jump, and then returned home. Since then she has traveled throughout the United States, and has also traveled and worked in Canada.

Additional Info

  • Location: Hawthorn, Box Hill
  • Hourly Rate: 40
  • Availability: Thursday Morning, Thursday Afternoon, Saturday Afternoon
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology)

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