How IB English Tutors Can Foster Critical Thinking Skills

IB English is a challenging subject that encourages students to think more deeply about language and how we communicate. It involves intensive analysis of literature like novels, poetry, and plays and prompts students to foster a deep appreciation for these works. Evaluations for IB English can look very different, since these courses are meant to prepare students for higher-education and the real world. IB English can incorporate a range of literary works from all over the world and pushes students to express their own creativity. This variety and international perspective requires students to develop critical thinking skills that they can apply in a multitude of situations. IB English tutors in Hong Kong play an important role in this process. In private sessions, tutors can create an environment suitable for the student to think critically about language and the world around them.

Fundamentally, critical thinking refers to a mindset committed to questioning and deeper reflection. Students need to understand not only what is happening in a text, but why and how. This sort of strategy is crucial to succeeding in IB English — without this culture of inquiry, students will not reach below the surface-level of what they read or write. But constant questioning is difficult to achieve in a classroom-setting. With so many students, teachers are unable to devote their time to individual questions. Moreover, students often feel pressured by their peers and are unable to express themselves aloud. IB English tutors in Hong Kong can help students nurture a habit of critical questioning more vigorously, since they work with students on a one-on-one basis. Without the presence of their peers, students can feel more comfortable engaging in Socratic-like discussions with their tutor. Tutors can ask open-ended questions that push students to explore all possible answers and come up with their own questions. In university, students will likely participate in many discussions of this nature. Practicing this method with a tutor can prepare them for such higher-level conversations about language and literature. Critical thinking is a skill that cannot be taught through a single, universal lesson. Consistent practice with an IB English tutor in Hong Kong can develop this skill over time, through intimate discussions that encourage students to think deeply and consider different perspectives.

IB English provides diverse literary examples partially because critical thinking skills flourish the more widely they are applied. These skills are effective since they can be applied to all types of sources and situations. Critical thinking is invaluable not only for IB English, but for future careers and other IB courses. For this reason, it is important that students be introduced to a variety of different works and be able to make connections across fields of study. Students can explore many different forms of literature and language with an IB English tutor in Hong Kong. Tutors can find examples for students that they might have never seen in their everyday school life, since tutors individualize their sessions for specific students. Having experience with different resources can give students an advantage in the classroom! If there are certain types of literary works that a student is unfamiliar with, tutors can make sure to include those as part of their studies. Familiarity with a wide range of literature gives students extra practice with critical thinking and makes them more used to the potential surprises they might find in the IB English examinations. In addition, IB English tutors in Hong Kong can motivate students to find real-world connections to the material. Tutors frequently have a closer relationship with their students than a typical teacher would. This allows them to guide the student through possible personal connections they have with the text or lead them to apply themes to real-world events in their community. Such connections help students build their thinking through layers, so that they can see the multiple layers present in literature and how it is still relevant to contemporary society. 

There are many other ways that a tutor can work with students to develop their critical thinking skills. An IB English tutor in Hong Kong can also provide regular feedback on assignments that is more personalized than classroom feedback, which can monitor a student’s growth over time. Self-evaluation is another essential component to critical thinking! Tutors can also incorporate different forms of language for practice, like in films or music that a student might have a more personal interest in. Most importantly, tutors can serve as models of critical thinking for their students. Students can benefit from witnessing how a tutor processes information and applies it to assignments. Such open discussion of a critical thinking mindset is more possible to accomplish with an IB English tutor in Hong Kong than in a classroom focused on following a curriculum. 
Aegis Advisors has a team of experienced and committed private tutors who can help on IB English as well as a full range of subjects across all major curriculums. Contact us today to see how we can help.