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Gemma L uscombe.

Tutor Type Advanced Tutor
Teaching Experience 10 years
Travel radius 10 km from Bundoora
Tuition Fee
$45.00/hour (Prep to Year 10)
$50.00/hour (VCE)
24 hour cancellation notice required

Book Gemma

Subjects I can Tutor

Secondary English 7-10
VCE English Units 1&2
VCE English Units 3&4
VCE Literature Units 1&2
VCE Literature Units 3&4
General English

About Me

“Achieve great results with a dedicated and enthusiastic tutor, who is passionate about
English, Literature and Japanese education”

Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to visit my profile. My name is Gemma, I’m an
Honours student at the University of Melbourne who likes to play volleyball, take care of my two hand reared cockatiels and discuss the human condition in my spare time.

My Qualifications

I attained a study score of 45 in VCE English and overall ATAR of 97.40 at Wesley College (St Kilda Rd) in 2009. In 2012, I completed a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) at Melbourne University. In 2013, I completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Literature at Melbourne University, where I acquired an extensive range of critical and analytical skills in the study of literary texts. In 2015, I began a Master of Teaching (Secondary) and studied pedagogical practices over a period of four months, which has been invaluable to my teaching. I discovered from my placement teaching Japanese to Years 7, 8 and 9 at Bayside College (Williamstown) during the Master of Teaching that I prefer tutoring one-on-one or in small groups to whole-class teaching. I believe that this experience makes me the perfect tutor for your English, Literature and Japanese learning needs.

My Subjects

Foundational/beginner, Year 7, 8, 9, 10 Japanese
Year 7, 8, 9, 10 English
VCE Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 English
VCE Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 Literature

My Tutoring Style

I am highly passionate about academic achievement and supporting my students to
achieve the best results possible. I want to pass on my analytical tools and critical thinking skills to allow my students to flourish in English and Literature. I also want to pass on my Japanese language skills and memorisation techniques for students studying Japanese. I often receive feedback from students that my work ethic is contagious and fuels students’ desire to achieve their best!

In my time, I have noticed that English, as a mandatory subject, can be highly polarising for many students. Some students believe that the skills required for English do not ‘come naturally’ to them, that English isn’t their ‘cup of tea’ or that they’re a ‘maths/science person’. I believe that English is about the study of humankind, after all, so it can be a highly relatable subject for everyone. I endeavour to make the subject highly relatable and enjoyable for every student through my tutelage.

Japanese is one of the four hardest languages to learn as a person from an English speaking background (alongside Chinese, Arabic and Korean). There are 3 major ‘alphabets’ and the sentence structure in Japanese is completely different to English. At Melbourne University, I studied how anxiety negatively affects language acquisition so I always make sure I lower my students’ anxiety during speaking lessons. I remember finding speaking highly intimidating during high school, so this is a major priority of mine.

I also provide students with my handy tips and techniques for memorising characters, words, and grammatical structures.

In addition, I always tailor my lessons to my students’ needs. Whether students need extension as high achievers or extra support for developing their skills in an area of struggle, I have strategies for all.

Availability, Location and Fees

As a part time academic tutor at Melbourne University and part time private tutor for secondary school subjects, I actively reserve time for my private students. I will do my utmost best to accommodate
you into my schedule.

I am based in Bundoora, proficient in online tutoring, and more than willing to travel to your home nearby (within 10kms).

I only charge $50 per hour for one-on-one private tutoring and $40 if you’d like to arrange group tutoring with some friends (2 – 4 works best).

I also hold a valid Working with Children’s Check.

Contact me today so we can get you on track to achieving your best this year. I look forward to hearing from you!

Gemma Luscombe
0422 663 427

A Recommendation:

“Gemma was an exceptional tutor for myself throughout years 11 and 12 Japanese. As a student who had never completed an exchange in Japan, the opportunity to practice conversation and have extra assistance out of school time in certain aspects of the course enhanced my confidence and enabled me to attain a subject score of 40, and receive the campus award for VCE second language. Gemma is incredibly patient, encouraging and her work ethic is contagious. I would highly recommend her as a tutor!” Freya Wildash

A Reflection on my Personal Tutoring Philosophy

My motivation to become a tutor began on my first day of schooling. I remember being so excited by learning, pouring my heart and soul into schoolwork and achieving the highest grades. I attribute my initial interest in schoolwork to how highly my father valued education and took pride in the fact that he was the top of his classes. I continued to be invigorated by academic achievement, particularly in English and Japanese, but I also became intimidated when studying Japanese, which has been highly influential to my tutoring.

This reflection of mine will cover how my educational experiences of invigoration and intimidation influenced my decision to become a teacher and relates to pedagogical theory, as well as how these experiences influence my personal teaching philosophy, with reference to both of my learning areas; English and Japanese.

I am going to begin with English because I have always seen English as primary in my educative experience. I loved sitting in year 12 English, bouncing ideas back and forth with my year 12 English teacher; Rohan Chiu. I want to be an English teacher because I love exploring texts. And, yet, I want to be a secondary English tutor because of Rohan Chiu. His pedagogical techniques not only facilitated my development in English but also inspired my interest in English, exponentially. He asked thought-provoking questions, probed my thinking further when I gave responses to those questions and continued to upgraded my vocabulary by introducing me to new words like ‘amalgamated’ and ‘furthermore’ to integrate into my responses. I started questioning my own beliefs and the discourses in society, becoming more open minded and critical. I found that my development in English in school directly transferred to my eloquence outside of school, as I was able to communicate in an articulate way with older family members of my peers and my peers’ family friends. I believe that my ability in English also increased my emotional intelligence, as I was continually studying representations of the human condition, relating it to my personal experience and becoming highly reflective about the relationships in my life. Thereby, I have come to perceive English as an invaluable discipline because of the benefits that I have personally derived from my dedicated study.

I believe that my invigoration in the English classroom is directly attributable to my involvement in discussion, which increased my critical thinking skills and academic outcomes. Recent pedagogical theory reinforces my belief (Alexander 2002; Barnes 2010; Ritchhart 2012; Hirn and Scott 2014). These theorists argue that discussion is a powerful tool for pedagogical intervention and cognitive development (Alexander 2002) as talking to explore ideas creates a “deep thinking classroom” (Ritchhart, 2012, p. 8) that “leads to better intellectual engagement with what is being taught” (Barnes, 2010, p. 10). Therefore, “one of the principal tasks of a teacher is to create interactive opportunities” (Alexander, 2002, p. 2) like dialogic talk and “opportunities to respond” (Hirn and Scott, 2014, p. 591). I believe that it is highly beneficial that students perceive learning as a process of exploring ideas so that they can start formulating their own informed opinions and thinking independently and critically. Therefore, I want to promote a culture of enquiry in my tutoring. I want my students to question my analysis of texts, question one another and ultimately question themselves.

However, I also spent a great proportion of my educative experience being intimidated whilst learning. In the senior years of Japanese, I began feeling highly anxious about practising speaking. After so many years of being an exemplary student, the tasks were suddenly not as easy to complete as once before. I did not want to face the fact that I may not be perfect in an academic setting; that I may have to work hard at something that did not come naturally to me. This resonates with Dweck’s pedagogical theory of fixed mindsets in that I was being a “self-handicapping high achiever” (Scott, 2015, p. 121). Dweck’s theory (1998) of fixed mindsets argues that students who identify as intelligent can lack “resiliency to [academic] setbacks” (p. 34) when a task requires more effort academically than others because “they hold the belief that the naturally talented don’t need to apply themselves to doing well” (Scott, 2015, p. 121). I internalised the idea that I was intelligent as a major facet of my identity and subsequently sacrificed “potentially valuable learning opportunities” that challenged that identity, like speaking tasks in Japanese (Dweck, 1998, p. 33). Studies state that there is an inverse correlation between language acquisition and anxiety levels (Krashen 1987; Krashen 1988). I experienced anxiety in learning Japanese because I did not want to make a mistake whilst speaking in front of my classmates. In year 12, my VCE Japanese teacher Sumiko Jojima enthusiastically said ‘let’s make mistakes’, which truly resonated with me. She was encouraging everyone to be comfortable with making errors, which I believe is key to language teaching. Therefore, I want to actively try to decrease anxiety in my classroom, particularly for those who perceive themselves as high achievers. I want my students to perceive mistakes and struggling with tasks as an integral part of the learning process. If a task is too easy then what will my students gain in doing it? If my students continually shy away from difficult tasks then when will they develop as learners?

I am motivated to become a secondary school tutor from being intimidated in my own education because I believe that the final years of schooling are greatly rewarding challenges for young people, academically and emotionally. In my eyes, the final year or two of high school is the first true, major test for individuals transitioning from adolescence and school into adulthood and society as a whole. From reflecting upon the enjoyment that I derive from helping students in their final years of schooling, I have realised that I enjoy it so much because tutoring is much more than content transference. Tutoring is about mentorship; supporting students emotionally with the trials and tribulations of their learning.

In conclusion, I want to always promote a culture of enquiry-based learning and decreased anxiety in my practice. I want to be open-minded to exploring new pedagogical practice and dedicated to calmness in the face of challenges because I believe in the facilitation of lifelong learning. This is highly influenced by my past experiences, which, in turn, influences my personal beliefs about teaching and learning.

Works Cited

Alexander, R. (2005). Culture, dialogue and learning: Notes on an emerging pedagogy. Retrieved from

Barnes, D. (2010). Why talk is important. English Teaching: Practice and Critique,
9(2), 7.

Hirn, R., & Scott, T. (2014). Descriptive Analysis of Teacher Instructional Practices and Student Engagement Among Adolescents With and Without Challenging Behavior. Education and Treatment of Children, 37(4), 589-610.

Krashen, S. (1987). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Intenational.

Krashen, S. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Intenational.

Ritchhart, R. (2012). The Power of Questions. Creative Teaching and Learning,
2(4), 8.

Scott, C. (2015). Learn to Teach: Teach to Learn. Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Teaching Experience
tutored for more than 10 years
Experienced tutor

Tutored years 7-12 private clients in Japanese, English and Literature for the past 10 years.
Academic Tutor at Melbourne University for the past 4 years.
Taught grades 1-6 rudimentary Japanese language skills at Seaspray Primary School, Seaspray.
Taught year 7-9 Japanese at Bayside Secondary College, Williamstown.

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Subject Selection

Location: Bundoora, VIC

Gemma will travel within 10 km of Bundoora

High School ATAR Score 97.40
Bachelor of Arts – University of Melbourne
Diploma of Languages (Japanese) – University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – University of Melbourne

Monday 9:00 AM     –     3:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM     –     10:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM     –     10:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM     –     10:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM     –     10:00 PM