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Rhys D


Friendly Oxford grad, Spanish examiner, and Oxbridge admissions expert

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A bit about Rhys D

I am lucky enough to cover two subjects - Spanish and Linguistics - which complement each other greatly. Spanish is the art, and Linguistics is the science: the best of both worlds. For Spanish, this has often been related to exam preparation (see below for exam boards) - but I think studying the language can be even better than that. My aim is not just for students to pass an exam, but to understand its mechanics, and to treat it as a living thing with a large, noisy, and addictive culture. For Oxbridge applicants, this is even more explicitly the goal. For Linguistics, most of my work has been related to Oxbridge admissions (though with a little work with university students thrown in too). This is a huge and under-appreciated subject - one which I hope to introduce to students as the exciting and tempting object of study that it is. I also cover a number of Oxbridge entrance exams (see below for a list). I take a fairly informal approach to tutoring - we are not in a classroom, so there is no need to behave like that! "Informal", though, does not mean "sloppy" - I also have high expectations of students, and our work together is thorough. I'm very lucky that the subjects I teach are interesting, and I hope to share that interest with students. In general, the format of a meeting will vary from student to student - that's the point of tuition! It will depend on the goal, and the subject we're looking at. Some students for Spanish want a focus on grammar, or on speaking practice, or literature. Students for Linguistics may have a particular interest, and I'll do my best to emphasise this. Whatever the case, though, I intend to make each meeting as practical and discursive as possible - it's not a lecture. I teach all exam boards for Spanish from the age of Year 9 upwards. I am also a marker for the Cambridge IGCSE and the Cambridge A-Level. I graduated from St. Catherine's College, Oxford, with a first in Spanish and Linguistics in the early 2010s. I began tutoring almost immediately, and made the move to full-time tuition from 2015 onwards. In 2023, I became an examiner for Cambridge Assessment, working on both IGCSE and A-Level. In the offline world, I am the go-to Spanish teacher for all levels and exam boards at a holiday revision school here in Oxfordshire. I also work at schools, public events, and residential courses for Oxbridge admissions, working on all stages of the university application. I'm a keen hiker, a fairly decent cook, and a dreadful (but enthusiastic) snooker player. I also love to draw, especially in a comic-book style. At the moment, I'm working on illustrating an Argentine short story (not for business - just for pleasure). I began tutoring whilst still at university, looking for a little extra pocket money for the weekend, at a one-day school event. Long story short, I liked it and continued to work with students immediately after university. I didn't plan to be a tutor - honestly, I wasn't planning on anything in particular - but a decade later, I'm still here doing it. I started by accident ... but I continued because I enjoy it. Oxford and Cambridge are fantastic places to study - but they have a problem. Access to these two universities for bright but disadvantaged students is not good enough. Through various programmes I have volunteered with several students on intensive preparation for their university applications - often working as a long-term mentor on both uni prep and general school work - in order to maximise their chances. I am happy to say that three-quarters of my access students have successfully earned places at Oxbridge (all for Spanish, plus another subject). There is more work to do to make university applications equal, of course ... but I am glad to have made a start. I think I'll let my previous students speak for themselves: "I wanted to thank you for the wonderful work you have done with [student]. She used to be scared of the subject before she started working with you, but your help has allowed her to tackle her GCSE with much confidence." - JM, Cambridge IGCSE Spanish, 2021. "Rhys is an extremely helpful tutor, despite my assignment being last minute he still managed to help me in every way possible! Would recommend to everyone! :)" - TM, Linguistics, 2020. "Rhys was my tutor for the LAT, and I could not recommend him enough! He got to know me and the areas that I wanted to work on in our first free consultation, and afterwards we worked on the basis of me completing preps and past papers before our lessons and then going through them in the lesson time as well as other exercises. For me this was the perfect format, as Rhys has an incredible amount of resources for me to practice on and have a very hands on approach, as well as knowledge in order to for me to consolidate my learning. I would recommend Rhys as well for being incredibly understanding and adaptable- he answered my emails at any time and very promptly, or was willing to change lesson times even at short notice. He was also so friendly and we had fun in our lessons outside of working through LATs." - CJ, Oxbridge Admissions, 2020. "Rhys taught me for a little over a month during the pandemic and my improvement over that time was astounding. He is a very friendly person and knows how to make his students feel enthusiastic about learning Spanish. He is also extremely professional in his preparation and always details his lessons towards what you need to know to be successful." - AA, International Baccalaureate Spanish, 2020. "I started lessons with Rhys in September 2020 in preparation for the LAT section of the Oxford MLAT exam in November. All lessons were well-prepared, interesting and lots of fun. With each lesson I felt more confident about the exam and was fascinated by Rhys’ wider knowledge of languages and linguistics. For example, we studied Welsh, Basque and even the constructed language of Esperanto in order to make me more familiar with grammatical structures that may come up in the exam. Rhys was supportive throughout the entire application process and I would definitely recommend contacting him for help with the MLAT." - VE, Oxbridge Admissions, 2021.

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Subject Level
Spanish General
Classics Degree
UCAS Preparation UCAS Preparation
Personal Statements General
Oxbridge Preparation Oxbridge Preparation
Spanish GCSE
Spanish A-Level

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