A native French speaker holding a master’s degree, Raphael has been teaching foreign languages across the state and private sectors for the past 15 years. He is currently the Head of MFL at a prestigious independent school in Hampstead, while tutoring students to reach their full potential and excel in examinations such as the 11+ and 13+ school entrance papers, GCSEs, A Levels, and IB. He is also an examiner and a teacher trainer, delivering workshops covering his own very successful teaching method.
Raphael gained a master’s degree in Business at a reputable university in Paris after completing a one-year Erasmus exchange programme at the University of Birmingham. After graduating, he spent a year travelling around South America and then started his career as a project manager in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Living abroad and subsequently being exposed to other cultures and languages had a significant impact on his choice of career and that’s the reason why he decided to move to London in 2005 to qualify as a secondary language teacher and share his passion for languages and travel with young people.
Raphael currently leads a language department at a prep school based in Hampstead. He is also the national Language Advisor for The Independent Association of Prep Schools, organising and running yearly conferences for a network of more than 600 schools. He also supports and advises teachers and schools on best practices in language teaching. Since he became a teacher, he has delivered over 500 hours of 1-1 French lessons for learners ranging from 5-year-olds to corporate executives. He particularly enjoys supporting students reach their full potential and excel in examinations such as the 11+ and 13+ school entrance papers, GCSEs, Pre-U, A Levels and IB.
He sees himself as more of a mentor than a teacher, helping his students set reasonable goals while encouraging them to become lifelong language learners. He therefore endeavours to introduce culture into most of his lessons, whether through educational videos or magazines, French songs, or news stories from various French-speaking countries.
He finds that experiencing culture is a key aspect of learning a foreign language as this can boost language receptive skills (listening and reading), which will, in turn, reinforce language productive skills (speaking and writing), all of which being needed to communicate well in the language.
Raphael is an enthusiastic, friendly, and patient tutor. He is extremely passionate about his subject and committed to understanding and engaging with each student's learning needs. He therefore tailors his teaching to ensure that all his students are able to stretch their comfort zone and move confidently towards their academic goal.
As an experienced teacher, he understands young people can feel nervous and find learning grammar and speaking another language a little daunting. However, he believes any child can learn to enjoy these given the right approach. For this reason, he has developed his own teaching method that he likes to call ‘Less is more’ and which is based on a list of 100 high-frequency French words. It has proven to be a great tool for his students to understand how to write accurate and advanced paragraphs in the foreign language, and achieve better grades as a consequence.
During these unprecedented times of school closures and virtual learning from home, he believes young people need to build their independence and self-direction more than ever. This is why he strives to empower his students to be in charge of their own learning and become independent learners. For instance, he encourages students to create their own lists of key vocabulary on websites such as Quizlet or Memrise.
In his free time, Raphael enjoys outdoor activities including skiing, cycling and going camping with his family. He also took part in various fundraising challenges such as running the Paris Marathon and climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro. He is also an FA qualified football coach and runs weekly football training sessions for both children and adults. Raphael is passionate about French literature and international cinema, and he takes part in chess tournaments whenever possible.
School entrance experience
Raphael has worked with children aiming to attend the following schools: