How the Study Groups Work and How to Use Them

With a Shani’s Tutoring membership, you get access to lots of study groups. Each of these study groups has its own age range, school level or study purpose. This is so that you can join the groups that suit your own personal aims and goals, and your activity feed doesn’t get cluttered posts, updates, quizzes and other resources that don’t help you.

So, the first thing you should do when you get your membership is to join some groups. These groups are for people just like you who want to learn the same things you do. They will be like a little club for you during your time on Shani’s Tutoring. Feel free to chat to the other students, as well as the mods and instructors. Use the forums that come with each group. Also, have a look out for the worksheets! They’re sorted by group to make life easier for you.

Here is a guide to the study groups and how you can use them properly to get the most out of your membership.

Which Study Groups Are Available? #

We have a range of groups here! I’m sure that you will find a few that suit your needs. I have sorted the groups based on the English education system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join if you aren’t from the UK! This table should get you up to date with what all of the groups are for. Or, if you’re in doubt, check the group bios. They should tell you what level they’re at. That way, you can choose the groups that work best for you.

GroupAge RangePurpose
General EnglishThis group is for English students of all ages and levels.This study group is for all! It should get you up to scratch with the most important things that all students should know about English. So, all members are automatically added to it when they join.

Here, we focus on the building blocks of English. Here, I teach you the basics of English: different types of words, where commas go, etc. You’ll need these no matter what level you’re on!
English as a Foreign Language (or English as a Second Language)This study group is for English students of all ages – if English is not your first language.This group is for people who don’t speak English as their native language, but already have a quite a good (B1 and above) understanding of the language.

In this group, we talk about how you can learn to speak English naturally and use words and phrases like a native speaker. Plus, we also occasionally have a look at essay-writing and preparing to study at an English-speaking university.
Key Stage 3 EnglishUK school years 8 & 9*

Ages: 13-14
This is for pre-GCSE students. At this age, we focus on building the skills that you’re going to need in later years to pass your exams with flying colours.

The main focuses are your SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar), your analysis skills and your comprehension.

Plus, we do lots of creative writing! If you can do it, you can analyse it!
GCSE English LanguageUK school years 10 & 11

Ages 14-16
GCSE students are working towards an exam. So, we need to focus on the exam specification and make sure that we meet all of the requirements there.

English Language is all about the study of how English is used. So, we focus on English from both a technical (SPaG) level and how people use language to create certain effect with their language: persuade, inform, etc.
GCSE English LiteratureUK school years 10 & 11

Ages 14-16
We follow the exam specifications to prepare students to get the best grades possible!

English Literature is all about the study of texts and themes that come from them. So, in this study group, we spend a lot of time preparing students to analyse literature and come up with an argument about what texts mean.
A-Level English LanguageUK school years 12 & 13 (AS and A2)

Ages 16-18
We focus on the exam specifications here, so that students are ready for their exams.

The A-Level is similar to the GCSE, but more complex. It’s the next step up, so we focus on more difficult technical terms and ideas to get students prepared for their exams. Plus, the texts are also more challenging!
A-Level English LiteratureUK school years 12 & 13

Ages 16-18
As with most of the school-level study groups, we are working towards a specification to make sure that students get the best results for their exams.

We go into deep analysis in this study group, looking at more complex texts and getting to grips with more complex technical terms.
PodcastsThis group is for all ages and levels.This study group is for students who have subscribed to the Podcast Protégé membership level or higher. It gives you access to all of the podcasts that you receive with your membership.

So, if you are on a membership level that gives you access to this group, you will be automatically added by the system. However, if you think that you weren’t added by mistake, please contact me and we will work it out!
WebinarsThis group is for all ages and levels.The Webinars study group is for students who have subscribed to the Webinar Wonder membership level or higher. It gives you access to all of the webinars that you receive with your membership.

So, if you are on a membership level that gives you access to this group, you will be automatically added by the system. However, if you think that you weren’t added by mistake, please contact me and we will work it out!
StreamsThis group is for all ages and levels.This study group is for students who have subscribed to the Stream Savant membership level or higher. It gives you access to the weekly streams that you receive with your membership.

So, if you are on a membership level that gives you access to this group, you will automatically added by the system. However, if you think that you weren’t added by mistake, please contact me and we will work it out!
Group ClassesThe age range depends on the sub-group you join.The Group Classes study group is where you can join a weekly class (up to 25 students per class). Each class has its own sub-group, so you sign up by joining one of those.

If you are on the Group Genius membership level or above, you will be automatically added to the main group by the system. Then, it is up to you to make sure that you sign up for a group of your choice.

If you believe that you were missed by accident, please contact me so that I can sort it out.
* Key Stage 3 covers students in UK school years 7-9, but this service is for students aged 13+ only.

What If You Aren’t a UK-Based Student? #

If you aren’t a UK-based student, don’t worry! You can still use Shani’s Tutoring to help you improve your grades, no matter where in the world you live. You just need to make sure that you choose the right level for you, so that you are learning the right things.

There is no harm in joining all of the groups open to you, if you want. After all, it is always important to make sure that you know and understand the basics of your subject. So, sometimes it is good to go back and have a look at the old stuff that you already know. It would do you no good to forget it, as each level of English builds on the last. Then, if you feel like some of the content is too complex for you, don’t worry! All countries move at their own paces and cover topics in a different order. So, just leave a group if it doesn’t suit your needs.

I advise that you check the group table above to see what age range each group covers. Check the “Purpose” section, too! If the study group sounds like it could help you, join it! Play around with them until you find the right groups to suit your needs.

What Study Groups Should You Join If You Aren’t a Student? #

Well, that really depends on your goals! Are you a parent who wants to boost their knowledge and test their skills for homeschooling? How about an English enthusiast who just wants to learn more and improve? Or maybe you’re thinking about going back to school or uni and you want to know if you’re prepared? People with any of those goals, plus many more, can find help on Shani’s Tutoring, if you know where to look.

You just need to make sure that you think about your aims before you start. Then, you can compare these aims to the descriptions of each group. I recommend that all learners join the General English group as a minimum. That’s why you’re already on there when you start! However, you’re free to leave it if you want! English as a Foreign Language might sound a bit misleading, but it can be just as helpful for native speakers as it is for non-natives. In fact, I often find that it’s often the natives who need to brush up on their spelling and grammar!

When it comes to Language vs Literature study groups, I recommend that you join Language ones first. It doesn’t matter if your aim is to study Literature in the long term. Even at my uni, all Lit students have to take a year of Language to qualify for honours! It’s so important! As well as covering the basics, Language also helps you to shield yourself from fake news and propaganda. If you can identify how language is used to manipulate you, you can recognise it in the media around you!

So, Is Language More Important Than Literature? #

English Language is a requirement in the UK. At a minimum, most further and higher education courses, plus many jobs, expect you to have passed at least maths, science and English Language at a GCSE level. This includes many apprenticeships and other vocational courses.

You also just need to know how to speak well if you want to be taken seriously in many workplaces. You should know how to write a good email and what language to use on the phone and in a business meeting, as a minimum. If you’re working in retail, hospitality, nursing, or in other jobs where you speak to people face-to-face, you need to know enough English to have a conversation and help people properly.

In addition to that, English Language, as I mentioned before, teaches you how people use the language to manipulate us. We are surrounded by media that is meant to manipulate in one way or another: from advertising to presidents who want to spread narratives about certain groups of people. If you want to protect yourself from that, you need to make sure that you know how they do it. English Language gives you the tools you need to identify certain types of manipulation in the media. It won’t protect you completely, but it will help!

So, in some ways, English Language is more important. However, Literature is necessary for the more creative people out there. Whether you’re writing your own stories or critiquing what other people create, studying themes and the impact that literature has on people will give you the tools that you need to do your job well. It’s a skill that also transfers to other fields like media studies and art! Plus, it looks great on uni applications for essay subjects.

Will There Be Other Study Groups in the Future? #

I make study groups based on demand. If there are lots of people who want me to make a group or course on a certain subject, they just need to let me know on the forums and I’ll see what I can do. Of course, any new groups have to be related to English or essays in some way. I also run a creative writing website alongside this one, but I am happy to make an exclusive creative writing group for members if there’s enough demand. We could even have a group on English for Employability!

However, there are definitely plans for more specialised courses! I want to make a course on email and letter English, for one. It took me a long time to learn those skills, and I think that we don’t get taught about them enough in school. So, I want to give students the tools to become more employable and look professional. Also, I have plans to make a course on how you can protect yourself from propaganda and fake news. I will probably offer those courses for a flat fee at a discounted price for members. So, watch out for them! They’ll have groups attached.

This is the first service of its kind that I could find on the internet. So, I have nothing to base my ideas off except myself and feedback from members! So, make sure that you let me know what I can do to help you.

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