Our Team

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

 

Here are illum.e, our passionate and driven educators do both - in being the candles to light the fire and motivations of learning and to be the mirror to help your child achieve their utmost. Every tutor is carefully selected, trained and groomed to help your child achieve excellence. 

Illum.e English, Humanities & GP Tuition

Timothy Joshua Chia-Lee

Curriculum Lead and Head Tutor

Former MOE Subject Head of English, innovating redesigns of curricula with 21st century learning and alignment to the latest English Syllabus 2020. Having taught since his National Service days, Timothy possesses decades of teaching and tutoring experience in English and General Paper along with expertise in leading and training other educators and professionals.

Winner of multiple education and teaching awards with MOE, inclusive of multiple Outstanding Contribution Awards (individual), innovation awards, and MOE AST’s Innovator Award for English Language and Literature (2020), Timothy was awarded the English Language Institute of Singapore’s Research Grant in 2018, with completed research on English Language Writing, which was published in the ELIS Research digest on Classroom Inquiry, and presented at the Singapore’s Teachers’ Conference in 2019. He is also certified by Research for Better Teaching (RBT) as part of the Skillful Teaching Programme (STP). 

Featured in MOE’s micro-teaching videos for Differentiated Instruction, Timothy is a big believer in Differentiated Instruction (Tomlinson, 1999), understanding the unique differences that unlocks how students learn in their personalised ways to achieve success. Timothy is also the curriculum director at Edimpact, a leading education and training consultancy firm in Singapore, spearheading the development of workshops, webinars and modules to and coach to educators locally and internationally to improve their pedagogy and redesign school curricula for better, deeper learning. Timothy thus leads the illum.e team in ensuring that lessons are designed and strategically customised so that every child can achieve their fullest potential to grow with every lesson.

Timothy has wrote multiple assessment books with Marshall Cavendish, and serves as their educational consultant for English Language. He is also a published author in books on poetry and short stories. He is a featured panelist in Singapore Writers’ Festival 2021 & 2022 and has a following of tens of thousands of readers worldwide through various social media platforms

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Roger-Etienne

English Language Lead

Former MOE English teacher with decades of experience since he began teaching in 2000. With a wide repertoire of teaching experiences in multiple primary and secondary schools across all streams, ‘Mr Roger’, as he is fondly called by his students, is an English Language specialist who leads illum.e’s team in ensuring high quality English language learning. 

His pedagogic strength lies in making the English Language simple to grasp and apply for all students, by demystifying the complexities of language through step-by-step strategies of  Scaffolding (Ninio & Bruner, 1978) and Making Thinking Visible (Ritchhart, 2011). With his sound pedagogy, his students are able to appreciate the nuances of the language and grow in self-confidence in the English Language. 

Mr Roger believes that every child can and wants to learn when given the opportunity to succeed and with encouragement. As an affable and passionate educator, his former students have described him as their “best teacher ever”, “favourite teacher”, “the teacher who made me understand and appreciate English”, and under his guidance, students have improved rapidly by two to four grades.

Mr Roger is also a seasoned choral and solo performer, singing locally and overseas for various performances to large audiences. He translates these skills into his teaching of English, particularly in the finer points of oral communication, to guide students to be composed in oral examinations, public speaking and to use good articulation, pronunciation and voice projection.

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David Lee

IP and Humanities Specialist

MOE-trained teacher and subject coordinator with a decade's experience designing and teaching engaging curricula anchored on the belief that every child can and will do well. With a wide repertoire of teaching approaches across all streams and streams, Mr Lee's pedagogic strength lies in making the subject simple to understand and score in for all students, with those under his charge improving in confidence and frequently making the jump from fail to distinction.

A firm believer in Piaget’s work and cognitivism, Mr Lee's lessons builds upon various conceptualised models and tools to help learners process information better, and to organise instructions in a sequenced and understandable, meaningful manner. This is why many students have found his lessons to be distinctively impactful to their learning after one or two lessons!

At illum.e, we believe in having top school alumni teach your children. It is an unfortunate fact that many teachers of our children in mainstream and even I.P. schools had average or below-average PSLE/academic scores in their own student days. Holding a Masters in Education, and currently completing his doctoral studies, the soon to be Dr Lee was a top student in his educational life, and a graduate from Raffles Junior College. He is also the recipient of several Outstanding Contribution and innovation awards from MOE and has also presented at the MOE Teachers' Conference and ExCEL Fest. He strongly believes in interactive and meaningful classroom experiences to stretch the boundaries of every child's learning, to ensure that every child takes away more knowledge at the end of the lesson always.

As an avid believer in the growth mindset, Mr Lee regularly represents Singapore in his spare time on various educational networking platforms, including at the Asia-Europe Foundation's Classnet Conference in Tokyo, Japan. He has also written scientific papers spearheading research into invasive species in Singapore as well as led efforts to collect data on microplastics in NParks' marine conservation survey. In his spare time, he writes poetry for relaxation.

GP Curriculum

Liew Shan Hao

Language and GP Specialist, JC2 Lead

Teacher with 8 years of teaching experience, having taught in MOE Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges. With an NUS double major in Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies, Shan Hao is illum.e’s resident curriculum expert for politics, economy, governance, Southeast Asia and the wider Asian Region.

As a polyglot, Shan Hao is fluent in English, Mandarin, Thai, Indonesian, with moderate proficiency in regional languages like Vietnamese. Having served as an official translator in many settings, including for NUS, Shan Hao applies this experiences with language acquisition and cross-cultural interaction to assist students, including non-native speakers, in the mastery and learning of English.

A firm believer in cross-disciplinary learning, Shan Hao’s pedagogical focus hones critical thinking within students (Bailin et al. 1999b) to help them understand abstract ideas and themes between the ‘O’ and ‘A’ level syllabi, particularly through the use of examples and non-examples to stimulate critical understanding (Dewey, 1910, 1933). Many students enjoy his lessons because he is able to articulate and explain complex concepts or ideas in an understandable way without undermining intellectual vigour.

illum e -English, Humanities and GP tuition

Teo Yin Xuan

English Language Specialist

An NTU linguistics and multilingual studies major with a strong interest in how languages affect the brain, Yin Xuan has extensive experience in mentoring and guiding students from Primary, Secondary and Junior College levels in their subject mastery. Always keen and passionate in language acquisition in and outside of the classroom, Yin Xuan believes in building a firm rapport to ensure a conducive and empowering classroom experience. 

With students feeling at ease to clarify their doubts and to seek help whenever she is in class, Yin Xuan constructs her pedagogy based on Ivan Hannel’s ‘A Pedagogy of Questioning’ (Hannel, 2013), in order to prompt effective questioning, and build a hierarchy of mental acts in the minds of the students to understand the broad patterns and strategies that they are learning. As American Engineer W. Edwards Deming once mentioned “without questions, there is no learning”, and Yin Xuan builds upon this to structure her lessons to be dynamic, and highly participatory in nature to benefit learners of all types who stay engaged and enjoy their learning.

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YEO JIA QI

Language and GP Specialist, JC1 Lead

An NTU Linguistics and Multilingual Studies graduate with a second major in Public Policy and Global Affairs, Jia Qi is an experienced teacher who draws on his extensive understanding of both language and the world to help students gain deeper insights into their English and General Paper. A Prime Minister’s Book Prize for Bilingualism winner, Jia Qi is effectively bilingual and can teach in both English and Mandarin, empowering students to express themselves and appreciate the various building blocks of language.

A Nanyang Scholarship recipient and Dean's Lister, Jia Qi is a straight As student who also attained first-class honours in his university course, and he brings both his energy and pursuit of excellence into the classroom to help students to achieve their best and cultivate intellectual curiosity. Passionate about helping students understand the complexities of the modern world, Jia Qi’s lessons are based on Critical Thinking Pedagogy (Brookfield, 2011), encouraging students to ask questions and think deeply, systematically and evaluatively. As Confucius advised, "learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous". Convinced that the joy of learning comes not just from discovering new things but seeing what was previously known in a new light and drawing previously unseen connections between things and across disciplines, he always seeks to distil what he teaches into easily understood principles and techniques that students can efficiently and independently apply.

A true linguist at heart, Jia Qi will be looking to fulfil his further goals in academia after he achieves his objective in making a difference to his students’ lives at illum.e. His other interests include writing science fiction, with a short story of his having once won first prize in an A*STAR competition.

 

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Daniel Sia

Principal Economics Tutor (The Upgrade)

Award winning Ex-Junior-College Lecturer, with working experience in the Ministry of Finance. Mr Daniel is The Upgrade and illum.e’s Principal Economics Tutor with extensive years of teaching experience.

Having graduated with First Class Honours  from the London School of Economics in Mathematics and Economics, and a Masters of Arts in Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences from Columbia University, Mr Sia is not only highly qualified as an expert in the field of economics, but is also a distinguished teacher.

Having won multiple awards in MOE, Mr Sia achieved his Postgraduate Diploma in Education with Distinction, and a distinction grade in teaching practice, from the National Institute of Education. As a staunch advocate of Socratic Questioning, students leave his economics classes with thoughtful perspectives and better conceptual grasp of various economic concepts and statistics. Furthermore, Mr Sia employs personalised feedback and differentiated instruction in his lessons, ensuring that no student learning experience is one and the same.

Mr Sia, ever committed to being a master in Economics, spends his leisure time in the field, lecturing in various institutions and also mentors others with the Harvard Business School Club of Singapore Mentorship Programme.

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KP Chuah

Language and General Paper Specialist

An NIE-trained English and GP teacher, KP has taught General Paper and English for more than a decade. A decorated educator with a Masters of Education from NIE and a CELTA Teaching Certificate by Cambridge, KP is deeply passionate about helping students unlock and reach their greatest potential.

KP's pedagogy involves breaking things down into simple and easy-to-remember bits of information, so that students can easily grasp complex subjects like GP and English. Students have experienced massive improvement in exams by applying the skills learned. He is a big believer in blended learning (Bergmann 2012) and its potential to optimize the time spent in class — rather than just assimilating information, class time should be spent on higher-order thinking activities and receiving feedback from tutors. He began experimenting with blended learning even before COVID-19 hit and before Zoom was a thing.

Dedicated to helping as many students as he can, KP is often recognised by students for running his various GP and English workshops or webinars on YouTube which are free for all students to attend. His online crash courses have thousands of viewers from all over the world. One of his missions in life is to see students succeed in not just GP, but also in all the other aspects of their lives. After all, English and GP are all about encouraging students to exercise their critical thinking skills so that they can make sound decisions in life.

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Charis Liang

English Language and Literature Specialist

With over 5 years of teaching experience in English Language and Literature, including World Literature and TOK for IB students, Charis has a proven track record in raising the grade levels of students from different backgrounds, and even across the world. Charis is a firm believer in the Cognitive Flexibility Theory (Spiro, Feltovitch & Coulson) through structures which form a step-by-step framework for students to easily understand which are yet highly adaptive and flexible in order for them to critically engage with texts and sources. Her lessons are known to be deeply engaging, and enable students to understand the deeper nuances in language.

Formerly from the University of Oxford and is currently pursuing a double degree in Linguistics and Multilingual Studies and English from NTU, Charis was a graduate from the IB system, having graduated from Hong Kong's famed Li Po Chun United World College  with a 41/45 and 7/7 at English Langlit HL, with full marks in her extended essay.

Charis is also a published and award-winning poet, and a recipient of the prestigious Sir Roger Newdigate Prize for Best Composition in English verse by an undergraduate at the University of Oxford. Under her writer's name of Laura Jane Lee, she has published two volumes of poetry, and have been published or featured in The Straits Times, Tatler Asia, QLRS and many other literary journals. A passionate writer who instils a love of language within her students, she founded KongPoWriMo and Subtle Asian Poetry Collective, and her work has been awarded in various international competitions including the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, Out-Spoken Poetry Prize and the Poetry London Mentorship Scheme, among others.

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Nur Sabrina

Language and General Paper Specialist

Passionate teacher who has several years of teaching experience with primary, secondary and junior college students. Sabrina has extensive knowledge on guiding students and breaking concepts down to simple building blocks based on their schema (Piaget - Schema and Cognitivism). Believing that students should have fun while learning, she incorporates different elements of engaging students while building on their prior knowledge and experiences to enable impactful and swift learning. Additionally, she constantly incorporates the use of multimedia and other educational technological tools and strategies to keep students on their toes and to ensure that learning based on real-life scenarios goes beyond classrooms. Most importantly, while scaffolding students so lessons are always catered to their learning needs, Sabrina is always on the look out to enhance her pedagogy through novel ways and techniques to keep lessons interesting.

A voracious reader at heart, Sabrina has a keen interest in all things language, especially in how abstract thoughts materialize into words. As an expert on Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, she continuously delves into her passion in languages. She is also known for being an expert in the intricacies of grammar, having been trained on the structures of the English language from word to phrase and to sentence/paragraph levels, and is adept in helping students who need help in their foundational building blocks of language.

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Joachim Chia

Language and Primary School Specialist

A former MOE Primary School English teacher with over a decade of teaching experience,  Mr Joachim Chia has helped many students over the years achieve better results in English by breaking down the components and helping them understand the requirements better. As a firm believer of Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, he is able to enable students to pick up simple or abstract concepts through role-modelling, thinking aloud strategies and simulating thinking processes. Through this, hundreds of students have improved their English learning with his mentoring, especially with the use of the Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional framework.

With the aim of helping his students become empathetic communicators, discerning readers and creative inquirers, Joachim is constantly finding new ways to make his lessons engaging, fun and interesting. Lessons are known to be engaging and interactive, with close feedback and attention to close learning gaps.

Joachim’s patient and caring approach to teaching ensures that his students are able to develop a deep understanding of the language and become confident and motivated learners. 

In his free time, Joachim is an avid basketball player, always keen to improve his skills and teamwork on and off the court, although he spends most of his free time having fun learning with his three children. 

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