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How to Succeed in Foreign Language Teaching Overseas

Saturday, July 7th, 2018


What do foreigners do to make some extra cash? Working as an foreign language tutor can supplement your income from teaching in schools or academies, and for some teachers may make up their entire schedule. Here are a few tips to help you succeed as a private tutor, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

How does a newcomer go about finding opportunities to work as a private tutor? Make contacts with students, other teachers, or friends but make sure there is no conflict of interest with your teaching contract with your school. At schools private teachers are often sought after. Secretaries, administrators or receptionists are a great source of information. Another possibility is to put ads up in schools, local papers and magazines, or in bookstores. Sometimes foreign language bookstores have a bulletin board for that very purpose.

What certificate do I have to teach abroad? Often you must become really proficient in the target language and you are ready to prepare for taking a test like the TESOL for English language, JLPT for Japanese language, ALPT for Arabic, etc.

Who do my student be? The first category is children and teenagers. Parents want to give their offspring the best possible options for the future and this means a good background in foreign languages. They also realize that the earlier their children start learning foreign languages, the better. So teaching children can be an important source of income. The next category is students in the business world who discover they need to learn English, Japanese, Korean or other languages because their company has been sold or they start to work in a multinational corporation. Finally, there are students who study a foreign language for a love of the language and culture.

Keep on task. It’s very easy to slip into simple conversation which is fine if that’s what the student wants but most often students have a specific goal in mind. Don’t stray from that goal. Be friendly but don’t let this become a session of problem-sharing where your student uses the time to vent all the concerns that come up in their work or home. This can happen with overworked adults who welcome the chance to tell someone what’s going on in their lives.

If you’re teaching children or young people, you need to make the lessons fun. Vary the tasks so the students are never bored. Incorporate technology and use short articles and pictures from students’ areas of interest. Go over any concerns the student may have in their language classes at school and review their tests and homework assignments. That may be the principal reason the parents have hired you.

Giving private lessons is like running your own small business. Find out the tax situation in your country. Negotiate the cost of the lessons. Establish your price and find out the typical cost in your area. It’s imperative to establish the rules at the beginning of classes so that you aren’t left with someone who hasn’t paid but keeps promising to pay next time. If the student pays in advance you’ll be spared dealing with collecting fees every single class. Many times students pay in cash and this can be a source of conflict. Be comfortable with handling money. Keep change on hand.

Most of all, enjoy this opportunity to get to know your students better and learn more about their country. Private classes can be rewarding as you see the progress your students make. If they pass the test you prepare them for, give yourself a pat on the back for helping them! Private lessons can be a chance to make friends and create some wonderful memories.

If you’re choosing a great foreign tutor locally for your child, be aware that with all the best intentions you and your tutor may have, children can take an instant unwarranted dislike to new adults in their home. Ask your child which they would prefer as they will then feel involved and it will become their decision to select the private tutor rather than it being forced upon them. If you feel difficult to judge how a person will get on with your child, let’s try TUTOROO. TUTOROO connects people to nearby private language tutors. With TUTOROO, you can have: Japanese class in Singapore, French class in Dubai, Spanish class in Sydney and more. You can also learn English, Korean, Arabic with high quality private tutors. TUTOROO currently operates in 15 cities (Dubai, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong…) with the highest number of foreign language tutors working with TUTOROO.

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