There are many opportunities for one-to-one ESL tutors, and having some idea of the differences between group classes and one-to-one teaching can help you decide if this is something you want to pursue.
Differences Between One-to-One and Teaching Group Classes
- Individual classes can be quite intense. Moreover, an hour at a time is enough for most students.
- You cannot rely on a pair or group for encouraging interaction. You are your student’s only partner, so you will need to develop and adapt activities with that in mind.
- Tutoring can take place anywhere: in a coffee shop, at someone’s house, in a classroom, at the library… You and your student can decide on the most effective meeting place for you.
- Scheduling is flexible. You and your student can choose the time that best fits your schedules. You are not confined to the operating hours of a school or business.
Some Tips for One-to-One ESL Tutoring
- Take time to assess your students’ language level at the start. Find out what his or her goals are for learning. Plan to evaluate your student’s progress after a set number of tutoring sessions. Students need to feel that they are making progress.
- Be consistent. Keep the same schedule as much as possible. This helps students stay on track with their tutoring, and encourages them to build the sessions into their regular routine.
- Have a plan. You can ‘wing it’ once or twice, but a professional tutor, like a professional teacher, is prepared for lessons. An internationally recognized TESOL course is a smart investment!
- Choose materials that are relevant and useful to your student. Then you have the flexibility to work with whatever your student is interested in: take advantage of it!
- Also, help your student set goals. This provides a focus for your tutoring sessions and helps provide a basis for evaluating your student’s progress. In addition, every month, or every other month, take some time in your sessions to review the goals and decide on new ones if needed.