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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Re: Certification for teaching private lessons

Posted By: nomad soul
Date: Monday, 26 May 2014, at 4:40 p.m.

In Response To: Certification for teaching private lessons (OEC)

I'm interested in becoming a private tutor for those who want to improve their English speaking skills (in the U.S. and, potentially, when I travel or live abroad in the future). Does anyone have any advice as to what level of certification I should seek - TEFL? TESOL? Considering my goal, is certification necessary at all?

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Generally, those who need tutoring in English are foreign students in US university intensive Engish programs. Keep in mind these English language centers also provide additional (and free) support for students, most of whom struggle with academic writing and not speaking.

Adult newcomers who plan to make the US their home have the opportunity to learn English either through 1) community ESL programs at their local community college or vocational school; 2) non-profit ESL refugee/adult literacy organizations that offer short-term, inexpensive classes in basic writing and speaking as well as English for citizenship; or 3) private language schools and not-for-profit training centers that also provide classes in English for hospitality, workplace, etc. Employers typically hire highly-qualified (MA degreed), experienced teachers. Non-profit organizations also rely on the support of volunteer teaching assistants or in-class tutors to assist the assigned teachers.

As for training and certification, for the US, check out your state's Dept. of Education's website about obtaining an Adult Basic Education Authorization. Additionally, there are TEFL/TESL/TESOL cert programs offered at universities/colleges and private for-profit language schools. Avoid on-line cert courses altogether as well as onsite courses that don't offer teaching practice with real students.

If you're interested in teaching abroad through an employer, look at job ads in your target countries to see what qualifications and experience employers expect teachers to have and use that as a guide. But generally, a CELTA + a BA will make you marketable for the better entry-level positions overseas. On the other hand, if you expect to support yourself abroad as a private tutor, you'd need to thoroughly research the country's visa regulations, labor laws, and the market for private tutors to see if your plan is realistic. And then there are your living expenses and the logistics of advertising your services, fees, materials/coursebooks, taxes, permits, and other business-related expenses==-in other words, your start-up costs. Ditto for private tutoring in the US.

Anyway, I personally don't see your goal of earning a living as a private tutor as doable. There are too many variables involved including the fact that you're inexperienced.

Messages In This Thread

Certification for teaching private lessons
OEC -- Sunday, 25 May 2014, at 2:24 p.m.
Re: Certification for teaching private lessons
nomad soul -- Monday, 26 May 2014, at 4:40 p.m.

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