Wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection and a device to connect through, you can teach virtually anyone from anywhere in the world interested in learning English.
Well, that may be the general view of someone who has not done it before OR is hoping to buy you in. Behind the scene, there is actually more to it and I am not talking about a source of electricity that is surely helpful! 😉
1. Your ability to speak English may need a little investigation.
If you wish to teach English to foreigners (ESL or EFL) you need to consider two major issues, your accent and a valid certification of your skills.
Strong accent can become one of the first weak points if foreigners find your pronunciation hard to understand and they are only starting to learn or have a conversation.
On the other hand, some students actually deliberately look for a teacher with a specific accent to adjust their ear and mouth to it may it be for living or business purposes.
Then, do you have a certificate to prove your level? As a native speaker or a foreigner, you may be required to show your degree in education and/or in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) https://www.tefl.com/.
2. Answer yourself if you know what sort of English you wish to teach
Most of the time, this is tightly connected with what sort of students you want to focus on.
If it is kids, teenagers or adults, business people or exam takers, they all need a specific approach, different teaching methods as well as effective materials to help them reach their goals.
Believe me, a teenager will be reluctant to buy a book and study paper materials with you while a mother at home studying for an exam to improve her chances for a better job position will be so happy for one.
Understanding and following your student needs is your mantra in teaching.
3. Are you a teacher or just an English speaker?
You may think that a natural conversation with foreign students over everyday tasks and free time activities cannot but improve the majority of their language skills.
But I can assure you, you will not succeed in improving speaking skills of an introvert by asking him:“ How was your day? What have you been up to?“
Getting to know the personality of your student will help you find the best approach to match the way they understand, memorize and learn new things. We are all unique, thus we need a unique approach.
4. The last to start with, have you got the time to teach?
After you realise what is it you want to teach and what sort of students you can handle; after you learn a bit about their culture, the place they come from and adjust yourself to their time zone, you also need to plan your teaching schedule to fit in your day with other activities you want to dedicate your life to.
Are you married? Any children? Hobbies? Pets? They all need their attention (and so do you!) and let´s face it, most of them in the afternoon and early evening (if not all day !) when everybody is at home from school and work and the family-together atmosphere is beaming from everywhere.
But not in the house of an online teacher!
You see, this time is also the peak time of demand for English lessons, the time when your students have come home from their jobs and schools. The time when you have to be ready for them, provide them with quality undisturbed lessons that you have been preparing in the morning and then find time to write feedbacks from the lessons and send out homework or correct whatever needs to be revised.
Have you come up with a plan on how to compensate for that?
Try to find an equilibrium of your time and working time, so this job does not eat you alive but becomes a pleasurable encounter with interesting people that enrich your life with their life stories and you enhance theirs by opening the door to the English world for them.
So if you think you have what it takes, you can try joining our team that will help you with a smooth start.
Autorka článku: Kamila Koutná
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