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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 1
Location: Cambridge, Ma

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: TEACHING ONE TO ONE, NEED ADVICE! Reply with quote

I'm a new teacher looking to take some clients one on one and need some advice on where to start. I received my TEFL certification last June and am currently volunteer teaching the Saturday Intermediate ESL class at my local library. I thought I would start as a volunteer to get some experience without the pressure (so far it's been wonderful), and then move toward taking some clients one on one after I've gained a bit of experience and could feel good about charging a fee for my time, (which is where I am now), and when I feel confident enough I thought I could go around to the many schools here in my area and see about teaching some classes and start to transition out of my current field into the ESL field little by little.
A few questions I have are as follows:

* Where to advertise: Craigslist, Harvard, MIT (I live in Boston), other places/publications/websites?

* What should I say in my ad or description? (I have a fair idea, but..) I don't have that much experience yet and so what are some important things to say in my ad, points to touch on, etc.

* What would be a fair rate to ask? (Given I am a new teacher)

* Things I should do/not do. Tricks of the trade that make one to one teaching fun and run smoothly. (I can read up on these things and I will do, but it's helpful to hear from others with experience)

* If I have private students of all levels, how do I pull together lessons for them, do I buy some favorite workbooks, do they buy their own? Lend from library? It seems I may need many workbooks; Integrated, Grammar, Business, etc.. depending on what level the students are and what they want to focus on.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but these are some of the questions that come to mind.

Any thoughts you have to share would be most welcome.


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Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Teaching Adults 1:1 Reply with quote


Hello Carrie,

Teaching 1:1 is very different from classroom teaching and, to my mind, much more satisfying.

In 1:1, your student is the curriculum. An adult studying English will come to you with some knowledge and many gaps - so you have to customize the materials to suit his/her needs. You can choose a coursebook but learn to gloss over what is already known while spending serious time on remedial and/or unknown language patterns. Also, you should be recording the student at the end of each lesson so that he can 'absorb through his ears' between lessons.

I deal with all of this - and other techniques - thoroughly in my e-guide.
I also relate to practical issues such as those you mentioned.
Have a look at my website:

Good Luck!
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Teaching one-to-one Reply with quote

First of all, congratulations on choosing teaching as a career! Teaching one to one is a challenge. However, it can be very rewarding for both teacher and student. Specific sections deal with one-to-one methodology, materials and resources, student motivation and how to set you up as a casual one-to-one teacher in this profitable sector of the industry. There is help from experienced TEFL professionals, as well as sections on making use of technology in your classroom and how to teach one-to-one with minimal resources. For academic needs visit website:
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there,

Re what you should charge, well you might charge the going rate at first but when you become more experienced I believe it's OK to charge a little more. Teachers anyway are often not very highly paid, and your hourly rate might seem high, but not when you consider the time that you'll take preparing the lesson. Also if you go to their house that's time and money too. If you are dirt cheap people may suspect that you aren't that good seeing as in life one TENDS to get what one pays for!

You can earn more and create a nice group dynamic by combining students of similar levels too.

Re advertising: you can't beat the local shops because your customers will be close to you geographically. I think it's worth being in the phone book too (yellow pages in Europe), though it might be a bit pricey for the first year while you get started.

I've got great games for one to one with kids but nothing at the moment for adults. If you are going to take on any kids check out the video demo here for ideas:

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