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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 Tutoring and Teaching Group Classes
- Individual classes can be quite intense. An hour at a time is enough for most students.
- You cannot rely on 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. You have the flexibility to work with whatever your student is interested in: take advantage of it!
- Help your student set goals. This provides a focus for your tutoring sessions, and helps provide a basis for evaluating your student’s progress. Every month, or every other month, take some time in your sessions to review the goals and decide on new ones if needed.