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How to tutor English online

How to tutor English online

01.08.2022
Luke
Luke
Blog / Tips and tricks

Online tutoring is becoming more and more popular, and classroom tutoring (in students’ home or apartment) is slowly becoming less attractive than those conducted with the use of popular instant messaging services. Virtually everyone who has knowledge (not necessarily complete) in some field can become a tutor today. Today, the most important soft skill, apart from fluent use of multimedia devices, is the knowledge of foreign languages, especially English, which is still the most frequently used language in international communication, business, politics and diplomacy. Conducting online teaching is very simple today: it is enough to register on one of the many virtual platforms that mediate between teachers and potential clients.

Prerequisites for working as a remote English tutor

To give tutoring remotely, you need a stable internet connection, a webcam in a laptop (or a camera on a tripod) and the ability to use communicators. Most teachers provide tutoring via the popular Skype. You also need a separate, quiet place (at the tutor’s home / office and at the client’s home), where there is no background noise, and at the same time you can pronounce words and sentences loud and clear, which is very important in the case of learning foreign languages. Hence, a set of good headphones with a sensitive microphone is needed so that the customer can hear the accent, intonation and emotional color of the words, idioms, phrases and phrases in English. The basic prerequisite for successful English tutoring is the principle that the language should be mastered at least at the level that you want to teach it.

Action plan – the basis of on-line activities

It is best to call the client after registering on the tutoring platform and receiving the first tutoring order and agreeing on a lesson plan. The first online lesson is more of a test of the tutor’s teaching skills than the beginning of the actual learning. Most tutors give the first lesson for free, which encourages contact with a larger group of people. During the course, it is necessary to determine, first of all, the level of the client’s language competences, i.e. the level of advancement of the client and his “starting level”.

First lesson – how to make good lesson plan?

During the first lesson, you can present your skills, talk in English with the client (if he knows the language at a beginner level) or say a few words about himself, if he has at least passive knowledge of the language. This makes a good impression, and the client can then become familiar with the accent, get used to the intonation and the timbre of the teacher’s voice. It is also good to determine which materials and multimedia aids will be used by both the tutor and the client. The basic tools in the work of an online tutor are e-mail, Skype or Zoomi (both programs have the screen sharing function, which makes work easier), cloud drive services – preferably Google Drive (where you can share homework, check and evaluate them), a virtual diary for assessing the client’s progress, i.e. Google Classroom, quiz applications, as well as applications for creating notes and flashcards, of which there are a lot on the web. It is worth using all types of Internet content in teaching English: texts, moving and still images or sound files (broadcasts, audiobooks, songs).

The form of classes and the client’s possibilities

Each tutor is de facto a teacher, just like in class or at home. Without basic pedagogical skills and psychological knowledge, it is not easy to get started, although it is not impossible. First of all, you should teach at the level of the client at the start. One should be able to empathize with the situation, be able to approach everyone individually, with empathy, but also sometimes firmly. You shouldn’t stop learning without a reason, and the lesson should last between 45-60 minutes. It is best to teach the language through conversation, dialogue, without learning “words” by heart, although at the beginner level some grammatical rules must be learned by heart by the client.

You also need to unlearn bad perfectionism and give the customer self-confidence. Anyone, even in late adulthood, can learn a foreign language, and compared to other things, English is relatively simple. Let speak even with errors, but do not interrupt. Teach that you need to understand the meaning and context of what you say, not focus on the meaning of separate words. This way, learning is more effective and easier.

It is helpful to watch movies with English subtitles or with an English teacher (even short movies, e.g. on YT, TikTok, etc.), reading articles or books in English (you can also learn to recognize different types of English, used in different parts of the world), and also listening to entertainment songs which are mostly performed in English. The most important thing in online English tutoring is to maintain the attention, motivation and interest of clients at the appropriate level (which is more difficult than face-to-face), as well as to make them aware that today English opens up wide opportunities at the university, in a professional career and that it is very difficult to be successful in life without even basic knowledge of this beautiful language.

About Luke
About Luke

Bicycle enthusiast and movie fan.

Always looking to improve something

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