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How to be an English Tutor

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How to be an English tutor
When you decide to start a career as a teacher, you must have in mind that it is going to be a complex yet very fun experience. You usually choose either the area you are interested in or the one you have a very strong grip over. In this way, people opt for being a particular subject teacher like a math teacher, English teacher, biology teacher, and so on. 

Being an English teacher

English is one of the most widely spoken languages all over the world, and a lot of people learn it for different purposes. Some learn it for academic purposes, while some learn it for general purposes. For either purpose, learners go to someone who can teach them different aspects of the subject in a more professional way and cater to their learning needs exactly how they want it to be.

If you are planning on becoming an English tutor, there are some factors that will need to be kept in mind. You need to be aware of the general language, english skills, literature, and grammatical aspects of the subject in order to provide your students with the best learning experience they require in order to get a good grip on the subject.

Teaching English is a very promising career. Whether you are working as a school teacher or a private tutor and you are a native english speaker or not, you will have a very bright career option because most students; native and non-native english speakers, are always looking for tutors who can help them master the language on every level, as a first or second language or even as a foreign language

How do you get employed as an English tutor?

There are various ways through which you can get employed as an English tutor. Some people get employed by a certain organization that helps them reach out to the students who are looking for English tutors, whereas some people choose to walk on the road of being an English tutor as an independent tutor. People usually find individuals or families and get into an agreement with them on their own terms without being tied to a particular organization.  
In this way, there are usually two types of English tutors that people usually find when in need of one. They either go to an organization, tell them their learning requirements, and an English tutor as per their requirements is assigned to them. On the other hand, some people go for a personal tutor, and they might know from some source and hire them on a personal basis. 

Responsibilities of being an English tutor

If you are planning on being an English tutor, you are going to need to know some basic responsibilities that you will have to consider once you get on the pathway.

Prepare your lessons beforehand.

First of all, before going in to teach the students or even a single student, you need to be prepared for it beforehand. Delivering a lecture requires you to prepare the lecture first so that you don't have to work on the concepts or understandings while giving the lecture. It will not only waste your time, but it will also impact the productivity of the overall sessions to a greater extent. 

Know the learning requirements well

Be well aware of the learning requirements of your students. You should know thoroughly what the student is expecting so that you can provide the learning environment according to that. If a student wants to learn English for general purposes or simply as a language, then you need to keep your teaching strategy according to that. On the other hand, for a student who wants to learn English for academic purposes, you need to set the goals accordingly. 

Focus on the basic things

There are some basic things in English that you must know and that you need your student to know as well. Grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation are some of the basic factors that you will be teaching your students, whether you are going for an academic approach or a general one. If you lack the knowledge of the basics of English, you will not be able to deliver your lecture for any given purpose.

Set goals and aims

Once you start your tutoring sessions with a student, you need to set goals and aims in order to help them learn thoroughly. You can set long and short-term goals for your students, and throughout the sessions, you are going to help them achieve these goals in order to ultimately achieve the overall goal of a successful lesson. 

Improve literacy skills

Usually, the literacy skills related to English subjects are listening, reading, writing, and speaking. You are going to help your students master these skills as an overall skillset or as per the requirement. You can focus on one more than the other. In any case, these skills are a very important part of the learning lesson. Here are some tips you can follow to improve each of the english language skills
Writing skills
Help your students improve their writing skills by engaging them in different activities like essay writing, keeping journals, etc.
Speaking skills
You can enhance the speaking skills of your students by helping them gain confidence and be more engaged in activities that encourage them to talk more.
Reading skills
Provide your students with fun and engaging reading material that can help boost their reading interests of students.
Listening skills
Tell your students about some informative movies or documentaries that can improve their learning skills.
Track their progress
During your sessions, keep on checking your student's progress and keep track of how well they are learning and performing. This will help you to change strategies as required. You need to keep your teaching pattern in accordance with the learning requirements and styles of your students so that you will witness more progress. If you impose a teaching approach without assessing how well it is doing for the students, then it can turn out to be an effort in vain. So make sure to check the progress of your sessions.

Review assignments and tasks

Teaching the English language requires you to give your students some tasks and assignments. You need to carefully review these tasks in order to be sure what they have gained from the material you have taught them whether you are teaching general or academic English. This will also help you to make better changes in your teaching styles and material so that your students understand better.

Set practical tasks

You need to set both theoretical and practical tasks for your students. It really helps to gain a better grip over the English language when students are provided with a learning environment where they can learn practically and theoretically as well. You can plan out activities that are both engaging and informative for the students.

Skills you need to be a good English tutor.

When you start your journey, you are going to need to work on some main skills required to have a successful career as an English tutor. Here are the skills you need to work on:

Language skills

The first and most important skill you need to work on as an English tutor is your language skills. Before you start teaching someone else, your personal language skills should be of the level that you can teach your students with a good grip over your skills. For this, you need to work on four main areas of your skills that include speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

Communication skills

You should master your communication skills because even with all the knowledge, if you are unable to convey this knowledge to your students, then your tutoring session is not much of a success. If you want your students to gain the similar knowledge that you have, you need to make sure that you are communicating it with them correctly. Communicate with them to know if they are understanding or not. If not, you need to make some changes in your session that can bring out some positive outcomes from your lesson.

Planning lesson 

You have to plan your lessons before actually going in to take the lesson. Take your time, and prepare for the lesson you are going to deliver. Especially when you are working as a private tutor, you will have to make a personalized lesson plan for the students according to their learning requirements and styles of the student. In this way, you will not have to waste your time during the lesson in order to plan a strategy for the student.

Time management

As a private tutor, you should be able to manage your time effectively. You will be given a particular time with a certain learning goal that the student will be expecting as an outcome of the lesson. You need to make sure that you divide your time in such a way that you get to achieve all your aims at a good pace. Other than during the lesson, you need to work on your time management skills in general as well and make sure to be on time for the lesson to avoid wasting time.

Market your skills and services

Both; native and non-native speakers are usually looking for a professional English tutor to help them master their skills. If you think that you have the skills and potential to help people improve their English, then you should market your tutoring services well. This will help you reach more people who are interested in learning English from a tutor.

Here are some tips and tricks that you can follow in order to make your name more prominent in the world of English tutoring:

Social media

One of the most mainstream and efficient marketing platforms right now is social media. A lot of students spend a major chunk of their time on social media, and it has a great impact on the way they make decisions. You can talk about your services by making pages on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or you can join groups where people are posting about either their services as a tutor.
You can look for people putting their tutor hunt requirements on LinkedIn or Facebook to find students who want to learn. You can get in touch with them to proceed with the further process of hiring. 


You can print out simple posters and flyers that you can put up at different places where you are allowed to advertise. When people come across posters and flyers that they find of their interest, they usually note the number or contact given on the flyer to avail the mentioned services. Give a brief intro about your tutoring session on the flyer, and at the end, add your contact number as well. Just make sure not to add too much information that makes the main information fades away. Keep it subtle yet informative.

Connect with an organization

There are different organizations like My Tutor Source that are working with different private tutors and students and helping them gain a common platform where they can deliver and receive the relevant services. You can connect with any tutoring organization to make your presence known to students who are connected to the same organization. With an organization, you don't have to worry about connecting with students on your own. You will only have to worry about your lesson preparation.

Taking the classes: in-person or online tutoring? 

You must be wondering about the best way to deliver your classes. We are here to tell you how you can make the most out of your tutoring career. Before the covid crisis, online learning was not that common, but it is gaining a lot of importance as the world shifted towards online learning more during the lockdown days.

You can choose either way of tutoring based on your preferences. If you have time, you can choose both of these modes in order to maximize your teaching skills.
Here are the benefits of going for each platform:

In-person English tutoring

Usually, there are many activities you can do in class to improve your students' English-related skills, but these activities are to be done in person during private english lessons. For example, if you are planning on doing a skit in class or you have a debate session prepared for your students, it would be better to conduct it in person because, in this way, the students can express themselves better, and you can observe their skills thoroughly.
So if you want are planning on practically working on the skills of your students, go for in-person or private home tutoring sessions and become a private english teacher.

Online English tutoring

Sometimes you and your student are in some far away areas, but you can still make it work by being an online english teacher. As technology is advancing every day, taking online classes has become quite popular and easy and there are so many online teaching jobs.

You can use a zoom app or skype. You can teach your students no matter where they belong. You can get in touch with your students even if they live miles apart. The best thing about teaching online is that you can do it even if you are an in-person tutor.  So many online English tutors are taking English classes through online platforms.

Moreover, you will not be bound to a particular place only. Online english teachers can take your class anywhere you want. Even if you are traveling or far from your home, you can still take your class.


Once you have completed your basic education and are moving towards your career as a tutor, you might need some extra certification to boost your tutoring skills to find abundant tutoring jobs. Usually, based on the location of the tutor, different certifications are offered. You can get a teaching certificate based on your location or service requirement.
You can get a certification related to education, teaching, or any English language-related one to improve your resume and teaching experience. the best option is to get British Council Certified.

Dress appropriately

Being a tutor, you have to make sure that you represent yourself in a good way. Your students are not only going to learn what you are teaching, but they will also adopt the little habits they will observe in their tutor. So you need to make sure that you set a good example in front of them. If you dress up appropriately, it will put up a good impression of you and your teaching style on your students, and they will listen to you more attentively. Dressing inappropriately will show that you are not serious about taking the lesson and teaching students, and if the students would see that their tutor is not serious about taking the lecturer, they won't be serious about it either.

Ready to be an English tutor?

Just a good blend of knowledge and skills, and you can be a good English tutor too. It's your time to help your students make their life better both academically and generally with your tutoring. So are you reading to dive into the world of English tutoring?

Final Words

If you are planning on entering the field of English tutoring, then we are here to assure you that it is very rewarding and interesting to be an English tutor only if you are dedicated enough to make your goals align with your student's goals. Bring your knowledge and skills to use in the form of practicality, and you are good to go!

You can become an online or private English tutor, or you can practice both forms of tutoring side by side as per your choice and make the best out of this promising profession. Just follow these above mentioned tips on how to be an english tutor.

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Austin has 10+ years of experience in teaching. He has researched on thousands of students-related topics, issues, and concerns. You will often find him writing about the common concerns of students, their nutrition, and what is beneficial for their academics and health both.