Chinese language, be it Mandarin, Cantonese, Shainghainese, or another dialect, opens so many doors, and gives you access to an ancient and fascinating culture.
1.3 billion Chinese speakers around the world is no mean feat, with Mandarinophones the most common among them.
As a rising world superpower, we can easily predict that the importance of Chinese will continue to rise in coming years, become necessary to operate on the world stage.
Due to our proximity and close relationship, as well as academic and professional reasons, more Australians are now choosing to learn Mandarin.
It has been a mainstay of the Australian curriculum for many years, but has never been much more than learning colours and simple words. For this reason, many students tend to learn at university.
Therefore, strike now while the iron is hot and offer your services as a Chinese tutor and inspire the masses!
The first and most difficult step will be finding students to get your career ball rolling.
Follow our handy guide as we talk you through the steps of finding your prospective new students!
As the old Chinese proverb says:
"One cannot become useful without being educated."
Make Your Presence Felt in International Business
Do you specialise in Chinese business? Here are some recommendations for finding students.
Use multinational companies as a starting point.
As the 2nd superpower, and Australia's biggest trading partner, relations with China are becoming more strongly felt in our daily lives.
From minerals, industry, energy, to finance, there are hundreds of Australian companies (even governments) who deal regularly with Chinese firms, a trend which will only continue to rise.
Having an understanding in a foreign language, this will put you in great stead professionally. Mandarin is one of the most highly valued languages on a global scale, so mastery of it will permit you to:
- Create and send emails in Chinese
- Proofread and translate documents from English to Chinese and vice versa
- Communicate directly with Chinese counterparts and suppliers
- Converse with Sinophones in formal and informal contexts
If you're serious about boosting your career, Chinese is the way to go.
Now is therefore the time to offer your services to big international companies and get in while language use is on the rise.
You could even inquire about staging incursions into companies for crash courses in Chinese, or to polish the skills of those who already speak it.
Check here what qualifications you'd need to teach Chinese.
Offer to Give Lessons in Your Immediate Surrounds
You've just begun to teach Chinese, so you'll be asking your family and friends to spruik you as much as possible. Hopefully this will yield results, but in the meantime, seeing who in the neighbourhood or suburb is keen is a prudent first step.
Living in a big city, people might like the local touch that you give, and this could be a reasonable alternative compared to big language schools.
One option is the most viable:
Do a letterbox drop: this should get you noticed quickly, and isn't invasive.
Make sure your paper ad includes all the necessary information so people know what they're getting from your services:
- Private classes or group lessons, in the evening or during the day, intensive or extensive courses
- Chinese language classes for children, adults, high school or university students
- Pedagogical method and materials used to deliver your Chinese lessons
- References and experience, including diplomas in Mandarin or teaching, time spent in China, previously held positions etc.
In addition to your immediate friends and family spreading the word through their networks, word of mouth amongst your neighbours could be the fastest route to success, as they themselves or their children might be keen to learn.
Learn how to set your rates for Chinese lessons.
Be Vocal About Your Classes on Social Media
Do you offer plan to give your Chinese lessons to secondary and university students?
Get with the 21st century programme, and grab their attention where it's the most spent: social media!
Just a simple status detailing your services can reach a massive audience, with more than 60% of Australians now on social media in some capacity.
The people in your potentially 2,000 person strong network may well have similarly sized ones themselves across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Social networks will live up to their namesake and facilitate your contact with students more than you'd ever expect. Direct messaging is highly effective and professional.
Mention your new activity on your socials! Make your Chinese language flair known.
If you're a twitter user, post regular announcements about your product and service, as well as updates on your professional journey.
This is obviously only applicable to private classes you're wanting to give; to become a qualified school teacher of any level, there are state administered teaching exams you need to pass in order to get your teacher's accreditation, most often on top of a degree.
Beyond this, some states will no doubt ask for proof of language skills through an exam. Alternatively, you'll need to be able to prove through an independently administered test by a foreign government or cultural authority that you possess the level required to teach others, or failing this, at least C1 proficiency acquired at university level.
The more experience and linguistic understanding you can show, the greater your chances of finding a wide range of students.
See how to start teaching Chinese for beginners.
Post Ads for Your Services at the Local Shops
Consider asking your local butcher if you can put an ad for your services in the window.
This might not seem the most fruitful, and even a little outdated, but you'd be surprised the foot traffic you'd get in high streets and local hubs that have strong communities, especially amongst the after school /work crowd.
A key consideration for a new private tutor is the locale they want to teach in/are happy to move to for lessons.
You might hold greater appeal for students and parents if you live nearby.
For this reason, posting in shop windows may still bear fruit. It might be a bit trickier than just posting online, but getting into the community's good books will go a long way.
You might already have you ad written, especially if you've already done a letterbox drop.
Consider using this same information for:
- Lesson type
- Methods and tools used
- Public sought
- Professional references and testimonials
- Proposed lesson rates
Most importantly, double check that your details, including phone, email, and ideal contact hours are on there.
Don't be timid - many vendors will be happy to display your poster or ad.
Truly consider this if you're serious about growing your market - you can really get a foot in the door with this one!
Putting Up Flyers in School About Your Chinese Lessons
Branch out to schools and universities to make yourself known.
This will be the hotspots for finding your new pupils.
As Chinese is seen as somewhat specialised, and only the most committed or those with a heritage link tend to take languages all the way to year 12 in Australia, private tutoring is highly sought, especially by HSC and VCE students, as well as those learning Chinese at university,
You'll need to get in contact with the school office to check that it's ok that you post your ads, so make sure you do this first.
University campuses will be much simpler: the flyer board for clubs, societies, ads, and tips will be the place people will go to look directly.
Make sure you have an ad that grabs people's attention so that you stand out from the overwhelming plethora of advertising you can see.
Show that you can help students:
- Advance their Chinese vocabulary
- Perfect pinyin
- Help beginners with Chinese writing (Chinese characters and tones)
- Elucidate on Chinese culture (history, traditions, gastronomy etc),
- Get ready for an upcoming exchange to China.
Let your eye catching ad do the work for you when finding students to teach!
Find out how to prepare for a Chinese class here.
If you feel advanced enough, get in contact with Confucius Institutes directly.
These have been established by the Chinese government with a view to the promotion of Chinese language and culture, and are present in many major cities around the world.
These are the aforementioned cultural body that can validate your Mandarin skills. The proficiency proof is called the HSK, and is a certificate that will generally last for a certain duration.
You may yourself even have students who are preparing for this exam, so will need assistance with the grammar, vocabulary, fluency, and writing skills to pass this exam.
Superprof as the Place to Find Your Students
If you're looking for students, particularly those seeking one on one specialised help, or those looking for assistance with a particular exam or goal, then Superprof is the place to look. You will find dozens of students here who are looking to benefits from your confucian wisdom and linguistic prowess.
Superprof is the first platform of its kind, connecting students and private tutors and letting them establish rapport by communicating directly.
Using the internet and social networks will be a great way to find your first students as so many of us are glued to our phones or computers at any given moment.
It's also worth remembering that tutoring as a profession also involves materials and course books, as well as a range of audio-visual lesson aids to give your student a well rounded experience. This will then need to be complemented by encouraging written and verbal communication between you and them, which will need to be fostered through role plays and language games that textbooks will already have made for you, thus making your life a lot easier as the tutor
It is free for tutors to register on Superprof, and thus more people are using it to find students and get in contact. Tutors and students come from a range of fields, including:
- Higher Education: Perhaps students themselves at university and wanting to share their knowledge, or likewise receive help
- Bilingual Chinese Teachers: Ideal for students looking into translation studies and linguistics, particularly for the HSK
- Native Chinese Language Teacher: For those who really want an authentic experience and solid foundations in the basics
Get information about the rates for Chinese tutors.
A profile only takes 10 minutes to set up, and all you need to do it let students know your location and rates, references, and experiences. The students you want, and who can benefit the most from your help are out there waiting!
Once you've got the students, work out how to plan your Chinese lessons.