Once you have received TEFL certification, the next step is to find teaching jobs. There are many ways to find students but the most obvious one is to offer your tutoring services in a language school or other institute.
The perks of teaching English in a dedicated ESL school is that you won't have to find students yourself, the leg work will already be done for you. You will simply step into a classroom and focus on English language teaching. Your responsibilities will be limited to planning and delivering classes.
If you decide that you would like to teach English privately, perhaps if you are living overseas as a native English speaker, then you must find your own students. There are two different types of students:
- Online students (who you will teach via an online video/audio call)
- Offline students (those who wish to be physically present with you)
The strategies to find students for these two types of teaching jobs are a little bit different, but let's look at common methods for finding students online, to get your ESL business up and running.
Offer Your Tutoring Services Over the Summer Holidays
English teaching is a great way to earn an income. An ESL teacher can also become an English tutor by offering their services at the school or college they work at.
One problem with these kinds of jobs, however, is that the work is often seasonal, meaning that there fewer or no students in the summer holidays.
If you want to keep making an income over the holidays, then you should consider finding students to tutor over the break. The following are some great ways to find non-native English speakers to teach:
- Advertising to your existing students: One fantastic way to become an English tutor is to recruit clients from your already existing ESL teaching job. Before the beginning of the break, tell your students that you will be looking for students to teach English to over the summer and if any students require extra study to prepare them for the next semester of classes, that you can help them at a competitive hourly rate! You can also ask those students to tell other students about your tutoring business.
- Word of mouth: Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your intention to find some students to teach over the holidays. If they hear from anyone else about people looking for English language classes, they will know to put them in contact with you immediately.
- Post an advertisement on the Internet: In this day and age, finding students online is both practical and effective! There are many pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit and Linkedin which will give you access to potential clients. Create a profile and state your teaching experience as well as a brief outline of your teaching philosophy. There are also dedicated sites such as Superprof, where you can post your services online. Combine this with the last tip by asking your friends and family to share your Facebook post about offering ESL classes!
- Hand out pamphlets: Old school? Maybe. But nevertheless, pamphlets are a great way to get your name out there in the community. Places such as supermarkets, schools and bus stops are all fantastic places where people are likely to read your advertisement!
- Ask your colleagues: Let your fellow teachers and tutors know that you are looking for more students. Perhaps they have had to decline some students because their schedule is full. They could send their extra students your way!
If you follow the aforementioned steps before the holidays begin, you will have a whole lot of students excited about your tutoring work online or face-to-face.
You might even get so many clients that you can leave your job as an Eglish teaching and begin a new career as a dedicated private ESL tutor. There are several perks to being your own boss if you are good with people and clients naturally seek your services.
If this is the case for you, then you might want to start looking for ESL students in non-native English language communities such as ethnic or religious groups. Go to local churches, sporting clubs and community centre and see if they will allow you to post a flyer.
How to Teach English at a Tutoring Centre
If marketing sounds extremely exhausting for you, you could always offer your services through a tutoring centre. Remember, whichever way you would like to do it, English tutoring skills are always in high demand. You could focus on teaching while a centre with greater resources and outreach focuses on the advertising aspect of the job.
Becoming a tutor to teach English in a tutoring centre will save you time and money on advertising if you plan to become an English tutor.
Tutoring Work Online for Students Taking Standardised Tests
English language tests are a pivotal part of the ESL system and are crucial for non-native English speakers wanting to prove their English language ability for migration, citizenship, University entry or job applications.
Some of the most popular tests for English learners in Australia are IELTS, FCE and CAE. If you are a teacher with some experience and qualifications, you can mentor students who will take these exams, and guide them in their test preparations. Again, finding students online will be necessary for this type of work, but you will be able to charge more for more specialised skills and knowledge.
Once you begin academic tutoring and have success, which you can advertise in the form of testimonials, then you can build your reputation as one of the top tutors for these popular standardised tests. Being a top English language tutor will help you attract many more students in the future.
Finding Students Online
Whether you choose to teach English from your own country or teach English abroad, the most flexible and reliable way to earn money is online, where you can use your TESOL certificate to advertise to millions of students around the globe.
This can all be done from the comfort of your home. However, here's what you'll need to do first to teach English as a foreign language online:
- Offer your services on freelancing websites such as Freelancer, Fiverr and Upwork. Create a professional-looking profile explaining your experience and credentials as an English teacher, as well as any TEFL certificate you may hold. Make it clear what type of classes you are willing to teach, such as one-on-one or conversational classes. If you speak English as a second language, also post your IELTS score or any relevant English testing scores you have received.
- Write a brief but inspiring bio about yourself, as well as uploading a professional and smart-looking profile picture.
- Set your initial rates low because it will be hard to find clients online when you are just beginning. Once you start getting clients, you can increase your rates depending on the amount of experience you now have.
- Engage potential clients via proposals to prospective students. Provide them with a sample (such as a free first class) or some testimonials from former students. Give them a reason to choose you over other tutors. Introduce yourself to them and tell them about your academic background.
- If they choose to be your client, negotiate the timing and hourly pay in accordance with your qualifications and experience.
- To find more clients, promote yourself on social media.
The above mentioned online method is for those interested in freelance tutoring. Once you build up a sufficient client base, you can be a full-time freelance tutor. You could also divide your time between freelancing and being an English tutor with a large reputable community such as Superprof or iTalki.
Learn about managing teaching students with dyslexia here.
Advice for Online Tutoring
Teaching is a rewarding job, but even more rewarding than teaching English is earning a passive income for yourself! Passive income is the money you make without doing any extra work.
Of course, you have to put some work in at the start, but once it's out there, you will continue to receive money without having to put in any further effort.
A prime example of passive income for English teachers is creating English course material and uploading it to websites such as YouTube and Udemy.
You online have to create the content once, then advertise your materials and attract students who are willing to purchase your course material.
This can build your reputation in the online marketplace, as well as creating a portfolio of your work which will attract potential employers' interest.
Once you have a large amount of interest in your work, you can create a personal website or blog to keep in touch with your client base and tell them about new services you are offering.
Of course, finding students online does not end there. Tutoring work online is an effective solution to the problem of how to teach English in these modern times. To become an English tutor is to work a meaningful and rewarding profession, with millions of potential clients all over the globe. Tutoring work online is a growing and lucrative field, so why not get started today?