Fresh faced with my TEFL certificate in hand, my very first English teaching job was in Guinea, West Africa. In a classroom of 45 mixed level, mixed age refugees, my teaching materials consisted of a blackboard, a piece of chalk and my coursebook from the 60s! The students were sharing one coursebook between 4 or 5 so I quickly realised I’d need some photocopies. With no electricity, this was kind of tricky and involved a walk to the local market to find someone with a generator and a working photocopier. It was a steep learning curve but one that taught me the value of improvisation and using what you have available to make learning fun and interactive. Fast forward 10 years and I’m now teaching everything on the Internet using my computer and Google Slides. Here’s how I got there:
Last week, I was talking to another tutor on Skype who was considering trying online tutoring for the first time. We were discussing the benefits of online tuition and how to get started when an email notification popped up on my screen to tell me I had just made a sale of 10 one-to-one Skype lessons. Fantastic! There I was doing a separate activity unrelated to marketing or selling my lessons and I was able to secure a new student for the next 10 weeks. How was I able to do that? With something I believe every online tutor needs… Continue reading
“How many languages do you speak?” That’s the number one question people ask me when I tell them what I do for a living. What’s my answer… one and a half! I’m pretty good at speaking English (although still learning every day) and I’ve got some basic French skills so I’m not bad at ordering cheese sandwiches and can tell you there’s a cat on the table! So why does everyone ask me that question? Because I’m an online tutor and I teach English as a foreign language using Skype. The reality is that I’ve taught students from over 40 different countries but all of my lessons are taught entirely in English.