What traits should an EFL teacher have in teaching one-to-one Business English?
.As I learned from the 50-hour CTBE course, teaching business English always involves one-to-one mode. Imagine there is a student who is a high profile business person in China. He needs to learn English for his own Business work and he prefers one-to-one lessons. Then, what traits should an EFL teacher have in order to get this teaching job? In this essay, I would like to use this case to discuss some attributes that a businessman would seek in an EFL teacher and why he would demand those traits.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Lisha L.
English language + business knowledge
First, the EFL teacher should have a broad knowledge of English language and some basic knowledge of the businessman’s first language. If the teacher is a native speaker, he/she will have a high priority in winning the businessman’s trust and getting this teaching job. This is because native speakers are likely to be good models of speaking, more accurate in language use and know the grammar instinctively. Moreover, the teacher is expected to know some of the student's native language and prepares the English courses based on his learning needs. In this case, if he/she knows the businessman’s native language - Chinese, they may have better communications and the businessman can fully address his learning needs.
Also read: Evaluation and Testing of Students in the ESL Classroom
Good teaching background and practice
Second, the EFL teacher should have good teaching background and practice. He/she is expected to have a recognized teaching qualification. This is a proof of professional training, like a driver license of a driver. The teacher is also expected to have a degree level of education. Majoring education and language subjects is preferable. This proves that he/she is well-educated and equipped with this language expertise. The businessman can rely on his/her teaching. After that, he/she is expected to have more than three years’ English teaching experience. Experienced teachers are likely to know more about how to teach and guarantee the businessman’s learning effect. Last but not least, the teacher should be highly responsible for teaching and like teaching English. This is important because it determines whether he/she can keep good quality of teaching.
Knowledge about the business industry
Third, the EFL teacher should know something about business industry, like learning and have some skills in communication and IT. Having some working experience in business industry is preferable, or at least, he/she should be familiar with some business culture in English speaking countries. This is because he/she can help the Chinese businessman cope with some business terms in English and provide useful cross-cultural tips. In addition, the teacher should like to learn and have good communication skills.
I believe that a good EFL teacher is also a good learner. He/she should always learn how to become a better teacher. As for communication skills, it may be self-evident that teaching and learning is a process of communication. Therefore, good communication can guarantee good learning results. Furthermore, the teacher should have proficiency in Microsoft programs and computer usage. In this case, the businessman may prefer to use a computer to learn, so he may need a tutor who is also good at it in order to help him with English learning.
Also read: 7 Great Resources for Teaching Business English
Honesty, Patience & Easygoingness are key
Fourth, an EFL teacher’s good personal characters may be also taken into the learner’s consideration. For example, the teacher is expected to be honest, patient and easygoing. When the businessman has problems, he/she could encourage him to overcome them and be always supportive throughout his study. The teacher is also expected to be punctual for the businessman’s one-to-one tutorials and can come to his company to provide them. It may be sometimes difficult for the businessman to rearrange his timetable or meet the teacher at another venue.
Manage your classes well
Finally, there may be some other traits that a business English learner would seek from an EFL teacher, such as schedule, age, and course price. In terms of scheduling, the teacher is expected to have a flexible timetable in order to adapt to the businessman’s learning schedule. Since he is a high profile business person and always busy with his work, flexible timing is more suitable for him to learn English.
In addition, the teacher should be above 24 years old, but not too old. A younger tutor is likely to be inexperienced in teaching and lack of business knowledge. However, if the tutor is older than 50 years old, he/she may not have enough energy to keep his teaching up to date. As for course price, the teacher is expected to have a proper price for his/her teaching services. This should be written in a tutoring contract for legal protection. Charging too little or too much is non-professional, which seems that he/she may not know the entire language teaching market.
Also read: 7 Awesome ESL Conversation Activities to Really Get Your Students Talking
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