YES. Teaching English to private students is a very common practice for thousands of teachers who live and work abroad. For many it offers a great way to earn extra income on top of a salary earned from working in a language school, while for others it becomes a full-time job once they have found enough clients. In certain situations, working as a private tutor is the most common form of income for foreign teachers. In some large European cities where language schools tend to only hire teachers from within the European Union, you will find large numbers of American teachers working as private tutors due to the high demand for English language instruction. Whether it is your main income or just to top up your salary, working as a private English language tutor can be a perfect option for many TEFL certified teachers.
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Probably the most important step you can take is to become TEFL/TESOL certified before you start teaching. Completing an internationally accredited certification course will not only provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to plan and deliver successful lessons, but it will also provide you with a qualification that shows prospective clients that you are a serious teaching professional.
When looking to attract your first clients there are several things you can do to increase your appeal. Contacting other teachers that are already working in the local area is a simple yet highly effective way of getting the inside knowledge to help you get started. The next step is to advertise your services. The most common method of advertising is to post fliers on notice boards in areas frequented by students, such as universities and coffee shops etc. Having a few business cards at hand is also recommended as you might meet potential clients at any time of the day or night. When advertising your services it is also recommended that you have a local phone number that clients can use to contact you. Expecting clients to phone an international number is a guaranteed way to lose business. Another great way to attract students is to offer incentives in your advertising. Offering a free introductory lesson, as well as discounts for purchasing multiple sessions, are both tried and tested methods for getting customers through the door. Giving free lessons or discounts to clients who refer new students is also an effective strategy for increasing your client list. By utilizing these common methods for attracting clients, you should find that working as an independent English language tutor is a viable option whether full or part-time.