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Am I qualified to tutor?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by deyazuba, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Hi. I am starting university in the autumn and I would like to earn some extra cash on the side. To do so, I am thinking of tutoring Italian to other students. I studied the International Baccalaureate at sixth form, and I did Italian for beginners and I got a level 6 (7 being the highest grade, and 1 the lowest). I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I'd say I'm rather good at Italian. (Some confidence issues with speaking, but pretty good).

    So my question is, am I qualified to tutor Italian? I'd be teaching at beginners level only, in one on one lessons. If so, how much do I charge? I did some research online, and most charge £20-40 per hour, but since I'm not a qualified tutor, and I'm teaching Uni students, I'm thinking between £10-15? Too much or too little?

    Thank you!
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    As long as you make it clear in your ads that you are not actually a qualified teacher.

    I teach Italian, My teaching qualification is in French and Spanish and I have learnt my Italian as an adult, mainly at intensive language courses in Italy. I always make it clear that it is my third language. The demand in my area is mainly people learning for holidays or for retirement so there are no exam requirements to think about although some do want a bit of grammar as well as the basics.

    If you are looking to tutor Uni students, think about your own studies and needs...for your university course, would you pay someone who was not a qualified teacher? I wouldn't. I would want someone who is familiar with the course etc, not just the subject knowledge. maybe you could earn some money teaching the basics to the kind of people I teach. Most of my clients learning Italian are learning for pleasure for holidays. There is nowhere local to me that offers Italian so I do no get requests for people learning for exams
  3. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    I would echo everything langteacher has said. (I too am a qualified MFL teacher, with French/German as my specialism, and Spanish as my 3rd language, and when I get enquiries for Spanish - which is infinitely more popular than German - I always make it clear that it is not my specialism.)

    I would also add the following food for thought to help you answer your own question...

    1) Why have you chosen to tutor (rather than, say, work in a shop/bar...)? Do you have ambitions to teach as a future career? If you are only just starting university, what 'teaching' experience do you have? (e.g. Before I went to university, I had previously done work experience in a school, volunteered in my free periods as a 'buddy' (like a teaching assistant) in lower school lessons, and also volunteered evenings and weekends for youth groups; then whilst at university I continued to do these volunteer roles. Although this is not quite the same as teaching, it gives you a good idea of what is involved.)

    2) Why have you chosen Italian, rather than a subject you excel in? What are you going to study at university? Unlike teachers, there are no official qualifications for tutors, but one normally expects a teacher/tutor to have subject knowledge to at least the qualification level above that which he/she is teaching, if not two qualification levels above (i.e. to tutor GCSE, your subject knowledge should be A Level, but preferably undergraduate degree level). For courses leading to a qualification, a tutor also needs to know the specification inside out, not just have the subject knowledge. I do not know the IB, but if you only recently studied a beginners' course yourself, then your subject knowledge is still very limited. Surely, you have subjects that you have stronger subject knowledge in... If you are continuing to study Italian at university, then perhaps with another year's study under your belt, you would be better placed to offer this subject when you are in your second year of uni.

    3) Who are you hoping to tutor? I'm not saying you won't get requests for beginners' holiday Italian, like langteacher says, but you might find it is not as popular as you might expect. Most universities offer some kind of 'languages for all' programme, whereby all students, regardless of their course of study, can learn a language in their free time through professional tutors. Also, postgraduate students often tutor undergraduates. Therefore, why would students choose to be tutored by another undergraduate student? Perhaps you would be better targetting school students aged 7-14... (As mentioned above, parents of GCSE students normally want someone who knows the exam syllabus.) You could offer tuition in the subject(s) you are studying at university. Alternatively, there may be demand in your area for 'homework help' type tutoring, where you can listen to younger children read and practise their basic numeracy and literacy.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope it helps... :)
  4. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    My university has a notice board up for language exchange - this is often/usually language learners wanting to reciprocate one language for another - I expect being a student is seen very positively and peer learning is valued (not, perhaps, at £20 p.h. for all).

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