Once you decide to become a teacher/tutor, you realise that it is a demanding job as much as it is a rewarding job. Before you decide to take up a teaching job, it is prudent to do your research and take note of what's involved.
You could become a maths tutor, chemistry tutor, a French tutor, algebra tutor or biology tutor but becoming an English tutor has some privileges.
English skills are crucial for succeeding not only English class, but in other classes which students take as well where writing and communication skills are critical. Due to this fact, English teachers are provided with a plethora of teaching opportunities. They can teach an amalgam of literary genres ranging from classic, fiction, film, web-based media, non-fiction etc.
A good quality English education enables students to speak and write fluently in English. Their communication skills improve and they are able to convey their ideas and emotions in a much better way. They also develop necessary listening and reading skills which help them improve their learning skills all around.
51.6% of the internet is in English, so the best way to get the maximum benefit of all this immense knowledge available online, is to be proficient in English!
The Duties of a Reputable English Teacher
English tutors or teachers are responsible for teaching English as a subject, by following certain curriculum guidelines. They are responsible for sharing and teaching, their extensive knowledge of English to their students.
As an English teacher, they promote a high standard of English both as a language and as a medium of literature. They ensure that their students are getting an excellent command of the language, in not only reading but also in writing and speaking skills. Some of the responsibilities of teachers include:
- Planning lessons, activities, assignments and homework
- Developing excellent reading and writing and communication skills
- Development of Grammar and Expanding Vocabulary of students
- Improving and promoting greater literacy by the study of English books, novels, stories, poetry, etc
- Reviewing and Assessing student's work to identify weaknesses
- Monitoring student's progress and helping them improve
- Preparation of materials and knowledge of books and resources
- Preparing English exams and tests for practice and grades assessment
- Giving engaging lectures rich with information and knowledge
- Meeting and discussing with parents their child's individual progress
Your Guide to English Teaching
Students learning English, are usually from a diverse range of backgrounds. Teaching english is an opportunity for you to utilise the English language to analyse, construct and share new ideas and knowledge to your students, helping them become proficient in the language to succeed academically. Excellent English skills ensures that a student can communicate their ideas effectively, a crucial skill in excelling in all areas of academia. As an English teacher, you must first decide and focus your studies on what age or grade level, whether Primary or Secondary School students, that you hope to teach. In Canada the necessary qualifications also depend upon which province in Canada you wish to teach.
The national curriculum is designed to ensure that the students learn the following:
- The students get a full command over the language; good reading fluency and comprehension
- Acquire early reading skills in Primary school, and is the primary language of communication
- Students develop knowledge of the linguistic conventions required for reading, speaking and writing
- Students expand their vocabulary and develop good understanding of the rules of grammar
- Exposed to the rich variety and heritage of the literary pieces found in English language
- Promote and develop their love of reading English novels, short stories, poetry, all genres
- Develop good writing skills; ability to write with style, accuracy and coherence
- Practice and develop productive arguments and discussions to maximise learning and critical thinking
- Learn to participate in debates and demonstrate strong presentation skills
Once you become an English tutor, you would be expected to put your training of literature, reading and writing to use. Helping your students to obtain excellence in English and maximising their learning potential helps them to succeed overall.
How to Qualify to Teach English Officially?
Most schools require English teachers to have a minimum qualification of Bachelor's with a concentration in English education. Apart from that, to teach in English as a core subject, in a Canadian Secondary School, you need to have a minimum of a 4 year Bachelors degree from a university with a major in English or English Literature, or a Bachelors in Humanities. In addition you must complete a Teacher's College program to obtain Teaching qualifications as accredited by the Provincial College of Teachers where you plan on teaching.
The requirements for you to train as a Certified teacher in Canada are regulated under each Provincial jurisdiction , are in general as follows:
- Work experience of teaching in a school. Volunteer experience in schools.
- A High School or Secondary School Graduation Diploma
- A minimum 4 year Degree in English Literature or English Language or Bachelors of Education. Successful completion of the Provincially Accredited Teachers College program of usually 2 years. For example in Ontario you must have successfully have completed 4 semesters at a Teacher's education program or Teachers college.
- During the application process of your training course, you must pass the professional skills test of numeracy and literacy
As a part of teacher training program, you will take courses in classroom management, various teaching strategies, assessment of students and differentiated instructions. You will also acquire the experience of teaching students by becoming a part of a real classroom.
To tutor upper level programs such as post-secondary or university level, the prospective English tutors are also required to obtain a Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree in Education.
Guide to Teaching Primary School English
The English tutoring from Kindergarten through to end of Primary School involves a program of study around
- English Reading
- English Writing
- Early Word reading
- Listening and reading comprehension
Primary students learn to quickly pronounce new and unfamiliar words along with the familiar ones.
Phonics is imperative and should be taught at the early stage of teaching reading so that the young students develop an understanding of the letters and their sound in spoken words. A good linguistic knowledge helps the young learner in vocabulary, comprehension, and especially of grammar.
Reading greatly encouraged with a wide range of short stories and interesting activities, to help the development of their comprehension skills. The habit of reading should be promoted as early as possible.
Reading regularly expand a child’s interest and in turn their vocabulary. Reading also serves to fuel the imagination, exposing the child to whole new worlds and fuels their curious young minds. It can be the beginning of a love for reading that will last their lifetime!
The writing program also include two modules :
- Spelling and Handwriting
- English Composition or Writing; speech and writing based upon ideas
The primary focus is around teaching young students to begin recognising and writing down words. They are able work on their weaknesses, learn to spell accurately know the relationship between letters (phonetics) and their sounds.
A good vocabulary along with good grammar skills, is critical in effective composition, improving clarity and and content of a students writing. These skills start early and is an important fundamental part of teaching primary students, to master early competencies upon which to build their english proficiency as they progress through the years.
The requirements mentioned above are for those who intend to become an official English teacher in a school or college, and for those who want to offer their tutoring jobs in high schools and universities.
Academic teaching is not the only way to become an English teacher or tutor. You can teach English as a Second Language (ESL) for those wishing whose primary language is not English, with Tefl, or Celta certificate. You can find online teaching jobs or private tutor jobs as well depending on your other qualifications and experience.
- Mentor high school students taking their Final Exams , SAT, Gmat, Lsat, etc.
- Work from home or work in a tutoring centre or a language school
- Start finding and advising for private students on other standardised tests preparations like Tefl. You can provide tefl courses and training. For that, you would need to have tefl certification
- Become a freelance tutor, is a great way for you to become an online educator.
- Own a tutoring business, and hire the best tutors to help you run your tutoring centre
- Become a peer tutor! Help other tutors with his/her group of ESL Students
- Provide summer tutoring opportunities
- Start home based tutoring sessions
- Tutor English as a foreign language students, at home and internationally
- Teach abroad. Look for job placement in other countries which have teaching positions open for Native speakers.
Whether it is teaching abroad that interests you, teaching English as a Second Language students, teaching students online, teaching business English, or volunteering and teaching english at a school in another country, or providing tefl training to students, the demand for English teachers is high all around the world. So you have a world of opportunities open to you teaching english, so why not take the opportunities and earn more from tutoring!
Learn to to manage teaching students with dyslexia here.