English is the third most commonly spoken language in the world,  the first two being Mandarin and Spanish. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is also the international language of business,  finance and diplomacy.

So it is seen as a lingua franca of the world or an international language,  with nearly 1 billion English Speakers worldwide who speak English as either their first or second language.

There are 55 million people worldwide that are fluent in English.   English is used in all aspects of our life as the primary language of communication and critical to our academic and professional success,  so the demand for English tutors is on the increase. English is also the international language of business so with an increasingly global economy, the demand for english tutors worldwide has also increased.

Tutoring English

Teaching English as a subject is different than teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). In order to become an English tutor , there are some prerequisites which the tutor would need to consider. 

Whether you want to start your career as an English tutor in Kindergarten, Secondary School or University, you will first need to acquire the proper skill-sets and qualifications necessary for becoming an English tutor.

Some institutes would require you to have certain certifications apart from a degree in English literature.

All in all, your tutoring services would be in high demand once you get yourself official status or certification, along with the necessary academic qualifications as an English Tutor.

A tutoring job would be highly lucrative, but especially tutoring English.  With an English Tutoring job  a whole range of opportunities are open to  you.  English is an International Language which means that you can also get teaching jobs in person or online, anywhere in the world!

What Qualifications You Need to Become an English Tutor

Depending on what level of English you wish to teach and where, you will require a certain minimum level of education and qualifications to teach English.  Teaching English as a second language (ESL) to students whose first language is not English, usually requires a CELTA or the TEFL, in addition to a Bachelors degree.    Teaching English classes to students who are already native English speakers in Primary or Secondary School, in any of the Canadian Provinces, would require a minimum University Bachelors 4 year degree, along with a Teachers College Certification in the Province you wish to teach.


Academic credentials are required if you wish to become a tutor of any subject. A bachelor's degree is usually a must for any candidate wishing to take up tutoring as a career, teachers require a minimum of  a 3 or 4 year degree from a post-secondary acceptable institution or university.   In Canada teachers must complete the provincial requirements and accreditations to teach along with a bachelor's degree.  For example in Ontario, 4 semesters at a teachers education program would be required,  or a Bachelors of Education in addition to a Bachelors Degree majoring in English, English Literature or Humanities.  To become a registered teacher you need to then apply for certification,  and pay the annual fees to the provincial college or association of teachers, like The Ontario College of Teachers.

Your education level is crucial for your success as an English Tutor
The more qualifications you have, the higher your earning potential. (Photo credit: m_shipp22 via VisualHunt / CC BY)

More details about other official academic requirements and academic skills would be discussed in the next blog-posts.

Setting your Fees for English Tutoring Jobs

Once you are ready to start tutoring English, you must decide whether you would be working in a school as an English Teacher or  if you'd be providing in home tutoring privately, or working as an online English tutor.

If you opt for tutoring jobs in school or university, you will be paid by your respective institute according to your experience and qualifications.

In Canada  the starting Salary for a Primary Teacher , is around $9,600, with an average salary of $46,000 with several more years experience, and a maximum of up to $82,700 for the most experienced teachers. This is the annual average salary of a teacher in primary school.  In Canada teachers in Primary School teach one class the entire year,  covering all the subjects including english,  at grade levels from Kindergarten to grade 6,  and onto junior high school grades 7 and 8.  English is usually then taught as a separate core subject,  at the Secondary or High School level grades 9 to 12, where the teacher  is dedicated to teaching just English, can earn on average more than their counterparts in Primary school.

In case you decide to opt for in home tutoring or online English tutoring,  jobs in Ontario on average can charge a competitive hourly rate. It can range from a starting fee of $15 to $18, or more per hour depending upon your years of experience and qualifications as a tutor.

As a freelance tutor, you can also opt to teach English as a second language (ESL).  In Canada especially for the newly arrived immigrant population, eager and greatly motivated to get fluent and proficient in the English language, English tutors are in great demand.   You can also potentially teach English anywhere in the world,  with an every increasing demand to learn the international language of finance and diplomacy.

There are also many tutoring centres across the country. These tutoring centres offer various educational services; be it after school tutoring programs in any subject, like English, Mathematics, Sciences, etc. but also test preparation programs.

There is an increased need for tutoring in English and if you choose to work for a centre, you can usually negotiate an hourly rate or a monthly salary, depending on your availability, experience and qualifications.

English tutors also have the option to teach during the summer holidays, whether at a learning centre or private tutoring at home. You will also  have the freedom and the options to teach English at your convenience,  there are always students looking for extra help and practice.  You may even have students online from another country if you so choose.

Organise English Classes By Age Groups

There are various age groups which you can teach as an English Tutor. Teaching for each age group would definitely be very different,  so it's definitely a consideration when you are deciding who to tutor since English language teaching varies with each level.   In Canada compulsory primary school education begins at around age 5 with full day Kindergarten programs.    Depending on the Province, compulsory education is mandatory right up until the age of 16, except in Ontario, Manitoba  and New Brunswick where students must stay in school until the age of 18.

The English classes are designed by the teacher and ensure that English is spoken in the classroom.  The provincial curriculum is covered by the teachers and focus on English as the primary language of communication, teaching the basic skills of handwriting, to increasing proficiencies in reading, writing, sentence structure, grammar, and etc.  And of course teaching English comprehensively with increasing difficulty and complexity, the older the students.

Use different tricks and techniques in your lectures

Organised lessons are an important part of teaching and tutoring  (Photo by William Iven on (Source: unsplash )

While planning your lessons you should keep in mind a few important points, such as what topics and activities you should cover and what homework may be assigned.  You also need to plan for lesson time and allowing time for each activity you wish to cover to complete your lesson. Lesson organisation is critical to teaching efficiently and successfully.

Be creative, fun and inventive when organising your lessons  Why not ask your students to read,  and then summarise current events found in the newspapers or on-line that might be of special interest to your high school student, or analyse a popular song or rap,  in terms of poetry.

For High School  English your students would be required to complete the syllabus as set out by the Ministry of Education for  your particular Province.   The focus of your lectures at this stage should encourage critical thought,  examination of text and it's  meaning, and further enhance their skills in communication, research , analysis and of course further reading and writing abilities.

How to Find Students for English Classes

If you are an English teacher looking for Students to teach, apart from the students you find at school, you need to adopt a completely new and different approach. Consider teaching ESL (English as Second Language) students.  Canada has a big immigrant population and is known for it's multiculturalism.   Therefore, with new immigrants arriving and eager to learn English in order to excel in their new country, there is always a demand for ESL teachers!

You can become an English tutor by giving private tutoring in person or online. You can also consider providing your tutoring services to tutoring companies or centres, after school or on weekends.

If you decide to become a private tutor, you would need to advertise yourself as a teacher. Create pamphlets and brochures with your name, photo, education and relevant experience, and distribute it within your local community to advertise.   You can also give your first tutoring lesson for free as an introduction,  and to help market your tutoring service.

 Teach English Lessons by Webcam

Another option is to start online tutoring. You might be wondering where you can find online tutoring jobs?

Well, there are plenty of ways to become an online tutor. Some tutors create their own website offering their tutoring services. Others choose to tutor as a freelance teacher on various freelancing sites.

The only thing you would need to do is create and promote your website, and of course make sure it reaches as many people as possible.  Don't forget to  add testimonials from your students to attract more attention.

There are plenty of students out there who are seeking TEFL Courses and training. Students who are taking SAT's, Gmat's or Lsat, or other tests who will be in need of your tutoring services.  Skype is a great way to teach students online. A video call lecture can help you earn at an hourly rate, in the convenience of your home or from anywhere in the world.

How to teach English to Dyslexic students

Tutoring kids with Dyslexia is not an easy job. Certain special strategies need to be adopted when teaching dyslexic students to make sure they learn and sometimes this can prove challenging. The ability to read proficiently is critical in learning any subject but especially English. Dyslexic students are vulnerable to suffer from anxiety and depression because of their challenges and inability to read and comprehend. Parents often turn to tutors to help their dyslexic child get the extra support they need.


Adopt special methods to teach kids with dyslexia
Students with Dyslexia need special attention. Photo by Megan Soule on unsplash )

Teachers should try to help their  students integrate into the classroom, helping facilitate the learning environment and enabling the student to feel more comfortable with their fellow classmates,  ultimately helping foster their self-esteem and confidence.  All students have different learning abilities so it's up to the teacher or tutor to recognise and help the student to maximise their learning potential,  whether in a classroom or with a private tutor.

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.