There are many people in Thailand who want or need an EFL tutor. After all, Thais are realizing a good command of the English language opens up doors in business and helps ensure a better future, for themselves or their kids, so they know improving their English skills is essential.
Being an EFL tutor in Thailand to someone who doesn’t speak English well therefore can be a rewarding job. As an EFL tutor, you are not only helping that person improve their English, but also opening up a whole new world for them.
Getting started as an EFL tutor in Thailand
If you have good English skills, it can be quite simple to get work as an EFL tutor. Here are some easy steps to get you started:
1. Brush up on your grammar skills. You can’t be an EFL tutor if you don’t have basic English grammar skills. Spend a few nights doing some exercises in grammar books, taking grammar tests online and studying common English grammar mistakes.
2. If you live close to a local high school, university or college talk to some of the students and see if anyone is looking for an English tutor. Talk to parents, and also let any former-students you might have know you’re doing private classes.
3. When a potential student calls you, meet with him or her in a friendly, relaxed environment. I usually pick a café or coffee house, as there are other people around and discussing English is much more fun over a latte. The potential student tends to be less nervous too.
4. Make your potential student feel relaxed. The more relaxed and comfortable they feel with you, the more likely they are to hire you as their EFL tutor. Remember, you don’t just have to do one-on-one tutoring. Sometimes your students may prefer to be tutored in a small group. Especially if they are shy.
5. Set up an initial class to assess the English abilities of your student. It is often a good idea to give the first class for free. If your student is comfortable with you and feels like they have learned something, they will sign up for more classes.
6. Once you have the student signed up, make sure they sign up and pay for a course of 10 classes. Payment upfront ensures they will show up. Also make sure they understand if they don’t show up and don’t call to cancel at least a few hours beforehand, there will be no refunds.
The normal rate in Bangkok is between 500-700 baht per hour, although I know several teachers who are charging 1,000 baht ($33 an hour) and getting it too!
7. Finally, now that you have students, make sure you retain them. Always show up on time, be professional and polite. Try to make the student feel relaxed and, most importantly, encourage them even if they make mistakes. Their confidence will grow and they will keep coming back to learn even more.
Being an EFL tutor in Thailand is not only about teaching information, it is also about cultivating confidence in your students.