So you speak English and you've decided you want to teach private German tutorials to English speaking students. You’ve mastered your second language or you're a native speaker and a teacher with a passion for passing on knowledge. The choice to teach private tutorials was an obvious one.
Becoming a German tutor and earning some extra money while teaching others what you know is a great idea. However, how do you work out your rates?
How do you get the word out to every potential learner? How do you find customers interested in language learning?
It’s normal in the beginning to feel this is really complicated. However, if you go step by step, you’ll quickly become the most in-demand German tutor in town!
Qualifications Needed to Teach Foreign Languages
Firstly, there aren’t any specific qualifications that you need to be a private tutor. However, you should be able to justify your language skills (German phrases, vocabulary, verbs, education, language stays, teaching skills, German pronunciation, etc.) otherwise you’ll find it very difficult to find students.
German tutorials: German skills
When you create your first advert, you’ll need to specify your level in German. Are you fluent, bilingual, advanced, or conversational?
If you only did German for a year in secondary school and then dropped it, you’re going to struggle to find students.
While there are no hard and fast rules for what level you should have, a German degree’s usually a good benchmark.
Maybe you have the level but not the degree. What should you do?
You need to ask yourself these questions before you make your first advert.
- How many years have you studied German?
- Did you study German language courses at university or a language school?
- Is it your native language?
- Have you lived in Germany, Switzerland, or another German speaking country?
- Is German your mother tongue? Are you close to proficiency or fluency?
Teach German for School
If you can prove you know how to speak German, you can provide German academic support for school students without qualifications or being a teacher. Nevertheless, you have to prove to your students your experience with German isn’t less than theirs.
If you’re studying German A Level, your level will be good enough to teach German for beginners and primary school children but you’ll probably struggle to teach older students a new language or even new German vocabulary.
To give your tutorials more value, why not take a level test?
The TestDaf, for example, is a recognised language exam. You can test your comprehension (listening and reading) as well as production (speaking and writing). This is a well-rounded exam that can evaluate your general level in German.
You can also find out more about the Goethe Institut and the qualifications they offer including the Goethe-Zertifikat which is also widely recognised.
Provide Professional German Tutorials
There are plenty of tutors offering professional German private tutorials. These are often aimed at adults wanting to improve their international career prospects. They just need your help since speaking the language of one of Europe’s most powerful countries is hugely beneficial when it comes to business.
Prove your professional German abilities and make yourself stand out. To do so, you can take level tests that are more specialised than the ones we mentioned previously.
The PWD (from the Goethe Institut) is also recognised by businesses and the GDS (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom) is the most advanced professional German qualification. In fact, the GDS allows you to teach German classes in Germany!
There are plenty of school teachers who also provide private tutorials in order to earn some extra money. If this applies to you, don’t forget to mention how many years of experience you have!
Decide On Your Private German Tutorial Rates
Working out a fair rate isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are several factors you need to consider for your German tutorial prices.
Understand the Academic Support Market
Don’t hesitate to check out the competition and find out how much other German tutors are charging. Decide where to position yourself.
Check out dedicated academic support forums and classifieds sites and find out the going rate for German courses. Have a look at foreign language schools and see what they’re charging for their German language course, too. This will put you in a good position to work out what a fair rate would be.
Set Your Rates Based on Your Level of German
By looking at other tutors’ rates, you’ll see what the going rates are by level in German.
For example, in London, native speakers tend to charge upwards of £30. Student tutors tend to charge less than that.
You also need to take your students’ levels into account and how good they are at speaking German. If you’re teaching primary school children, you can’t charge as much as you would for sixth formers.
Work Out Running Costs
It’d be silly not to consider your running costs when providing private German tutorials.
First of all, work out how much it costs you to get to your tutorials since private tutorials normally take place at the student’s home.
You’ll therefore need to define an area that you’ll be willing to travel to and also work out your travel costs.
The cost of school supplies (pens, printing, etc) should all be taken into account.
Given that you also need to declare your earnings, you also need to take tax into account.
Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be closer to deciding upon your hourly rate.
Choose the right organisation
Finally, the organisation you choose to work with will affect the price of your private tutorials.
You can become a private German tutor just by heading to a classifieds site.
Certain sites require a certain number of years of experience. Some require a cut of the amount for every hour taught.
There are organisations that don’t charge any fees to aspiring private tutors. Superprof, for example, doesn’t charge any commission on tutorials.
Finding Students when You Become a German Tutor
Now that you’re ready to put together an advert, it’s time to start making yourself known as a private German tutor.
Students wanting to learn German usually search things like “free German lessons”, “intensive German classes”, “learning German for free”, and “learning German on-line”! Even if you don’t teach on-line or for free, you can still find students!
Using the Internet
The Internet hasn’t stopped growing and you now need to be on it if you want to find students who want to learn German.
You can sign up for tutoring jobs London and websites or even on classifieds sites. You can even create your own website advertising your German tutorials.
Social networks can be used to help spread the news, too.
Network in your Town
Look for German cultural centres or institutes and get to know the people there. This will help you create a German network and find more students.
Why not get in touch with the German teachers in your town? They can send struggling students your way and it’ll help them keep their pass rates up.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of advertising and it still works! Make sure everyone knows you’re a private German tutor.
Your friends and family will be your best promoters! You can bring it up it at a family meal or on a night out with friends. If they hear about someone looking for German tuition, they’ll be sure to mention you!
Prepare your German Tutor Jobs
Once you’ve decided upon your rates and found some students, it’s time to prepare your tutorials!
Establish a list of goals for each student
Each student has different needs. You have to tailor your tutorials to them.
Decide together on which skills they’d like to improve.
Do they need to work on their speaking? Do they need to master German grammar?
It takes time to learn a foreign language and it’s your job to make them want to put in the effort to learn by giving them clear and defined objectives.
This will help you to prepare German exercises specifically for them.
Explain each tutorial’s objectives
Before each tutorial, clearly outline the lesson plan and its objectives by spending the first 5 minutes of the class explaining which skills you’re going to work on and the rules they’re going to learn.
Prepare your tutorials in advance and make sure you’re organised.
Distance Yourself from School
Tutorials shouldn’t be like classes in school. You need to distance yourself from learning at school by making your tutorials animated and fun and keep your students interested.
Everyone works better when they have fun. Make your lessons fun by using a variety of resources like German films, music, and YouTube videos to get them interested in German.
Provide a Summary After Each Session
Many tutors provide a summary after each session. This is a great way to get the student involved in their own German learning and keep them aware of their progress.
Don’t hesitate to recommend extra activities, films to watch, and goals to work on before the next session.
A motivated student will want to learn even more!