Speaking more than one language is a valuable asset in more ways than one.
Being bi- or multilingual boosts your cognitive ability, enables to you multitask better – or, conversely, enables better focus on the task at hand, and it provides a whole range of other mental and psychological benefits.
But that’s not what this article is all about. Today, your Superprof wants to help you make the most of your most marketable skill – your ability to speak Portuguese by giving some tips on how to set a schedule of fees for the lessons you are so eager to give.
Eager to give lessons, indeed! But not eager to give them away...
Now we look at some factors that will influence how to set your prices just right so that your students feel they get the best value for their money.
What Type of Courses Will You Teach?
Naturally, the answer to that is language courses, in Portuguese! But the question goes much deeper than that.
- Will you teach Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese? Both?
- Will you teach young students (under age 6), primary school-aged or older students – maybe even those at university?
- Might you specialise in test prep, tutoring students preparing to sit their GCSEs or A-Levels; CAPLE or CELPE-Bras?
- Will you teach adults?
- Will you teach Conversational Portuguese, for prospective holidaymakers?
- Will you teach Portuguese for Business?
As you can see from the sheer variety of courses you may offer, either as a native speaker of Portuguese or one who has mastered Portuguese through language studies, there must be a difference in pricing, from course to course.
You should not charge the same price for Business Portuguese lessons as you would charge a student preparing for a language exam.
Furthermore, the duration of lessons would be different: a four-year-old would not have the same attention span as an adult, and adults learning Portuguese conversation may not wholly benefit from a full hour of language instruction like a student preparing for an exam would.
One more consideration: how many students will you teach at one time?
Some language teachers offer discounted rates to small groups – no more than 8 learners, while others offer discounts on their overall price for learners who pay for a block of language classes upfront.
Let’s paint the scenario of giving Business Portuguese classes.
You have approached several international companies with the idea of providing language lessons to their staff, onsite.
The HR or training manager really likes your idea and awards you a 10-week contract to teach select employees all about Brazil’s language and culture.
They will provide a room for you to conduct your lessons in, equipped with all of the necessary accoutrements: overhead projector, computer, dry-erase board...
All you need to bring are textbooks, worksheets, other resources and learning materials such as Powerpoint presentations and maybe some flashcards and other media.
Naturally, you would not charge each company employee for those Portuguese lessons; instead, you would negotiate a fee with the training manager – hopefully, a reasonable one; overcharging would result in no deal.
Now, for a different example...
Let us suppose that your prospective clients’ son is marrying a lovely person from Portugal and the wedding is to be held in Covilhã – not exactly a big town; not one where many English speakers would be found.
Naturally, there must be conversation between the families and, most likely, there would be a bit of tourism involved.
In this instance, you may recommend that your soon-to-be students purchase a textbook and Portuguese dictionary themselves and you would develop a curriculum based on their needs.
Perhaps, so that they might communicate with their future in-laws, you would help them develop speaking and listening skills – teaching them words and phrases suitable to the occasion, and mostly foregoing reading and writing. How would you prepare for these Portuguese lessons?
How much would you charge this family per hour of Portuguese instruction?
That depends on one, very important factor.
Location is Key in Setting Prices for Portuguese Lessons
There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location (incorrectly attributed to) Lord Harold Samuel.
Not only is that phrase often incorrectly attributed to our most famous real estate magnate, but it is also inaccurate that location only applies to property.
Where you give your lessons is an important determining factor in setting your prices for teaching Portuguese vocabulary and pronunciation.
For one, if you live in or around London, you may find that pricing yourself competitively means charging far more per hour of instruction than, say, someone who teaches Portuguese in Birmingham or Leeds.
Conversely, those who bring Brazilian culture to small towns such as Warminster or Swanley may find themselves overwhelmed with requests for lessons – and may charge slightly higher fees, simply because there is little to no competition from other teachers in those regions.
However, if you offer Portuguese lessons online, you may find yourself setting prices for each hour of instruction far lower than if you taught in person, no matter where in the country you are.
Find out what qualifications you need to teach Portuguese online or in a classroom...
There is vigorous and healthy competition among tutors for students learning Portuguese online!
So, how can you give your students the best learning experience while still earning enough to make a decent living?
1. Find out what local pricing for foreign language lessons is and set your prices accordingly.
2. Offer extras: maybe you could hold free workshops or seminars at your local community centre or library in order to attract prospective students.
3. Study the market and adapt: if indeed you do live in a small town where there is very little second language instruction going on, you can promote your skills as a teacher to bring about more opportunity – for yourself and for students.
You may also teach Portuguese online.
Where do Portuguese Courses Fall?
In the spectrum of language learning, Portuguese is admittedly far from the Number 1 choice for most anyone who wants to learn a new language.
Most students desiring to learn a language generally prefer to learn German, learn Italian or learn French, with others preferring to speak Spanish or Arabic.
There is even a substantial slice of the population who see more value in learning Mandarin Chinese than the Portuguese language!
Fair warning: you may have an uphill battle convincing any learner to choose this Romance language over any others.
A strong argument for the need to learn Portuguese comes from the British Council, who warn that the dire shortage of language instruction that besets our nation could cost us – both economically and culturally.
You may use their plea in your marketing strategy!
In proposing that people learn to speak Portuguese, either in a formal class or in a language course you establish and teach, you become an instrument for driving the benefits of foreign language skills in your community and for our country’s greater good.
What it All Boils Down To
How much should you charge for teaching people how to speak Portuguese?
That depends on where you will teach Portuguese speaking – the town/city as well as whether you teach in a classroom environment or in your home.
Or in language learners’ home or through online lessons.
It also depends on the level of language training you offer.
Beginners would probably pay less than intermediate-level students who, in turn, might find the financial burden of learning a new language less than someone who conjugates irregular verbs in Portuguese just for the fun of it.
Some language training companies in London charge as much as £45 per hour of face to face instruction, but they offer a discount if blocks of lessons are paid for in advance – say, 10 lessons for £400.
One language school charges an extra £15 should someone wish to sit in on their friend’s language study session.
Those same companies charge less per hour (only £35) for the same lessons given via webcam simply because there is virtually no overhead incurred by online lessons – no classroom to pay for and no travel time or transportation costs to meet their students for lessons.
And, our research shows that Portuguese for Business language classes cost significantly more than learning Portuguese conversation skills (£75 per hour versus £35!)
Superprof has 142 registered Portuguese tutors. Every one of them offers lessons online and most of them offer their first hour of lessons free!
The average price of a Portuguese lesson on Superprof is £14 per hour, irrespective of whether the help needed is for test prep or Portuguese pronunciation.
Now that you have a range of prices and factors to consider in setting your fees for language study, we leave you with a final tip:
Don’t price yourself out of the market!
It might be tempting to set your prices low in order to attract more students – or high in order to generate enough revenue to subsist on, but beware: going to either extreme may send clients away!
Mid-range is the best pricing; the rest of your earning potential will be met by your teaching methods and enthusiasm!
Now follow this step by step guide to giving Portuguese lessons...