Your blog came up when I googled "english tutoring in China" & I see you lived in Beijing not so long ago. My husband & I will be there this fall--he'll teach American Lit at Beida & although I don't have any experience formal teaching English as a 2nd language, I thought I might make myself useful by offering some conversation or writing help. What I'm wondering is whether I need any more structure for this kind of informal teaching going in. If so, any suggestions? Are there textbooks that would guide me short of major ESL course commitment? -- C.R.
No formal training is needed to privately tutor one on one! That's the great thing. When I went to China with my husband, I was very intimidated by the thought of teaching English. In reality there was no need to be scared, people really just want to learn conversational English. They have been learning English grammar and vocabulary in a formal school setting for years, but still cannot have even a simple conversation.
If the student had a book they wanted to use, we would use it. There are so many different English learning textbooks floating around. Many times I was paid just to talk with the students so they could work on their listening and speaking skills. I would pick articles from newspapers or the Internet, as well as movies, as a basis for our conversations. It was a little different if the student was preparing to take the TOEFL exam, and then we would be a bit more structured and we would use practice exams and test questions from their prep books.
You will probably find that people approach you and ask if you are an English teacher. Talk to other expats when you arrive and learn about their methods and how they negotiate. You may also find that your husband's job may request your help with tutoring students if they want or need it.
Hey Blog Readers- Are you a China expat with additional tips about teaching English? Please comment!