In the digital age, you can do nearly everything without moving from your sofa.
Doing your weekly shop, speaking to your friends on the other side of the world, studying and even working from home is all made possible by the internet!
But is it possible to learn a profession and deliver it at home?
Taking online lessons to get your degree is also doable. Today, as people become busier, distance learning is gaining popularity as it allows for flexible learning without moving away to study.
However, in the real world, experience is highly valued in addition to qualifications, and when it comes to home tutoring, experience can change everything.
Teaching modern languages demands a high level of organisation and pedagogy. These are both things that can be learnt with practice and both personal and professional experience.
If you decide to enter the teaching profession through a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), you’ll be equipped with specialist training and classroom experience that will serve you throughout the rest of your career.
So, how do you become an Italian tutor without leaving your house?
Do I Need Teaching Qualifications to Become a Tutor?
Are you seriously considering becoming an Italian tutor but are worried about your lack of teaching and Italian qualifications?
If you want to teach the national curriculum in a state school, a PGCE is essential, regardless of the subject you hope to teach.
So, if you’re going down the school route and aim to teach in a classroom environment, you’ll need to have obtained your PGCE first.
Even if this isn’t your goal, experience is key, and it can be incredibly useful to sign up to a PGCE or other teaching or Italian languag courses before you go it alone.
It’s also possible to take a master’s course in speaking Italian, teaching or another relevant area if you’ve already graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, you could look into private organisations (such as a language school) which may be able to advise you on getting teaching experience, regardless of whether you want to teach at a school.
If you’re looking to teach at a university, you’ll need to start as a PhD student, teaching undergraduates during your research. This is a good way of getting three years’ experience under your belt.
Even though all of these qualifications are advised to future teacher and tutors, you can, in fact, do without them if you so wish.
If you decide to work for yourself as a private tutor, there are no prerequisites since you’re responsible for your own teaching performance.
However, clients will often ask for your CV, and they will feel more reassured and will be more likely to hire you if you have significant experience and qualifications to show for your work.
Share Your Passion for the Italian Language by Teaching
You may be wondering about the advantages to private tutoring jobs London and elsewhere over teaching at a school.
Unlike those who teach the school syllabus as set by the UK government, tutors have a choice when it comes to what they teach their students.
The option of teaching on a one to one basis has been chosen by over 1200 Italian tutors on Superprof many of them who were looking for jobs for ex teachers.
Whether you’re a student or you’ve already begun your career, being a home tutor is a great part-time job with many benefits such as choosing when you work, setting your own hourly rates and having teaching experience to add to your CV.
So, how do you get your first client?
The most popular method is to create leaflets and posters and distribute them in your local area. You could do this by putting posters in shop windows, using noticeboards and flyering along residential streets.
You can also approach schools and colleges. These educational establishments will have noticeboards and even school magazines where you can advertise your tutoring services.
Remember to supply your contact details as well as key information on the level you want to teach, your rates and your experience.
Tutoring Italian is a good way to keep yourself busy and meet with people who share the same passion for the language. If a student is aiming to improve their grades at school, it’s your job to get them excited about their language learning.
Providing in-home Italian lessons is so much more than doing Italian grammar exercises, comprehension tests on Italian vocabulary and verb conjugation. Becoming a tutor is first and foremost a way to share in your passion for Italy and its culture.
Make sure that your students enjoy your lessons as much as you enjoy teaching them. Help them learn how to speak Italian, as well as helping them discover the history of the country and how Italian culture differs from city to city in the language they’re learning.
Get them interested in Italian music, TV and cinema – even if they watch it with English subtitles!
Doing all of these things will keep them engaged and make sure that they’re getting the most out of your sessions.
Make Use of Online Tutoring Platforms
The internet is also a great resource for finding clients.
Post your advertisement on websites like Gumtree or even use platforms which are specifically aimed at tutoring, like Superprof. These platforms provide a way for tutors and clients to get in touch, and there are even location features to help the learner find tutors local to them.
Nearly 330,000 tutors have chosen Superprof to advertise their services.
So, what should your level of teaching be for these websites?
When it comes to home tutoring, there is no minimum or maximum level of study.
All you need is to be able to speak Italian fluently and know how to effectively share your knowledge with others.
As you become more experienced in tutoring, you will notice your confidence grow, which may mean that you start accepting higher-level students.
Using this type of platform has many advantages.
Firstly, the way the platforms themselves are managed means that there is an increased level of security when it comes to finding students, as both students and tutors are indexed in order to prevent scamming. It also means that you can see who your students are and find out about their level before meeting them – as they can do with you, the tutor.
What’s more, hourly rates for tuition are more affordable than for extra-curricular sessions with certified teachers, so the likelihood of finding students is a lot higher.
The average price for 1 hour of tuition for any subject on Superprof UK is £19.31.
Value for money is a major factor in choosing a tutor, so many students choose to look for high-quality, low-cost tuition on Superprof.
Another advantage to online tutoring platforms is the possibility to find a tutor online, especially for those who would prefer to stay at home or whose ideal tutor lives slightly too far away.
From a tutoring point of view, the flexible schedule is often an attractive aspect of becoming a tutor. And for undergraduates, tutoring is the ideal job, as it brings together study and work and fits around lectures and seminars.
So, if you’re looking to become an in-home or online Italian tutor in the UK, the internet can be very useful.
Becoming an Italian Tutor with the Help of Online Learning Resources: Is It Possible?
Maybe you’re wondering whether it’s possible to gain the necessary skills to become an Italian teacher with the help of online learning materials.
The answer is yes and no.
Yes, of course you can easily access plenty of online content to help you learn Italian for free. A lot of people even give free Italian language lessons on YouTube, so you can have step-by-step Italian lessons at the touch of a button.
You can find a lot of information on these things in particular:
- Italian grammar
- Italian spelling
- Conjugating Italian verbs
- Italy’s history
- Improving your fluency
The people who create and share these resources online often do so because of their passion for Italy. Whether they’re school teachers or simply learning a language for themselves, they will be able to teach you anything from basic Italian for beginners to conversational Italian and even fluent or professional Italian.
However, if you learn the Italian language through this method alone, you’ll be missing out on an essential part of learning a new language: practice.
The internet may replace the expressions, words and phrases in your phrasebook, but it certainly can’t match real-life experience.
It’s very difficult to learn to speak Italian properly with a computer without special software!
So, if you don’t have any way of practising your oral Italian skills and Italian pronunciation, try to find someone else who is learning Italian as a foreign language who you can practice your Italian conversation and other language skills with as you both learn new words and useful Italian phrases along the way.
When you learn a new language online, no one is there to correct your mistakes. Your exercises will be corrected automatically, but this cannot stop you from picking up bad habits as you study Italian.
Don’t forget that your passion for Italian should not be confined to your home, and nothing will be able to replace the things you will learn from a trip to Italy to discover the language and culture for yourself.
This advice doesn't just apply to learning and teaching Italian. Whatever your native language, whether you want to learn French, learn Arabic, learn German, learn Russian, learn Japanese or learn Portuguese as a second language, there are many ways to enhance your learning experience and your language proficiency before you take the leap to a career in teaching.
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