I started tutoring immigrants and foreign business people working in New York at the International Center (link below). I found out about the International Center one Sunday afternoon following a church service. There was a special exposition of volunteer opportunities and one of them “caught my eye”. That was a life-changing moment for me, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I signed up to be a volunteer conversation partner and over the next few years I had partners from China, South Korea, Japan, India, El Salvador and Guinea. I also had an opportunity to teach a few classes, including Business English, Basic Banking and Mutual Fund investing. If you are coming to New York as a tourist and want to have an opportunity to speak with a local native speaker, this is a great place to improve your English. Call or email them for more details. There is a membership fee.
After working for 29 years in financial services and management consulting, I decided to make a career change and become an English tutor. I obtained a teaching certificate in 2009 from the New School University (I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business). I am able to share a lot of business and life experience with my students, who range from 8 years old to 65+. That’s quite a range! My adult students are often trying to get their first good job after immigrating to the USA. Some are already working and want a better job, but they need to improve their communication skills to get hired. I help them practice for job interviews. Other students are trying to get their English skills to an acceptable level for admission to local colleges (TOEFL iBT and CAE test prep). I have also tutored CEOs and other executives in diverse fields (fashion, financial services, consumer electronics, management consulting, retail, etc.). I am very happy when students refer me to their family members, friends and colleagues.
Basically, I am flexible in my approach. I try to understand each student’s goals and needs and then create a study program that fits their requirements. However, I understand that adjustments are often needed. For example, an important test, presentation or job interview may come up and that becomes the priority.
Most of my students use Skype. I believe that on-line lessons can be just as effective as in-person lessons.
Here is a summary of my approach:
- Offer a free introductory meeting to assess the student’s English level and understand their requirements. Listen for pronunciation problems with English vowels and consonants
- Assess the student’s English fluency and communication skills
- If Business English is important for the student, we discuss his/her current role and responsibilities and how English is (or will be) important in their career. Very often, students tell me that they are assuming new responsibilities and they are concerned about improving the level of their listening and conversation skills.
- If grammar is an important requirement, I ask the student to describe work/life experience and listen to what English verb tenses are used, and the level of vocabulary.
- If the student is interested in starting lessons, we discuss my hourly rate and the approach we will use for lessons. I don’t ask for or require any commitment to a minimum number of lessons like many other tutors do. If a student is motivated to learn, the rest will fall into place. When a student believes the language “investment” is a good value, they will want to pay for a certain number of lessons in advance. Some students like to be billed at the end of each month and request an “invoice”. For more information, see the FAQ’s page on my website.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post!
My Website: http://www.esltutornyc.com/
Contact Me: http://www.esltutornyc.com/contact-me/
FAQ’s page: http://www.esltutornyc.com/f-a-q/
Center in NY: http://www.newintlcenter.org/