Teaching one on one

I’m going to share an email I recently received and my attempt to answer it. I have referred the questioner to this web page, so if you have some additional advice to offer just leave a comment below. The recent email I received:

hey I happen to come across your site, and I had some questions of my own. My parents have just adopted a sister for me and I want to teach her English. I just finished freshmen class and I really don’t know how to teach her English I guess I am not the teaching type . I need some quick lessons that she would understand. I take about two hour out of my time to teach her, she is a real fast learner and a great student but I guess I am a tutor. so please reply and if you can make up some easy lessons for me. Thanks!

I don’t teach one on one so I don’t have any lessons for you, but I am positive that you can find worksheets and discussion topics online. I would ahve your sister do worksheets on her own time and then give them to you for feedback (not traditional corrections like right and wrong necessarily but a discussion of why each answer was chosen and if there’s a choice that would occur more naturally to a native speaker) and handle discussion topics in your two hour class sessions. During the discussion you would try to help your sister express herself by offering to teach her useful vocabulary and grammatical structures (useful being what she needs to convey her message). And good luck!

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  1. Kyla says:

    I want to teach English in Korea, but I do not have my TESL certificate. I am 37 years old, and I have lived in Canada all of my life. I would love to get some information on how I can teach short term, without getting the certificate for TESL, does anyone know if that is possible?

    I love Korea so much, and I am currently learning Korean, but I am only a beginner. It is my desire to one day go to Korea, and teach!

    I look forward to hearing from someone soon. Thank you, kyla

  2. Gláucia says:


    I´m Gláucia and I´m Brazilian. I´ve been studying to be an english teacher for almost 3 years.

    Once I´ve taught a brazilian girl english, and I used to find worksheets at Macmillan´s site. There I can find a lot of activities, crosswords, games… things that children or teens really like.

    If you want you can write me, now I´m at University. At home I have a lot of sites to indicate you!

    Bye bye



  3. Teacher Joe says:

    I’ve taught many one on one lessons so I should be able to give some advice. First, however, I would have to know the age and English level of this newly-adopted sister. If she is a three-year old who has an English vocabulary of less than 100 words my advice will be different than if she can speak in broken English but needs help with her junior high science reports. Let me know more and then we’ll see what we can do!

  4. murray says:

    I have a tesol certificate,and also ab esol home tutor certificate.

    I am semi-retired,and would be interested in trying to get an esol teaching job sometime next year’2006.

    What i would like to know,is -would i be able to get a work visa etc in order to teach at a hogwon etc.

    If someone could help me,it would be much appreciated.