ESL Tutor Training

Training and Certification Offered for ESL Teachers

Find programs and training to make it easier to find an English as a Second Language tutor or teaching position.

A job as an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor can be flexible as well as rewarding, giving you the opportunity to teach nearly anywhere in the world. While there is no set criteria for an ESL tutor, many schools and potential students will expect their tutors to have a certain amount of training and expertise in the subject.

ESL Teacher Certification

Many private schools employ part-time and full-time ESL tutors, and training and certification requirements will vary from school to school. ESL tutors can benefit from receiving certification in the subject from internationally recognized organizations such as Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA).

The TESOL and TEFL certificates are most helpful in training new ESL tutors with little experience who wish to teach younger students, covering all aspects of the job, from the language to classroom management. The CELTA certificate is also for inexperienced teachers and tutors, but focuses on teaching English to adults, providing both written assignments and hands-on teaching practice.

ESL Tutor Training Guides

If you are interested in finding a tutoring position through a local organization or college, many offer ESL tutor training. The Education Resources Information Center offers a free download of the five modules it uses to train ESL tutors. The five modules cover getting to know the students, conversation skills and Freirean discussion techniques, pronunciation and dialogue, the Total Physical Response method of language instruction, and the language experience approach to teaching literacy, complete with a vocabulary and phrase list.

Another example is Iowa State University's ESL Tutor-Training Module. Tutors are trained to identify mistakes made in speaking, reading, and writing English, and to understand the cause of these mistakes to help the student identify the problem and make the necessary changes.

Freelance vs. School Tutoring

Many schools and organizations offer tutoring programs, which most likely offer their own training and qualification requirements. These programs can help you find students, as well as offer course materials. If you are interested in freelance tutoring, you will be responsible for putting together your own course material and finding students. There are a lot of tutors and tutor programs out there, and certification programs like the TESOL can help boost your resume, as well as give you the training and experience needed to tutor English.

Tutoring ESL Abroad

Many countries require nothing more than a bachelor's degree to teach ESL at their public or private schools. However, in most cases tutoring English privately is illegal if you have a work visa because of school employment. Most schools overseas will provide you with training and materials for tutoring at their after-school ESL programs.

ESL Certification Online

Different types of ESL certifications are available for you to pursue online through reputable and accredited programs. A few options include TESOL Courses, TEFL Courses, and The American TESOL Institute. Whether you are an independent ESL tutor or seeking employment with an organization, holding certification will help prepare you with the training and skills you need to be an ESL tutor.