Need some help in setting up an informal ESL class
April 28, 2014 11:46 AM   Subscribe

I've been informally tutoring my friends' kids in preparing for the New York State English standardized tests, and my friends have been happy enough with how it's going that they have now proposed another arrangement. They would like me to teach a beginning ESL class for a small group of their business's employees who are struggling with English skills. I would teach a 2-hour class of about 4-5 people once a week. My friends don't know what the going rate for that kind of instruction is in NYC, and I don't either.

Does anyone have suggestions for what would be a fair price to charge, or where to find that information? I would also love suggestions for good adult beginner ESL textbooks - my experience with teaching ESL has always been with advanced learners, and I graduated my TESOL program over 5 years ago, so I'm not as current as I could be. Thanks in advance for any resources!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total)
For what its worth- I am currently in Oslo (one of the most expensive cities in the world!) and working as an ESL teacher for a Language school... and I get paid 50.00 dollars an hour apx... and the school is making about 200 dollars an hour... for each hour I work... If I were to charge privately.... I would charge 70 dollars an hour....

If you want to know the going rate then I would suggest phoning a language school for a quote... pretend you want to schedule a class similar...
posted by misspony at 12:08 PM on April 28, 2014

Will this be a course of X number of classes? Or will people pay as they go? People used to pay my mom $50 per hour in Japan to come to her house, have coffee and have conversation one-on-one.

Boggles World has Activities and materials.

One Exercise I like a lot is to take a scene from a situation comedy. Watch it in English. Then turn the sound down. Have the class come up with things people would normally say in that kind of situation.

I did one from Fraisier, that involved Fraisier chatting up a lady in a bar. It was PERFECT for that sort of thing. The joke didn't matter, just that a man ordered a drink at the bar, ordered one for a nice looking person as well, had a conversation, and then had it end.

I know my folks used a workbook for their class, but the one I went to, it seemed that the students were more interested in learning about American culture and customs, and of having conversation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:13 PM on April 28, 2014

My wife has looked into working as a tutor in NYC and their are a lot of variables to the pricing depending on subject and experience of the tutor. 100$/ hour would be on the low side for a professional teacher to tutor a kid in their spare time.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:59 PM on April 28, 2014

[This is a followup from the asker.]
Sorry for not including enough info! My friends would pay me directly, without charging the employees - my friends want the employees to have more practice with job-related English. We haven't worked out yet how long the classes would go on for, but it would be weekly for at least a few months. My spouse (who freelances) suggested $25 per student per hour (so $250 for a 2 hour class), but I wanted to get a sense if that was reasonable - I don't want to overcharge my friends. (As for experience, I have a masters in 2nd language acquisition, but haven't taught other than individual tutoring in about five years.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:20 PM on April 28, 2014

$250 per hour is very high. misspony's 50-70 USD in Oslo sounds similar to fees in Tokyo. One thing to consider and work into the fees is your prep time. If they want workplace, job-related you might be better off skipping a mass-market textbook and using stuff related to the industry. Takes a bit of time.
posted by Gotanda at 6:06 PM on April 28, 2014

I really like the Internet TESL Journal for resources, and Total English is always my go-to textbook for all levels.

I can't comment on price because $50 an hour?? Holy shit, have I been teaching in the wrong country!
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:32 AM on April 29, 2014

Good to see a shout out for ITESLJ. Larry and Charles Kelly put so much work into that. For instant lessons that usually work and can be adapted to levels or goals Breaking News English is always there.
posted by Gotanda at 4:22 AM on April 29, 2014

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