Teaching English abroad doesn’t have to be limited to job contracts in a classroom; there are many opportunities to make some extra income as an English tutor offering private lessons. For travelers looking to immerse themselves in the culture and language of another country, teaching English in a homestay is another unique opportunity to live with a host family in exchange for food and accommodation during your travels.
While our previous teaching tips have focused on motivating students in a classroom setting, below are some best practices for tutoring English in a homestay environment. These ideas turn a living room into a classroom or a dining table into a desk.
Whether tutoring one-on-one or an entire family at the same time – the following tips and bits of advice are ideal for teaching English in a home setting.
Once you know the space in which you’ll be tutoring, find out if there are any areas off limits before facilitating an activity such as “Prepositions Hunt”.
How to play ‘Prepositions Hunt’:
Similar to using the space within a homestay for dynamic lessons, understanding what resources are available for you to use in the house is also important as an English tutor.
Here are some questions to ask before your first lesson:
One of the best ways to help students increase fluency is to expand their vocabulary. And what better way to do this than synonym practice? Many Thesauruses such as the Oxford English Thesaurus for Schools give access to websites with very helpful lesson plan ideas and interactive games as well.
The advantage of teaching English in a homestay is being in constant contact with your students. Challenge the family to use newly learned words throughout the day or week.
Recommendation: Pack a Thesaurus!
More often than not, you’ll be tutoring only one student at a time. It’s essential to think of games for two players (teacher included), or ones that can easily be modified for no more than two participants. Something like Rory’s “Story Cubes” works perfectly in one-on-one settings to practice verb tenses in particular. Story cubes help students think, communicate, and be creative with the English language.
Ways to use ‘Story Cubes’ to teach English:
Other suitable games for one-on-one English instruction:
Certain challenges can present themselves when teaching in a homestay. It’s a comfortable environment, which is a good thing on the whole, but depending on which age you’ll be tutoring – this concept of comfort might pose some difficulties.
Perhaps the most efficient way to combat this is to designate a certain area of the home as the “classroom”. This could be the dining table, a comfy couch or even a favorite spot on the rug. In addition, structuring a lesson similar to how an English class would be taught is beneficial.
Typical components of an English lesson plan:
Recommendation: Even if having a ‘classroom’ works best for your specific situation, don’t be afraid to venture outside of that space from time to time to boost excitement and keep the level of motivation high.
It’s common for teachers to offer learning incentives in the classroom. This method of encouragement works quite well while teaching outside of a school, too! Consider incorporating something like a sticker chart or a point system in your private lessons or with a family as well. And check out these other teaching tips we’ve shared for some extra inspiration!