Private ESL tuition myths and misconceptions

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

As a trainee or novice ESL teacher, you will come across many myths and misconceptions associated with private ESL tuition. Here are seven of those myths and misconceptions.

  1. You have no responsibility for minors. Unfortunately, this is absolutely wrong: from the moment you agree to teach someone’s child, you will be in loco parentis (“in the place of a parent”) responsible for the well-being of the child. For example, if the child likes to ‘dive bomb’ the bed by jumping off the top of a set of drawers – you may be liable if the child seriously injures itself. Incidentally, if you are wondering whether this sort of thing really happens – rest assured that it does.
  2. Only unqualified ESL teachers do private lessons. Undoubtedly, unqualified native English speakers do private ESL lessons because they do not have a TEFL qualification which would allow them to work in a school; however, a lot of qualified ESL teachers do private lessons, and most private clients will only employ qualified ESL teachers: some clients seek private ESL teachers directly from the various educational institutions.
  3. You can’t make a career by purely working as a private ESL teacher. At first sight, it would appear that this is true; however, the fact is that there are hundreds of ESL teachers worldwide who work only as private teachers.
  4. Teaching private lessons can never be as prestigious as working in an ESL school. That depends on whom you are teaching, for example: if you are teaching a president’s child, some famous actor, or renowned academic – it will be a lot more prestigious than working in an ESL school.
  5. Doing private lessons is the way to earning ‘big’ money. Although private lessons often pay well, it is not guaranteed that you will necessarily earn a lot of money. If you are working in a Third World country, you are unlikely to command large hourly rates – even if your clients are relatively rich.
  6. Discipline isn’t really a problem. What is forgotten by many people who believe this myth is that the students are in their own environment: it’s their home. Consequently, when students, minors more often than not, do decide to misbehave – it can be an extremely daunting task for the ESL teacher to control them; in fact, it can be much more difficult than at school – and the situation can be further exacerbated by over doting parents.
  7. You aren’t answerable to anyone. As a private teacher, you won’t have to justify yourself to directors of studies; however, you may find yourself answerable to your employer – the parents – who can at times be extremely over-demanding and lacking in understanding.

Get Social

Follow us on social networks, join our newsletter - get the latest news and early discounts

Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us on social networks, sign up to our e-newsletters – get the latest news and early discounts

Accreditation Partners

The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.

Product added to your cart

You have added to your cart:

Request call back

    Please leave your details below and one of our TEFL experts will get back to you ASAP:

    captcha Type characters on the left:

    Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

    Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

    Thank you! Your message has been sent!

    Download the TEFL World Factbook

      Please enter your details in order to download the latest TEFL World Factbook.

      Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

      Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

      Thank you for downloading the TEFL World Factbook!


      If the TEFL World Factbook did not download
      > Click Here To Download <.

      Download the Online Teaching Guide

        Please enter your details in order to download our Online Teaching Guide.

        Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

        Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

        Thank you for downloading our Online Teaching Guide!


        If the Online Teaching Guide did not download
        > Click Here To Download <.

        Download Prospectus

          Please enter your details in order to download our latest prospectus.

          Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

          Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

          Thank you for downloading our prospectus!


          We hope you enjoy reading our prospectus, we have tried to make it as useful as possible! Please get in touch if you have any questions.


          If the prospectus did not download automatically
          > Click Here To Download <.

          $
          $