Spanish is a continually popular modern foreign language, studied in schools right up until A-Level.
With language-learning thriving on consistent practice and progress, language tutors are always in demand from students throughout all school years.
With language-learning thriving on consistent practice and progress, language tutors are always in demand from students throughout all school years. This, combined with increasingly busy schedules that require flexible learning options, means that becoming an online Spanish tutor can be an excellent career choice.
The online tuition market has seen massive growth over the last few years, with the development of more effective and sophisticated online learning platforms and tools. The expansion of this sector of tuition means there has never been a better time to begin your career as an online Spanish tutor, and we’re here to help you get started. In this article we’ve compiled our top tips to starting a rewarding career in online Spanish tuition.
The qualifications you need to become an online Spanish tutor
Besides fluency in Spanish, there are no specific qualifications needed to become an online Spanish tutor in the UK. As you’ll most probably be self-employed, it will be entirely down to the client to decide if you are qualified enough to become their tutor.
This being said, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you’ll appear in the eyes of potential clients. Having a Spanish degree, for example, will really make you stand out as a qualified tutor and potentially help you gain more tutees.
It also might be worth obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, particularly if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18. This is not, however, a legal requirement.
The skills you need to teach Spanish online
In order to teach a foreign language online, there are four key skill areas that you’ll need to have mastered. These are:
These skills will allow you tutor a variety of students, from those in lower school years, right the way through to business professionals. Beyond these abilities, you’ll also need to possess the following skills:
- Adaptable teaching style – As an online Spanish tutor, you’re likely to come across students of all ages and abilities, so you’ll need to have the ability to adapt your teaching style to each student’s needs and learning style. You’ll also need to be able to dedicate your undivided attention to each student, or group of students, for the entirety of the lesson, and have a friendly but fair teaching style.
- Technical knowledge – You don’t need to be a tech whizz in order to teach online, but it is important that are you able to effectively set up your online teaching equipment, and comfortably navigate your chosen online teaching platform.
- Business knowledge - When you become a Spanish tutor, you’ll automatically become a business owner – be that as a sole trader or as a limited company. It’s therefore very important that you familiarise yourself with business aspects such as the tax system and marketing best practices. There are many resources, such as accountants and local council business advisors, who can help you with these areas of business.
Choosing your target market
If you feel confident that you possess all the skills needed in order to become a Spanish tutor, you can start to think about who exactly you’re going to teach. As a Spanish tutor, you’ll see the largest demand for your services from GCSE and A-Level students, but there is also likely to be a number of adult learners who are looking for Spanish tuition for business or leisure purposes.
It’s entirely down to you whether you choose to teach only a select group of students, such as GCSE or A-Level students, or whether you wish to teach a wide range of learners. There are, however, a number of benefits to teaching a broad range of students, such as having more varied work, and gaining invaluable experience teaching students of different ages and abilities.
Setting up and choosing your online teaching platform
Once you’ve decided upon your target market, you can start thinking about your online tutoring set-up. The first thing to decide is which platform you’ll use for your lessons, and there are two main options you can choose from:
- Online video platforms such as Skype or Zoom – These platforms are free to use, and come with the ability to share documents, chat, and screen-share, which makes them very practical for online lessons.
- Tutoring platforms – Another option is to sign up to a tutoring site that has its own online teaching platform, such as MyTutor or Tutorful. While it can be handy to have access to both your clients and teaching tools in one place, it’s important to do some research as to any potential commission they may charge you as a tutor.
After you’ve chosen the platform you’ll use to teach online, you can finalise your tutoring set-up. Some things to take into consideration are:
- Your teaching environment– it’s best to choose a quiet, well-lit area to teach from, so that your students can see and hear you clearly.
- Your audio and visual set-up – it’s important to make sure that the sound and picture quality on your computer are of a good standard. You might want to consider buying a microphone or headset, but these are definitely not necessary in order to tutor effectively online.
- Getting to know your online platform– make sure you familiarise yourself with your chosen platform before you begin teaching, so that you’re able to carry out tasks such screen-sharing or sharing documents or links before your first online lesson.
For more advice on how to teach Spanish online with Zoom, watch this video from Teacher’s Tech:
Set your online Spanish tutoring rates
Now that you’ve sorted out your tutoring set-up, you can begin to think about how much you’ll charge for lessons. Rates for online Spanish tutors can vary widely, so we’ve put together some tips to help you decide how much to charge for your services.
If this is your first time tutoring, it’s a good idea to do some research to see how much other online Spanish tutors who have similar experience to yourself are charging for their lessons. This can be done easily with a Google search, or by visiting any of the tutoring sites that provide online Spanish tutors. Once you’ve found a range of tutors who have a similar teaching or educational background to yourself, you’ll have a better idea of how much to charge.
There are no set industry-standard rates for online Spanish tuition, but it’s important that you don’t start out by setting your rates too low, in the hopes of attracting more students. You’ll need to factor the time you dedicate to lesson planning, and the marking of any homework you set your students, into your lesson rate, and not just the hour or so you spend online with them.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how you’ll receive payment for your online Spanish lessons. If you are working through a tutoring site or agency, payment is usually handled directly through the site, so you do not have to worry about organising payment with your students. If not, you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to be paid through bank transfer or PayPal. In both of these cases, make sure that you use invoices and receipts to keep track of payments safely received.
How to find online Spanish tutoring jobs
The final step in starting your online Spanish tutoring career is to market your services. This can be one of the most challenging parts of starting your own business, so it might be helpful to have a read of our post, 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online, which will give you some handy, effective marketing tips for your business.
Ideally, once you’ve established your online tuition business, students will come to you, but until then, you might want to take a look at tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website. Finally, in order to maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should think about signing up to our private tutor directory.
Here at The Tutor Website, we provide advertising to both in-person and online tutors through our tutor directory – so feel free to sign up and create your profile.
Also, If you’d like to learn more about how to teach Spanish online, you can buy our eBook ‘How to Start Your Own Tutoring Business’ for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice.