If you have a comfortable home in a good location, did you know you could potentially teach and host students of English? Global English TESOL graduate Lesley Vernon does just that and so we asked her about her vast experience as a homestay English teacher...
Hello Lesley. Can you tell us about your background?
I‘ve been an English TEFL homestay teacher in the South East of England for over ten years since qualifying with an A Grade Certificate with Global English TESOL. I then went on to take the GE Teaching English to Young Learners Certificate and subsequently the Teaching English One-to-One (both Grade A). This came about after redundancy from my career as a School Secretary.
Which nationalities and ages have you taught?
I’ve taught and accommodated lots – students from France, Russia, China and the Czech Republic for example. Generally they are in their mid to late teens and are aiming to improve their English before major exams or for college or university entrance. I have also had some mature students keen to improve their English for greater job prospects. A typical stay is 1 week to a month, usually during the summer holidays.
What do homestay organisers look for?
In my experience they usually looking for a family with children/teenagers of a similar age so students can mingle and feel at home. The house needs to be clean and offer appropriate accommodation (spare room if possible) as well as somewhere to teach the morning's lessons. Our dining room is probably the most ideal structured setting with as few distractions as possible. At the start of this process, I was able to show the organisers all my Global English certificates, as well as my BA achieved with the Open University and previous A levels and college certification which more than satisfied their requirements.
What hours do you teach?
I usually teach 15 hours a week Monday - Friday (3 hours per day in the mornings though this can be flexible). On top of this, it is required that the student is taken out for a day on a trip to London, for example plus two further afternoons to the cinema, crazy golf etc. The rest of the time the student is free to do as they like.
Are there extra demands as a homestay teacher?
The whole experience is one of total absorption into English family life. Also, one has to bear in mind the age of the students; I have had a young girl from China, for instance, who celebrated her 13th birthday with us, so I have felt at times that I've also had to act as a maternal figure and confidante.
What about pay? And have you any advice for homestay teachers?
The pay varies but is reasonable bearing in mind that the student is being taught and accommodated on a full-time basis during their stay. My advice to potential teachers is: gain full certification and as much experience as possible. A stock of lesson plans has also been invaluable. It is important to be very open-minded as the students come from many differing social and cultural backgrounds. Encouraging them and making them feel at home at all times is essential.
Thank you, Lesley. Sounds like a a really rewarding role.
Lesley is currently setting up as a Skype teacher of English. Contact us if you are interested in learning English from Lesley by Skype.
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