The pros and cons of working as a foreign language tutor

Working as a foreign language teacher is both challenging and exciting, especially when you’re freelance. But what are the pros and cons?

There are many benefits (and drawbacks) of working as a freelance foreign language tutor. And to help you work out what they are, here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of working as one.

Pro #1) You can earn higher pay

One popular benefits of working as a freelance foreign language teacher is that you can earn more money. Often you’re paid at a rate that’s higher than the local rate in your country. 

There are also opportunities for being paid in the local currency and rates if you work for a foreign company or website. Plus you have the chance to do more work in a day when you work freelance, as you have complete control over your time. 

Pro #2) You have the opportunity to travel

Working as a freelance foreign language teacher allows you to build a resume that makes you attractive to employers all over the world, which can work to your advantage if you wish to travel, and raise your children overseas.

You’ll be in demand in the countries that need teachers with your language proficiency, which means you can travel and earn an income. Many schools abroad, such as Yi Mandarin in Singapore, are on the hunt for foreign language teachers.

Pro #3) You get to connect with other cultures

There’s something special about having the chance to connect with other cultures, and discover how people in other parts of the world live.

As a foreign language tutor, you won’t be confining yourself within the four walls of a classroom, because you get to meet a wide range of students, too. Online freelance teaching puts the world at your fingertips.

Pro #4) You’ll enjoy the emotional rewards of being a mentor

When you work as a freelance foreign language teacher, in most cases, you’re working on a one-on-one class discussion. And often it can feel as if you’re more than just their teacher; you’re also a mentor.

While this can pose individual challenges, the emotional rewards of mentoring are usually worth the effort. In some cases, you may even develop friendships with your students, as they share their experiences with you.

Con #1) You might need to work longer shifts – or at night

You may need to work long or antisocial hours if your students are from a different time zone to you. You may also need to work for long periods, although the salary is going to be lower for new employees than tenured ones.

At the start you may have to work longer hours to earn the salary that you need or want, but if you’re happy to work hard then this won’t be an issue for you.

Con #2) Your classes might be more difficult

Teaching a foreign language isn’t always easy, especially when you have to do it on a personal, one-on-one level as a freelance instructor.

Just as you meet different cultures, you’re also going to meet students of different personalities. Some are going to be more difficult than others. Some may be disrespectful, while there may even be others that are going to make you feel comfortable.

Some students might also have a harder time trying to understand the English language. Not every session is going to be the same soyou have to extend your patience a little bit more. 

Is teaching for you?

It’s crucial to learn at least one language that’s foreign to you in today’s global marketplace. If you’re a freelance teacher working in this field, you’re giving this opportunity to your students. You’re changing lives for the better. But, like any other job, there are disadvantages also when working in this field. 

We hope these pros and cons help you to weigh up whether being a freelance foreign language teacher is right for you, before you jump into it.