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What is a Reasonable Rate for Teaching?
Thread poster: Davidj (X)

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
Oct 27, 2012

Hello All,

I came to the conclusion yesterday that they're two ways to charge for teaching a foreign language:Per lesson and per bundle. Which is the preferred way from a customer's point of view? I want to be reasonable, and I know you charge for what you think you are worth, but this seems like the hardest part so far!

Or should I do lessons for free?

DavidJ

[Edited at 2012-10-27 14:18 GMT]


 

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This may help! Oct 27, 2012

In addition, it may help you to know my rates! They're are posted at www.irisheducationcenter.com.

Update: I just made the classes free!

[Edited at 2012-10-27 15:40 GMT]


 

Catherine Gilsenan
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:56
French to English
+ ...
Fee Oct 27, 2012

Hi

I teach French and Spanish to adults on a private basis.

I charge £15 per hour, but I don't know what the going rate is.
£15 seemed reasonable to me (not to high, not too low).


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
One thing's for sure: free isn't reasonable Oct 27, 2012

Davidj wrote:

In addition, it may help you to know my rates! They're are posted at www.irisheducationcenter.com.

Update: I just made the classes free!

[Edited at 2012-10-27 15:40 GMT]

I thought you were setting up a business?

Frankly, I don't know that even the customer is served by giving free lessons. One free introductory (short) lesson - more of an evaluation of their level and a presentation of your offer than a real lesson - can be a good idea for both parties. But free ad infinitum? Where's the business in that? I would definitely wonder why someone was offering me that. "If it isn't worth charging for, it can't be worth anything" is what I would expect many students to say.

Although I'm a very experienced EFL teacher, my cleints were always businesses so things were rather more structured, and I've always worked through a school. But my husband and I are having lots of Spanish tuition at the moment - 3 x 1hr per week. We started with a free half hour; we paid for the first few lessons on arrival; then we paid at the beginning of each week; since then we've been paying at the start of the month - and getting a small discount because of it. That all seemed very logical and sensible to us.

I wouldn't have gone to him if he'd said it was free. Being a teacher myself, I want to be taught by a fellow professional.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 21:56
Chinese to English
Must bundle Oct 27, 2012

Particularly if you're teaching adults, you'll find that they'll come to a few lessons, then the pressures of life will make attendance tail off. You have to sell bundles of lessons, or you'll end up with no control over your schedule.

 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:56
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I've been running my own business since 1985 Oct 27, 2012

First of all, my students pay a subscription when they sign up.

In regard to the fees, two years ago I realised I needed to increase them because although Spain is suffering the effects of the crisis, rent, electricity,etc. get more expensive every year. I decided to introduce two payment options: students can choose to pay per term (the monthly rate is the same as eight years ago) or they can pay monthly (they pay €5.00 more per month).

It all depends on how much you need/want to earn per hour and how many students you can teach at the same time.

One thing is clear, if something has cost people money, they tend to take whatever they have bought more seriously.

If you would like more information, send me a private message and I will be delighted to help you.


[Edited at 2012-10-27 19:31 GMT]


 

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good ideas Oct 27, 2012

Yes, thank you for the reality check folks :} Sometimes the truth hurts, but sometimes that is good! I'll send you a message Helana Chavarra! Thanks for the offer.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:56
Hebrew to English
When I was a lad.... Oct 28, 2012

...about 15 years ago my folks used to pay for my private language tuition. We paid £20.00 a hour (my teacher did a deal - 2 hour blocks for £30.00 - which I did). That was standard back then, so I'd say rates are at least the same now, if not more.

Here's another teacher's hint: never teach for longer than 2 hours. For both the teacher and the student - it's too much! I always preferred 2 hour blocks, 1 hour never seemed enough, 3 hours was too much. (You have to think about factors such as the teacher's energy, the student's attention span etc.).

As for the hour/bundle decision, you can charge by both. Some people won't like paying for a bundle (commitmentphobes) and some people won't/can't pay the bundle price upfront, so there's no point in alienating potential customers when you can just offer them an alternative (per hour).


 

Laura Daly  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:56
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spelling... Oct 29, 2012

Hi David,

Prices aside, I had a glance at your website out of curiosity and spotted this spelling mistake, you might want to change it!icon_smile.gif

"For example, if you wanted to say the dog, an madra, it would be in a singular nominative form, but if you wanted to indicate possession also known as the genitive case you would use another form, and mhadra."

[Edited at 2012-10-29 10:52 GMT]


 

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ops! Oct 29, 2012

Yup, that's a pretty big mistake. Thanks for the heads up :}.

kind regards,

DavidJ


 

thelanguagebanc
Local time: 07:56
Rates Oct 29, 2012

Part of the rates are going to be based on your volume of students and how many people you train at the same time. Best way to go about it would be to offer discounted group classes with the option for personal training. With group classes, you will want to bundle it into 12 week classes with different levels of training.

You can then have some kind of online package you can sell via a website with subscription options or an option to buy your entire "Language Training Package", which can include one-on-one training for an additional premium.

For the one-on-one training, charge people "per session" instead of per hour. It will work better with their psychology.

Market yourself as an industry expert and professional. Studies have shown that 80% of the time, people will follow the advice of someone that they believe is a professional even if that person is telling them something absolutely absurd. Labeling yourself as a "professional" trainer will help you gain influence and move people to listen to what you are saying.

And before you get going, do industry research. Find out how much demand there is for your service and who your target market is.


 

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks much! Oct 30, 2012

Thank you thelanguagebanc for the wise advice. I have just updated the site according your suggestions. Where I work they offer pet training classes in groups as well. It must work if they also charge per group.

As for the market, I do know there is one. There is a website called, www.gaeltalk.net that offers Irish classes from native speakers. How I am going to compete with native speakers? I don't know. But I have a passion for the language and I'm going to continue.

Davidj


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 20:56
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Irish Culture Oct 30, 2012

I admit I don't know anything about the American market for Irish, and I don't know much about Irish either, so take this tip cum grano salis.
In your early communication on the ProZ forums, you seemed to be afraid to combine teaching with translating. I think it's not a bad idea at all, especially because I doubt if translating into/from Irish is feasible. On the contrary, I'suggest you expand with a third category, courses in Irish culture, not necessarily limited to what's in the jar. I can imagine that the Irish in the US are more interested in Ireland and their own background - just like you - than in the language. Another advantage is that they only have to listen, they don't have to study, so it's suitable for everybody. The subject matter is almost unlimited: Irish music, folk, dances, architecture, art, literature, food, and whiskey, of course. The Dubliners (twice), Joyce, Van Morrison, famous Irish abroad/in the US, the list can be almost endless. And in almost all cases, you can pay attention to language in your course. And since these courses this would typically be group courses, you can make serious money.

Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2012-10-30 04:31 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Absolutely absurd = professional? Oct 30, 2012

thelanguagebanc wrote:
Market yourself as an industry expert and professional. Studies have shown that 80% of the time, people will follow the advice of someone that they believe is a professional even if that person is telling them something absolutely absurd.

Hang on a bit! I don't think what you've described is either an industry expert or a professional (although that word has had a lot of bad press and is difficult to define). That sounds to me more like a conman (sorry, conperson - I'm sure you get female ones too).

Both the language training and translation sectors of the industry are being invaded by people who think they 'can do', but who actually don't have a clue. We can't stop them setting themselves up in business and charging people for their services, but we can refrain from suggesting that they inflate their claims of abilities. We should be educating where we can, and above all, showing them the realities of the profession.

BTW, I'm not targeting those comments at you, Davidicon_wink.gif, but I do hope you don't market yourself as an industry expert. You're clearly a beginner in the profession, no more, no less, and to answer your specific question about your competition, I imagine the only way you can win out (at least in the early days) is to offer your services more cheaply.


 

Davidj (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:56
English to Irish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Honestly is the best policy Nov 1, 2012

Thank you Sheila, Languagebanc and meta for your advice. I agree with Sheila on not labeling myself a professional since I'm new to language teaching! However, I agree with the 12-Week lesson plan idea. So far, it's working better than my previous payment plans.

The idea about providing Irish culture lessons isn't a bad idea ether! My major in college is indeed history, and I used to be a history buff before I started to study languages.


 
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