X Close

UCL Careers

Home

Find Your Future

Menu

10 Tips to a Successful Language Career

By Joe O'Brien, on 7 October 2020

Written by Ed O’Neill (Guest writer from UK Language Project)

If you’re interested in a career in teaching, why not start offering your services as a private language tutor? Whilst incredibly rewarding and interesting work, it can also equip you with that all-important experience you need to succeed in your further career.

Language expert Ed O’Neill from UK Language Project takes us through the do’s and don’t’s of getting started.

10 Steps to get you started

  • Select language
    • Choosing your language is important. Make sure it’s one you know to at least C1 (advanced level). Your native language is always a good bet.
  • Choose between online/in-person teaching and choose your market
    • Personal preference may dictate this. Are you fine with lessons on your laptop? Or do you prefer face to face, in-person interactions? Perhaps a mix of both would work?
  • Research language teaching qualifications
    • This isn’t essential just at the start but it’s important to know what qualifications are available if you decide to pursue this in the long term.
  • Ensure your admin is in order before starting
    • From registering for tax, buying a good microphone and speakers/headset, to printing/scanning your materials. Get this sorted ahead of time.
  • Register with tutoring marketplaces
    • The marketplaces do the marketing for you and will find you students. Get on as many as you can.
  • Be open to new opportunities and put yourself out
    • Go the extra mile. There are no traffic jams on the extra mile! If you take as many opportunities that come your way as you can, you’ll be rewarded down the line.
  • Reviews, reviews, reviews!
    • Set yourself apart. Get every student to review your lessons and build a portfolio of happy students who will be keen to recommend you. This will attract others to you and your lessons.
  • Make continuous forward progress
    • Teaching is a growth process. You and your skills will improve over time with experience. Embrace the learning and keep crafting your teaching to get better and better.
  • Keep building your network
    • Once your established, apply for freelance work with agencies/language schools. This can really add another dimension to your work and often works out more stable in the long run.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at how to get started with what is an incredibly rewarding career. A much more detailed guide can be found on the UK Language Project website.

Leave a Reply