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What Does a Private English Tutor Do?

A private English tutor provides personalized instruction to enhance your language skills. They identify your strengths and weaknesses, create tailored lesson plans, and offer one-on-one guidance to improve your reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension. Curious about how a tutor could boost your English proficiency?
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A private English tutor is a person who provides instruction to students outside of the classroom. This person usually works with students in need of additional guidance beyond the normal English instruction provided by teachers or professors, and the private English tutor will either work as an employee of a school or as a freelance tutor. Private tutoring lessons involve working in a one-on-one setting, meaning the student will get more attention than he or she is afforded in a classroom full of other students. The grade level with which the tutor will work will depend on his or her qualifications and preferences.

The English language can be a difficult one to master, even for native speakers, so a private English tutor will help a student develop stronger English skills as they relate to the material being covered in the classroom. This means the private English tutor will need to assess the student's current ability levels and find out what topics are being covered in the student's classes. If the tutor works for the school the student attends, he or she may collaborate with the primary instructor to develop a tutoring plan for the student. If the tutor is a freelancer or works independently of the school, he or she will need to assess the student and develop a tutoring plan independently.

Private English tutors work with students on an individual basis.
Private English tutors work with students on an individual basis.

If the private English tutor works for the school, it is likely that tutor will get paid an hourly wage by the school. If the tutor works as a freelancer, he or she will set the pricing structure to be competitive with other tutoring services. It is important to research independent tutors carefully to ensure they are qualified to perform the job; English tutors should have college degrees in English or related studies, and they will usually have some sort of teaching experience as well, though this is not always necessary. Independent tutors will need to advertise their services in order to find students in need of instruction, whereas tutors who work at a school will have the advantage of referrals from teachers.

Private English tutors might be able to help students polish writing assignments.
Private English tutors might be able to help students polish writing assignments.

Students who can’t find an English tutor through their schools will likely end up working with an online English tutor. Online tutoring has become popular for students in all academic subjects as they can have a more flexible tutoring schedule by working with an online english tutor and can also find the best tutor possible without being limited by geography. Online tutoring is especially useful for students with special needs who need to find a tutor with extra educational training and qualifications.

Unlike the primary instructor, the private English tutor will not necessarily draw up lesson plans and lecture a student. Instead, the tutor will assess the student's needs and develop a tutoring strategy to help that student understand key concepts. This may involve administering practice tests, providing learning tools and aids, discussing topics with students, or developing new methods of teaching concepts to a particular student. Each tutoring plan will be different and tailored to the student.

Because tutoring plans are customized on a student-by-student basis, hiring an online private English tutor is one of the best ways for someone to improve in the subject.

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Discussion Comments


In high school, we spent six weeks learning how to diagram sentences. It was so hard for me. Eventually, my parents hired a tutor for me. She went through all the parts of speech with me and explained what each of them did. She spent so much more time with me than the teacher could in the classroom.

To be honest with you, I would have a difficult time diagramming a sentence today, but I learned enough to pass the course for that six weeks, so my parents' money was well spent.


When I was in college, my friend's mother asked me to tutor her youngest son in English. He had failed the course in high school and had to make the course up over the summer. He was embarrassed that he couldn't keep up in English, of all subjects. His main problem was he had fallen behind and never caught up.

The good thing about having a personal one-on-one tutor is that lessons move at the student's pace, as slow or as fast as he needs them to go. My pupil passed the course with an 80 percent, so I am one for one as a tutor.


I have worked and continue to work as an English tutor when I have the time. Mostly, I tutor people who do not have English as their first language. English is one of the most difficult languages to master because of all the different grammar rules. I get pleasure out of seeing my students progress. The language is so intimidating for them at the outset.

Once a student begins to build his English vocabulary and learn how to put sentences together in proper grammatical form, his confidence increases and I can see the difference in him. Being unable to speak the primary language of the country where you live is awkward. People who cannot speak the language find the transition to a new place more daunting than people who know the language, and are comfortable using it in day to day interactions.

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    • Private English tutors work with students on an individual basis.
      By: kolett
      Private English tutors work with students on an individual basis.
    • Private English tutors might be able to help students polish writing assignments.
      By: Pixsooz
      Private English tutors might be able to help students polish writing assignments.