I get inquires from time to time about teaching English here in the Philippines as a way to finance living here for foreigners. I’ve written a number of times on that issue, including a series of articles on how to make a living teaching English online, in the Philippines or in their home country.
But even though a lot of my readers don’t realize they already have a valuable skill set … their native-speaking English skills … English is not the only langauge people want to learn.
A fellow I read regularly, Fred Reed (I recommend you read Mr. Reed as well), who is an American who chooses to live his life (and support himself online in Mexico), is married to a lovely lady name of Violeta, who was born in Mexico and speaks Spanish like a native, because she is one. People often approached Viloleta about learning Spanish from her, and she and Fred decided to set up a business for her to do just that.
About how much was involved? Not much. Pretty much just this page on Fred’s website, and Violeta deciding what she would charge, how many students she’ll take on, her hours of work, etc.
by telephone from Mexico
There is no easy way to learn a language. Enjoyable ways, yes. Easy, no. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to pick your pocket.
A language consists of its grammar and its vocabularly. You know both, or you don’t know the language.
Why study by telephone? Pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down, call Berlitz, and ask what they charge for one-on-one lessons with an experienced teacher. When you have recovered, consider: With Violeta, you don’t have to drive to wherever Spanish lessons are given. You can study from a log cabin in Wyoming, if you have internet. There are no phone charges, as we have various all-you-can-eat phone services. Homework is easily done by email, any desired books are available on Amazon, all sorts of resources are available online (see below), and you pay with PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account, just a credit card).
How many of you out there are native speakers of some langauge aside from English? lesse, perhaps Tagalog, Ilocano, Bisaya (and about 87 more that are spoken in the Philippines)? How about Danish or Swedish or Japanese or Mandarin, or? Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos go abroad every year for work, you think maybe learning another language will help them earn more and have a better life?
There are people here in the Philippines successfully doing this online. My own view is, there aren’t nearly enough of them. If you do a search for learning Tagalog online you pretty much wind up with sites that sell you books … you can’t learn a langauge from a book, that’s as patently silly as trying to read about riding a bicycle. I see very few people who put their name and picture online a Violeta does, set up a simple PayPal account and start teaching.
There are people all over the world who want to learn, economically and from the comfort of their own home while you stay in yours. Are you going to let then sit and wait and wonder how they could learn, or are you going top decide that 2011 will be the year you stop saying “if only”, or going to work day after day in a job you hate, or living where you don’t want to live because “you can’t” make a move, and instead start doing something about changing your life?
The average person has something like 3900 weeks to live. Chances are you have already used up one-third, one half or even more. There are 52 more weeks available in 2011. Will you waste all of them “wishing” or “hoping” as you just wasted the 52 weeks you had in 2010?
I realize all of my readers aren’t particularly keen on learning to make money for themselves or becoming self-sufficient and able to do things for themselves rather than waiting to see what the government, or the lotto or “good fortune” can do for them. But there’s a whole new year ahead of us here at PhilFAQS and I’ve decided to rededicate myself to teaching people how not to waste the next 52 “marbles” in your jar. You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything … and too many of my fellow Americans have turned into marshmallow-like pushovers, I’m sad to say.
As we say here in the Philippines, ” ‘sup to you”.