I want to offer English tuition to deaf adults, but am finding promoting my work difficult. I am currently employed in a school as a Teaching Assistant (Sign Support). I have BSL Level 2, a certificate in TEFL, and I’m studying for NVQ BSL Level 3.
Since I started signing, I have developed an interest in combining English teaching and BSL. How can I get hold of the right people to offer my services to?
I get enquiries like this at least once a term! Deaf students and deaf adults often ask us about English tuition, as local colleges don’t offer what they are looking for. It is really difficult to match up tutors with clients – so tricky, in fact, that I no longer recommend them.
But this is evidence of the demand out there for skilled people such as yourself. You just need to be clear exactly what kind of English teaching you offer – ie. correcting college essays, teaching basic grammar, etc – and also state exactly what communication skills you have (not just BSL qualifications). Matching your services to suitable deaf clients will be a challenge.
Any marketing person will tell you that ‘word of mouth’ is the best way to get clients. Some things you could try to help generate word of mouth advertising:
1) Open a Facebook page advertising your business. Post a mini-lesson there every now and then to give people an idea of what you are offering.
2) Contact your local Social Services, and track down the main person who deals with deaf clients.
3) Make yourself known to your local Deaf Centre or group and maybe offer a small class there.
You only need one deaf client and others will follow!