An adage says, “If a teacher hasn’t taught, the student hasn’t learned.”

This places a tutor in a bad light. Learning is a two-way process, no matter how good the tutor is if the student doesn’t hit the books then nothing can be accomplished. As far as tutors are concerned, they are professionals who had spent time in learning the ropes in teaching. Teaching is a noble profession that requires specialized application of knowledge, skills and attributes to meet the educational needs of an individual or of society.

It is not just about imparting knowledge to an individual but seeing to it that the student has understood the lesson and learned from it.

Easier said than done, for an ESL class there are a lot of things that are superficial that needs to be looked into to improve the level of learning of the students. As a noble profession, the tutor should take time to examine these things and come up with ways on how to address them.

Here are some common problems encountered by a tutor in an ESL class and recommendations on how to solve them.

They do not communicate in English

This is common, since learners will understand each other better in their own language. They even group themselves unmindful of what the teacher is lecturing about.


Give the learners more time to talk in class, let them read and ask them on what they understood from the text. The more they talk, the more they will be interested and involved. They will be learning how to communicate their thoughts which will keep their mind busy in acquiring knowledge. Stress on communication and not on faulty grammar and pronunciation. Doing this will make students think more about what they are doing right and less on what they are doing wrong.

This will also give the tutor an impression on the weaknesses and strengths of a student.

Associate your students with English speakers. Individual association is imperative, they will be more persuaded in figuring out how to communicate in English smoothly.

Bored Students

Glazed eyes, head bowed down, doing something while the lecture is going are signs that students are bored. It is a hard truth to accept but the reason your students are uninterested is that of the TEACHER.


It is the tutor’s responsibility to keep the lesson interesting, no matter what the subject is. The teacher’s ingenuity comes into play, there are ways to make the topic more fun. Like relating a text in the book to actual life scenarios.

Dominating Students

An eager beaver cannot be avoided in a class. They come in classes excited to share something with everyone and before you know it you have a group who’ve completely taken over. They are also the type of student who are competitive, always raises their hands and who would blurt out answers with no regard to others.


Never call them in front of the class, but do not dampen their enthusiasm. Assign them to be the helper of the day, to help their classmates find the right answers. At the end of the day, don’t forget to thank them for their assistance.