When you teach English, are you teaching a language or a skill?
First of all, what is a language, and what is a skill?
Language is a tool, one of many tools people need to solve their problems and achieve their goals.
A skill is a holistic sort of knowledge that people need to solve problems and achieve their goals.
Let’s say there is a mechanic who needs to fix a car.
When you teach a language, you teach the mechanic how to use a tool, one of many tools the mechanic needs to fix the car.
It could be a wrench, a screwdriver.
When you teach a skill, you teach the mechanic the holistic knowledge they need to fix the car.
It’s not only about how to use each tool, but also the steps the mechanic follows to diagnose, fix, and evaluate progress.
So when you teach English, are you teaching a language or a skill?
When you are a general teacher, you teach a language because you only teach students how to use English as they try to solve their problems and achieve their goals on their own.
When you are a niche teacher, you’re teaching a skill. You teach students how to solve their problems when it comes to English.
If you are a niche teacher helping students with their English communication, you teach students how to conduct meetings in English, make small talk in English, and socialize with clients and colleagues in English so that they can succeed in their careers with better English communication skills.
If you are a niche teacher helping students with their presentations in English, you teach students how to create and deliver engaging presentations so that they feel comfortable and confident in every future presentation they give, with better English presentation skills.
So now that you understand this distinction, how will it help you and your business?
First, when you teach skills, the market rewards you with higher returns because of the bigger impact you make on students’ lives.
When you are a general teacher, you help students learn a language and earn what a language is worth.
When you are a niche teacher, you help students develop a skill and earn what a skill is worth.
Second, you can highlight your skills-based approach in your marketing and sales to help you build trust and differentiate yourself.
You can even write articles and record videos talking about it so students know that you aren’t just another ESL teacher teaching a language.
Last but not least, you’ll know how to position yourself and why you are worth more, so you are confident in charging a higher rate.
What do you think?
Let me know in the comment.