This is too expensive. I have a friend who can teach me German for 10 euros an hour…
I am told this more than I would like to hear. I am always left with a bitter taste in my mouth after I hang up the phone or finish the conversation. This is why I decided to let you know about the costs behind the language training so you get an idea of why we charge what we charge four our German or English immersive linguistic experiences.
"It’s only an hour"
Well actually no. Preparing a class requires more time than the 45, 60 or 90 minutes you are working with me, or with any language instructor for that matter.
This is a breakdown of what I do before my English learners arrive:
Go over the curriculum I designed & decide if any changes need to be made. ---
Look at the topic, think about my learners and decide the types of activities we will be having.
Come up with games, projects, and tasks or browse through the internet looking for something that will support my learners’ goals.
If we are using any material, I either find it and print it or even more time-consuming? I design the material we need, then print it.
A lot of the material I like to use, like language games, have a ton of little cards, pieces of paper, etc. This means that I need to print them, cover them in contact paper to protect them and then cut them one by one. If I have a group of learners and they will be working in pairs, I need to do this 4 or 5 times depending on the group. Sure, I get to use these again, but I still invested that time.
I also need to prepare any homework that the learners will have or any projects they will do outside of our sessions.
Depending on the number of learners and the type of activities we are doing, I might have to do grading and have it ready for learners when they arrive.
Plus, I have to prepare SOS activities because learners surprise you. This means that sometimes they arrive, have had a rough time and can’t focus, so they need something different than what I originally planned. Or, they are super focused and covered all the material but we still have 20 minutes left. My SOS activities need to be aligned with we are covering, it can’t be just to watch the new Stranger Things episode.
Staying up to date comes with a price
A good language trainer also needs to keep learning. In order to do this, we pay yearly membership fees to websites, publications, and conferences, etc. Our teaching model relys on networking events to meet qualified people to lead our confidence-boosting workshops, so of course, we have to pay for that. We also take professional development courses that keep us up to speed with new research and teaching trends. This year Mariana took one to be better at teaching 1-1 sessions and we paid 300€ for two weeks of online training. You, as a language learner, benefit from them because that means we can teach you better and help you reach your goals more effectively. So of course, that price factors into our hourly rate.
You get what you pay for
Don’t get me wrong, We're not saying that just because a language trainer costs more means it is better. We're sure there are excellent teachers that charge less than we do. But you can also find terrible teachers that charge less. In fact, they might not even be qualified to teach at all. Keep in mind that just because a person can speak a language doesn’t mean she or he is trained to teach it. Spanish is my also native language but I can’t teach Spanish, I don’t even know why or when we use the subjunctive. It might actually end up being more expensive for you to work with a “cheaper” teacher, not just in money but in time.
When you learn a language with us, the price includes everything you might need for the sessions. Given that our curriculum includes workshops that help you use the language in real life, the workshop leaders need to be paid as well. If you need a worksheet, that is included. If you need tomatoes, flour and eggs for a cooking workshop, that is also included. Those costs are included in our hourly rate.
Language trainers are also people
Surprise! We also have lives to live, bills and taxes to pay, food to eat, trips to take, movies to see, clothes to wear, places to be. We need money to do this. Language training is our passion, but it’s also our job.
So there you have it, all that goes into our pricing.