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There are a few points to be aware of when teaching with Skype.

1. How will you be paid? If it is a private arrangement with a student from another country, then Paypal is probably best. I work for a language school. The school sends me the students and the school pays me. No doubt I could get more money by finding my own students, but at least this way I don't have to worry about being paid by individual students. I also get paid if the student cancels at short notice. It would probably be best to bring up this matter in a written contract you draw up between you and your student before you start teaching.

2. Is your own computer reliable, and is the internet reliable where you live? Same goes for your student, of course. I have had no problems with technology, I must say, except for just after Christmas when there was a major Skype outage for a couple of days. Still, that's just one of those things. I don't think you should rely on  Skype teaching for your income, however, as things can and do go wrong.

3. You need to be be a lot more organised when teaching with Skype. You must email in advance the material you intend to use. If you set homework you must do so very soon after the lesson in order to give the student time to complete it before the next lesson. You must have everything within easy reach during the lesson, so you do not have to leave your seat as you can't continue the lesson if you are at the other side of the room searching for things.

4. You will probably end up spending more time on lesson preparation unless your student can easily buy the textbook you recommend and you work from that. Your student's hardware may determine what activities you do; no point sending lots of colour pictures if he/she doesn't have a decent printer.

5. My students already speak excellent English, so I do not specifically concentrate on pronunciation. The sound quality on Skype is not always great, and I occasionally have difficulty knowing whether the student has said 'known' or 'knowing' etc, so it could get frustrating if I kept having to ask the student to repeat, or if they couldn't hear the correct version. This means that using Skype for teaching more basic English might pose more problems.

I hope this information helps.

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