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How language teachers can use Clubhouse to find new students

Clubhouse is the new social media channel that everyone is talking about at the moment. If you don't know what it is, have a look at this video for example, which gives you a good overview. But basically, it's a drop in audio chat platform. You can talk, but you can't see or message anyone. And it's all live.

What I wanted to talk about in this post are some ideas for what you could do on Clubhouse as a language teacher.

Why should you consider doing stuff on Clubhouse?

It's a very effective way to make people/students discover you! I've been hosting some rooms throughout March and April this year (2021), and it's been such a good networking tool. You'll find that people start following you immediately - on Clubhouse and also on Instagram/Twitter (whichever channel you have hooked up to Clubhouse). I've had many requests after hosting rooms. New students have found me, found my materials, found my website, emailed to ask to start lessons, etc.

Another thing I particularly enjoy about Clubhouse is that it feels really intimate. And it's also a bit more relaxed, somehow, when you don't have to think about being on camera. I have found it quite liberating!

What should you have in place before you do something on Clubhouse?

The first thing to sort out is your profile. This is your only opportunity to show people who you are and what you do, so definitely spend a little bit of time making sure it looks good. You'll quickly realise from other peoples' profiles that people use emojis as bullet points, and they usually keep that at the top of the profile (see picture below). After that you can write a longer blurb about why you do what you do (remember - always start with why), how you can help people, what you're interested in, and so on. You can also point people towards a website here, but it won't create a hyperlink. But you can still mention it!

You should also link up your Clubhouse profile to either an Instagram or a Twitter account (or both if you want), because this is how people can reach you. Remember that there is no message function inside of Clubhouse, so you definitely want to make sure they can easily tap to another channel where they can message you.

I would also recommend to join a language club, and start your rooms in here to begin with. Two of the biggest language clubs on Clubhouse at the time of writing are The Lingo Lobby (28K members currently) and The Duolingo Language Group (11K members currently). When you're a member, you can start up rooms within their clubs. This means their members will get notified in their feeds when you schedule and run rooms, and it will also reach people who are following these clubs even if they are not members (The Lingo Lobby currently has 80K+ community).

What can you do in a room on Clubhouse?

This is where the fun begin. You can do anything you like! But here are some ideas, just to get you started:

- host a conversation practice session

- host themed topic conversations (focusing on specific vocab)

- host vocab sessions (go through a small number of words and explain how they should be used)

- host phrase sessions (same as vocab sessions, but for phrases)

- host listening practice sessions (you could read bits from a book for example, maybe at different speeds (slow - medium - fast) and ask comprehension questions at the end

- host grammar sessions, where you explain particular grammar issues in depth

- run a book club

...and more!

Maybe you have a particular niche that you can tap into?

Have you got more ideas, or any experiences you want to share? Let me know in the comments.

Oh, and I'm @annelihaake on Clubhouse. :)

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