Private Lessons

HELP offers high-quality private lessons in a one-to-one or one-to-two setting. Private lessons are ideal for students who have specific learning goals that cannot be easily addressed in a group lesson. One of our highly trained instructors designs an individualized curriculum to meet the exact needs of the student.

Private lessons can focus on any skill or content. Examples are: conversation, pronunciation, writing for school or business, making presentations, preparing for job interviews, or preparing for standardized tests such as TOEFL, TOEIC, GRE, or GMAT.

We teach students of all levels. Students at higher levels of English proficiency may benefit from custom designed tutoring for professionals in health sciences, business, law, and engineering.

We also work around each student’s schedule to arrange classes at a time and place that fits their preferences.

**During the COVID-19 pandemic, private lessons can be held online through Zoom videoconferencing or other videoconferencing software.  Students must have access to reliable technology to enroll in online private lessons.

Application Process

Applying for private lessons is easy! Follow the steps below:

1. Fill out the HELP Private Lesson application form.
On the form, the student can indicate their preferences for the schedule and desired curriculum. Students can choose the frequency of sessions, but the minimum length of a session is 1 hour. We recommend that students commit to a minimum of 1 month of lessons.

Send completed form to

2. Pay private lesson application fee of $125.
We will assign a tutor that meets the student’s preferences and contact them with the proposed schedule and an invoice.

Payment Methods:

  • International Payments – Bank wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and more:
    • All international payments are accepted via Flywire.
    • Go to: HELP Flywire Portal and follow the steps to initiate and make payment via Flywire to University of Hawaii
  • Credit Cards (USD$) – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or JCB
  • Checks – All checks are to be made out to the University of Hawaii

Credit card, check, and cash (exact change only) payment can also be made in-person at the HELP Front Office during business hours.

3. Schedule diagnostic lesson.

The private lesson application fee includes an optional 30-minute diagnostic lesson. The diagnostic lesson is an opportunity for the student to meet their tutor and discuss their needs. During the lesson, the tutor will assess the students language abilities and work with the student to develop a lesson plan. If you are interested in the diagnostic lesson, please let us know when submitting your application.

 4. Pay lesson fees.

FEES for Non-HELP students:

Application/Program fee: $125
One-on-one lessons on-campus or online: $60 per hour
One-on-one lessons off-campus: $65 per hour
Semi-private lessons (2-4 students): $40 per hour

The application fee is due with the application.  An invoice for private lesson tuition will be sent after the student confirms the tutoring schedule.  The invoice amount will be due a minimum of 2 business days prior to the start of lessons.

HELP students taking a full-time load of classes are eligible for reduced fees for private lessons. Please see our Tuition & Fees page for details.

Tutoring refund/cancellation policy:

  • The Application/Program fee is non-refundable.
  • Tuition fees are non-refundable.
  • Lesson times may be rescheduled at no extra cost if adequate prior notice is given:
    • If 24 hours’ notice is provided, the lesson may be rescheduled at no charge.
    • If less than 24 hours’ notice is provided, the student will be charged in full for the missed session.

HELP teacher testimonial

Meet one of our amazing teachers! Read how Kristen approaches private lessons with students at HELP.

Aloha! My name is Kristen and I am one of the instructors at Hawaii English Language Program (HELP). I have been doing private tutoring for almost a year at HELP.

My private tutoring is based on what the student’s wants and needs are. When I first meet a student, the first thing I do is find out what the general skill(s) the student would like to improve on and what he or she wants to use English for, such as at home with their children, for work, or traveling. Then, I will bring in both authentic and textbook material to help determine specifically what the student needs to improve on. For example, if the student says that he or she would like to improve in reading, I will bring in a short article for them to read aloud. As the student reads the article, the student will summarize, paraphrase, infer proper pronunciation and meaning of unknown words.

The student may also be asked to bring in any material he or she would like to go over during private tutoring. Additionally, if the student wishes to improve their English conversation, then I will typically start with general conversation topics, such as family and hobbies. Then the student will be asked to bring conversation topics to the private lesson. Overall, my private lessons are determined based on what the student wants to do and the student will practice learner autonomy by being able to bring in articles or conversation topics he or she is interested in.