Niche Teaching – Do You Need a Generalist or a Specialist?

A niche market is a part of a larger market that is defined by its unique identity, needs and preferences, which makes it different from the larger market. For example, age-defying creams are part of the skin care market. Some doctors have niches, such as geriatrics or pediatrics. Niche teaching is based on this premise. A niche is defined by the problems its students have. A niche teacher focuses on a very specific group of learners who have a very specific problem, for example, Arabic-speaking medical professionals who need to work on their pronunciation and presentation skills. A niche teacher offers their niche a very specific solution to their problem.


As a passionate teacher who has been travelling and living abroad for over 15 years, I believe that niche teaching is the future for several reasons. The most important reason is that the vast majority of English learners need to communicate well for a specific purpose. But it takes a certain kind of person to be a niche teacher.


  • What qualities are necessary?
  • How does a student know what they need?
  • How can you find a niche teacher? What are the pros and cons of niche teaching for you as an English learner?
  • What are the pros and cons of niche teaching? How does niche teaching encourage compassion, cultural understanding and tolerance?

These are the questions Shelley would like to answer during the webinar. Shelley would also love to hear from others what they think about this topic.


About Shelley Stark

Shelley was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, USA. She has been travelling and living abroad off and on since 2001. She has been teaching English as a second language intermittently since her first volunteer experience at an orphanage in Puerto Escondido, Mexico in 2001.

Shelley loves words and how they are used to define and shape reality. She loves learning languages. She has studied Spanish, French, Latin, Italian, Hindi and Nepali. At the present time, she is trying to learn Arabic. Therefore she understands the difficulties and challenges faced by her learners. She has lived in nine different countries since 2001. She has visited over 25 countries. She thrives on adapting to new cultures.

Shelley believes all life on Earth is equal, sacred and deserving of respect. She adores animals and spends as much of her time in nature as she can. She is a vegetarian and her mantra is “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

She loves teaching and helping others. She is an accredited and experienced English Communication Specialist who now works with medical professionals around the world to help them boost their level of fluency.