5 Things to Look for in a Language Tutor
Learning a second language is challenging for most people, and often the classroom setting leaves little time for interaction with a teacher and can leave some students falling behind. Finding a good tutor, however, can help make the process easier and more enjoyable. When looking for a tutor for yourself or someone else there are several important attributes to look for in order to achieve success. Here is a look at five to consider.
Everyone has a different learning style and different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to mastering a second language. It’s important to have a tutor who can recognize the type of learning style you have and adapt the way they teach you to that style. When interviewing a potential tutor ask about their teaching style. If a tutor mentions that they like to stick to one method you may want to look elsewhere if that method isn’t right for you.
Along with flexibility, a good tutor can be flexible in his or her teaching methods. They should be able to come up with exercises that help you to master difficult concepts and come up with creative means to help you understand areas that you are struggling in. In an interview ask a potential candidate about a creative way they handled a difficult learning situation. If they can’t think of anything you will probably want to move on to someone else.
3. Perception and Preparation
A good tutor will be able to recognize how a student’s brain works and be able to foresee any potential hang ups or difficult areas in future materials. The tutor will then adjust materials and prepare the lesson in order to avoid as much frustration as possible. In addition the tutor should be versed in the material well enough to answer questions and solve problems quickly without having to use reference materials. When selecting a tutor, ask them what they do to prepare for lessons and how they adjust lessons based on the student’s need.
The point of having a tutor is that they support you in your endeavors. A good tutor can give encouragement when a student is struggling and get them to continue to work on a difficult concept even if they want to quit. As you talk to a tutor get a feel for how positive they are about your ability to learn the language and ask them about a time they encouraged a disgruntled student to continue their work.
5. Short-Term Students
While most services like to advertise that their customers stick with them for a long time as a good sign of the quality of their product and service, the purpose of a tutor is to get you out on your own. If a tutor has students that stick with them for years without making enough progress to leave the tutor, then the tutor is doing something wrong. Ask a potential tutor about how long students usually need their services. If the duration tends to average more than a year, you should probably look elsewhere for language support.