How To Find an Online Language Teacher

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Language Learning / Languages / Online Education

How To Find an Online Language Teacher

We’ve all seen the promises of language learning sites claiming that you can get fluent for free just by listening to podcasts. However, no app or online course will ever replace the benefits of an experienced, professional teacher.

But the question on everybody’s lips is:

Where Do I Find A Good Teacher?

While individual classes can be expensive, they’ll save you money in the long run. You’ll get a customized curriculum to push you to achieve your goals and acquire usable language skills faster.

When deciding where and how to take your language classes, it’s important to find a teacher that meets your specific needs. But with thousands of teachers to choose from, it can be difficult to find one that’s right for your personality, schedule, and budget.

That’s why at Learn&Co we give students a free consultation with our tutors. This way, you can feel confident you’re making the right choice. At the end of the day, you want to find a teacher you relate to. One that helps you feel excited and motivated to keep learning.

The last thing anybody would want is to have to cancel your language lessons a few months down the line because you have come to the realisation that it is just not working. Maybe you are not connecting with your tutor, or you find that not enough time is being committed to your course. Or something else might crop up during the process that makes you feel as if you regret even taking the course in the first place. This can all be avoided by considering certain important questions and requirements before you settle for a teacher. Let me break them down for you:

  1. What Are Your Goals?
  2. What Is Your Time Commitment?
  3. How Will You Stay Motivated?
  4. What Do You Look For In A Teacher?

What Are Your Goals?

It is important to have a clear idea of why you want to learn a language, and where you would like to be at the end of your course. This can help your tutor to create a schedule with specific learning objectives for each session you have. It is very likely that you will reach your goals this way. If you are not completely sure of what you are aiming to achieve by the end of your course, think of it like this:

What are you looking for? Are you hoping to reach a specific milestone like being able to watch an entire movie in the language without subtitles? Is it maybe a qualification you are going for? Or do you just like learning as a casual hobby?

You should also be able to determine what level you are currently at. Are you at the Beginner stage? Conversational? Advanced? It is essential for your teacher to be aware of your level before starting the course. Then, they can accurately put together the right material for you. It will also help them to understand what may be too much or too simple for you. Furthermore, knowing which stage you are beginning at can aid you in deciding which level you would like to end at.

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What Is Your Time Commitment?

Learning a new language is hard work. It requires time, commitment, dedication, and consistency. It is advisable to be honest with yourself and examine just how much time you can put into it. Naturally, everybody is different with their own priorities and schedules in their daily lives. So it is understandable if one person can commit to four lessons a week, while another person can dedicate only one day of the week to having a session with their tutor.

Of course, it is necessary to consider the fact that the more spaced out your lessons are, the longer it may take for you to reach your desired goals. You would have to think about your long-term plan with having a language teacher. Then, you have to decide whether you are willing to spend however much time it will take to reach your goals.

It should also be noted that to really excel in the education you are receiving, you must dedicate some time to it outside of your lessons. This includes doing homework; reading and researching more; and/or partaking in activities like holding conversations in the language. You must be ready to do this. If you decide to take lessons five times a week and you still have to spend time on the language outside of that, you may realise that it is cutting into your time for your other priorities. So think about how much space between lessons is right for you.

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How Will You Stay Motivated?

This leads me into my next point. You will have to dedicate some time to your language learning outside of the lessons. But even in order to do that, you have to possess the motivation. It is quite easy – no matter the type of education – to procrastinate. You might find your productivity slipping outside of lessons. You may even find your attention dwindling in your lessons.

So it is a good idea to think about how you will keep yourself motivated through your learning. Maybe you like to reward yourself once you complete certain tasks. Do you like to remind yourself of the fact you’re spending a lot of money and time on the course, and failing to really commit to it may cause you to feel like you wasted these things? Or is it that simply reminding yourself of your goals will be enough to bring your attention back to what matters? Do you have a friend, or friends, who are good at keeping you accountable?

It is definitely a good idea to consider before beginning your language course, just how you will keep yourself accountable, and stay motivated. If you don’t do the necessary work outside of lessons, and/or if you are not paying enough attention during your lessons, you will not get as much as you possibly can from the course.

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What Do You Look For In A Teacher?

For some people, it’s very important that their teacher is someone they can have fun with. All teachers should be enthusiastic about each lesson they go into, but some display it in different ways. You might prefer teachers that overtly display their enthusiasm, because it can help you to remain excited for the entire lesson. They could do this by including some fun interactive features that will still allow you to learn. This way, you could feel as if your teacher is somewhat of a friend that just wants to help you to reach your goals.

Others prefer someone who is more goal-oriented and will help them avoid distractions. They may not find it necessary to make your lessons ‘fun’. Instead, they could show their enthusiasm through consistently motivating you, making you realise how important your learning is, and being honest with you if you need to be corrected on something. They could have rigid lesson plans and teaching methods that will allow you to focus heavily on the work.

This also very much links to learning methods as well. Teachers can be multifaceted and can adapt their teaching style in accordance with what the student prefers. However, some teachers may prefer to teach in specific ways. If you find this matches with your preferred learning method, then you might want to consider them. Familiarise yourself with the different learning styles, and decipher which one works best for you:

  • Visual learning: A learning style that revolves around students seeing things to learn, such as images, colours, and maps. 
  • Auditory learning: Students prefer to learn through listening and hearing. This can be done through reading aloud, listening to recorded lectures, and more.
  • Kinesthetic learning: Students are more comfortable learning through movement and doing. This includes playing games and partaking in outside activities.
  • Reading/writing learning: A learning style focused on reading and writing. It involves actions like writing and rewriting information, using lists, headings, and more. 

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Overall, you should set your expectations of what you want and need in a language teacher. Do a trial session (we offer these at Learn&Co) with your teacher. This way, you can see if they’re the right fit for you! Ask as many questions as you find necessary so you can truly be sure of whether they are the teacher you would work well with. 

And that sums it all up! Learn&Co tutors know the art and science of learning a new language. As a result, they are ready to help walk you through the process. They are more than capable of working with your needs to ensure you get the best teaching possible. You just have to outline your expectations, and know your answers to the questions listed in this article.

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