How To Find A Good English Tutor?
Trying to learn English, many people decide to hire a tutor. But, how to find a good English tutor that will help you achieve tangible results sooner is still a mystery.
These days, there are plenty of apps, platforms, as well as language schools that promise to find the best teacher for you. But, making the choice is still incredibly hard. Luckily, if you are seeking the best English tutor right now, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn where and how to find a good English teacher with ease!
Where to Seek a Good English Tutor
When you decide to hire an English tutor, you first have to decide whether you want to study offline or online.
If the first option sounds more like you, you can look for a private tutor in a local language school or on trusted job listing sites where individual tutors can post their services. However, keep in mind that hiring an offline tutor can apply certain limitations to you.
If you decide to hire an online tutor, the opportunities for finding one are pretty much endless. However, searching for an independent online tutor can be somewhat risky because you won’t get any guarantees of the trustworthiness and quality of a particular tutor.
The best solution, in this case, is to look for your online tutor on a trusted, specialized platform. Some of the sites and apps that you can try are:
The Perks and Downsides of Hiring an English Tutor Online
Online tutoring isn’t a new concept. It appeared a while ago and is fairly popular. However, since the needs and expectations of every learner are unique, it is worth noting that hiring an online tutor isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
So, before you start looking for your tutor online, you have to define whether this option is right for you. To figure this out, look at the main perks and drawbacks described below.
- You can study from anywhere - The most obvious benefit of hiring an online tutor is that you will be able to study from home or anywhere in the world.
- It’s cost-effective - The hourly cost of an online English tutor can vary from $10 to $50+ depending on the teacher’s location, experience, and many other factors. Sometimes, the cost of an online lesson will be lower than face-to-face. But, even if not, you will still save money on books and transportation. And you will be able to pick a tutor who suits your budget. So, it is very cost-effective.
- You will be in charge of your own schedule - Another huge perk of hiring an online tutor is that you won’t be limited by any fixed hours and schedules. Typically, online teachers will let you pick the dates and times that will be the most convenient for you. This is especially important if you are studying or working full-time because this way you will be able to fit English lessons into your already busy schedule.
- A chance to learn from a native speaker - When choosing an online tutor, students access a huge pool of international talents and can choose a teacher from anywhere in the world. Just imagine how exciting it can be to learn from the US or UK-based tutor!
- Finding a good teacher is a challenge - The most significant con of hiring an online tutor is that they are incredibly hard to find. There are millions of English teachers out there. But, even if they can teach face-to-face, not everyone knows how to be a good tutor in English online. So, it can take a while before you find your perfect tutor.
- Relying on technology can be stressful - while hiring an online tutor enables you to study English from literally anywhere in the world, there is one massive drawback. The thing is that you will need a pretty solid connection in order to make your lessons work. Sometimes, relying on technology, which has a tendency to freeze and break, can be pretty stressful.
- Time zones can get in the way - An opportunity to learn from a native speaker from a chosen country is exciting. However, hiring a tutor from a different country can hide many challenges, including the difference in time zones. This will make you go the extra mile to line your schedules up to match despite the time difference.
- Cancellation policies - Lastly, though you will have an opportunity to shape your own schedule with an online tutor, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to cancel anytime if you don’t feel like having a lesson. Experienced tutors can have pretty strict cancellation policies. Be prepared for this.
6 Questions to Ask Your Language Tutor Before Hiring Them
If after getting familiar with the pros and cons you decide to hire an online teacher, the next big question that might pop up in your head is “How do I choose a language tutor?”
Unfortunately, there is no secret formula that could help every student find a tutor who suits their needs. But, there is a set of questions that you can ask and that will help you make the right choice.
If you have no clue what to ask, here are the primary points you want to focus on:
- Education - Ask what the highest level of education your potential tutor has and what they majored in.
- Qualifications and Experience - Clarify how many years they’ve been tutoring online and ask if they have any additional qualifications, such as language certifications.
- Teaching Style - Ask what teaching techniques, materials, and other specifics are inherent in a tutor’s work. You want the teaching style to match your learning needs.
- Schedule - Clarify the teacher’s schedule to ensure that it can match yours in the long run.
- Trial Lessons - Ask if a particular tutor offers a free or discounted trial lesson so that you could check out their teaching style.
- References - Lastly, don’t forget to ask your potential tutor to provide a couple of references from former or current students. This will help you see the real quality of their work.
It’s crucial that you match every tutor’s answers to your goals and preferences. For example, if you are planning to pass TOEFL, you will want to hire a tutor who has already passed and knows how to prepare for it. Or, if you have a very intensive schedule, you might be looking for a teacher who will be available at specific times. So, before asking these questions, list all things in a teacher that matter to you.
Things To Look Out For In An Online English Tutor
If you are not sure what exactly you are looking for in your online English tutor, let us give you a few hints. Below is an overview of the core things you should focus on when seeking your potential English tutor:
- Background and accent
- Teaching style
- Interests and values
- Scheduling methods
These are the core things to pay attention to when selecting a tutor. The reason why we don’t provide any explanations for these points is that, once again, it all gets down to your needs and goals. So, pay attention to these points and define your own definition of a good English teacher and see if the characteristics of a certain teacher match your own preferences. This way, you will be able to choose the best tutor for yourself.
What Are The Qualities Of A Good English Teacher?
Pretty much anyone can teach you words and grammar constructions, but not everyone really knows how to be a good language teacher, especially online. A good teacher does much more than just explaining topics and concepts. They also should motivate and keep students engaged, they should provide support and assistance, and they have to deliver excellent learning experiences.
Thus, apart from demonstrating excellent language proficiency, a good English tutor should also have a number of personal qualities.
Namely, the key qualities of a good English teacher include:
But even that’s not all. The qualities of a good online English teacher should also include excellent organization and time management. And they also must be very confident and comfortable with using different technologies.
Only together all these skills and qualities make a good English teacher.
Who Is An Effective Language Teacher?
Earlier in this guide, we discussed the characteristics of a good English teacher a lot. But, does meeting all these characteristics also make a teacher effective? The answer is both yes and no.
Of course, an effective language teacher must have an excellent command of English. They must demonstrate excellent reading, speaking, and writing proficiency. They also have to have a great command of vocabulary and possess a range of soft and hard skills that will let them plan and implement high-quality lessons.
But, the truth is that professionalism and effectiveness aren’t synonyms.
An effective language teacher must be passionate enough to motivate and engage the student. Also, they have to be able to set smart and measurable goals and help students attain them. And, they have to be great listeners too. Effective teachers should be able to create a good rapport with their students, be accountable, and be devoted.
So, professionalism and basic skills plus passion, goal setting, listening, accountability, and devotion - this is the formula of an effective language teacher.
How To Know If An Online Language Tutor Is “Good”
You can do very thorough research, ask tons of questions during the interview, and even take a trial lesson to see if a particular teacher really is a good English tutor. But, the truth is that you can never know this for sure until you spend some time learning with them. So, the best way to tell if a selected teacher really knows how to be a great tutor online is to test them and assess the outcomes.
To assess a particular tutor objectively, you should take at least 3-5 lessons with them. Ideally, you should set a small and attainable goal for this period. Then, after some time, give honest answers to the following questions:
- Did you enjoy learning with a particular tutor?
- Would you like to continue taking lessons with this teacher?
- Can you see any real progress after the lessons you’ve had?
- Did you achieve set goals?
If you answer yes to all these questions, chances are that you’ve already found the best English tutor for yourself. If not, you can ask the tutor to refine your program and try again. Or, you can look for a different teacher.
Get the Most of Online English Tutoring With Promova
Finding a perfect online tutor to match all your expectations and provide the desired result can be very hard. There are so many things to keep in mind when looking for the best candidate and we are hoping that this guide will help you get on the right track.
But, if you were hoping to find a simpler, yet effective solution, we have one for you! Promova can be an awesome place to start your online English learning journey. Our platform was designed to bring together the best online English teachers and help you level up your language skills with ease!
All teachers on our platform were carefully handpicked from the best candidates. Each of them is certified, experienced, and knows how to be a good tutor and help you attain the best results. Best part? You will be learning English with a certified teacher with a private tutor or in a small group of like-minded students. At Promova, we gathered qualified English tutors from all over the world, so you have a chance to learn from native speakers from different regions and even acquire a native-like accent!