*This post may contain an affiliate link, but all thoughts are my own. This site will only promote services or products that I would use and I know would be of help to language learners.
This handy guide highlights some simple procedures to help you make an informed choice when selecting a new tutor.
1 DO NOT go with the first profile you see! If you do see a profile that catches the eye then bookmark it or make a note of it.
2 Read the profiles thoroughly. What teaching experience do they have? what qualifications have they got? What level do they prefer to teach? If you are a complete beginner I would recommend going with a more experienced tutor.
3 Check out what other students have written about the tutors!
4 Don’t be put off by having a bad experience with a tutor in the past. They might not have really been a bad tutor, just someone who is unsuitable for you. Just because someone is qualified does not automatically mean they may be the right teacher for you. Ask questions before agreeing to work with a tutor. Personality can be just as important as experiences and qualifications.
5 What is your learning style learning style? Unsure? A really useful article from the Language Learning Library can help it’s called Supercharge Language Learning.
6 Think about how many sessions you require and how long per session? I have found that 1, 60 minute session a week is too much for me. I prefer two 30 minute sessions per week. I feel drained 45 minutes in and find I am no longer paying attention! However, we are all different. What time scale would best suit you?
7 Do you have a budget in mind? Take this in to consideration on Italki professional teachers tend to be more expensive than community tutors. Professional teachers are more likely to provide links to other resources, such as books and handouts. The sessions do tend to be more structured than community tutors. However, that said I got lucky with a teaching student who wanted to get some practice in before she qualified! Teacher Finder offer very competitive rates and depending on your location do face-to-face lessons as well as Skype sessions.
8 Pick your 5 favorite tutors and email them some questions. Remember you are paying them to help you to learn a language. Interview them. Get them to expand on what they have written. Do you have any disabilities that they need to be aware of, i.e. dyslexia? What could they do to support you with this? How flexible can they be I am not talking yoga moves here. Could they break down hour session in to manageable chunks or could they extend an hour session? Do they have packages tailed to suit individual requirements?
9 Out of the five tutors you have selected I now want you to whittle it down to 3. I tend to ditch those that have not responded to my email within 48 hours. Out of that 3 I will do the trial sessions and make a decision based on that and the packages they offer. Due to the language challenges I need tutors to respond quickly and have available spaces from day 1. I can’t afford to wait months for a tutor.
10. Set a schedule, such as 1 tutor 1 hour a week or 2 tutors 30 minutes a week. whatever works for you. Work at your own pace to a schedule that suits you. I like to kick start my language leaning with a 3 month challenge that puts me in the best possible position to have a 10-15 minute conversation in 90 days.
Teacher Finder does the hard work for you. You complete a simple form and they will match you up with a tutor they feel is suitable for you.