Whether you are expanding your skillset, relocating for work, or picking up a new hobby, you may be in the market for a professional Spanish language tutor. Thankfully, there are countless websites, apps and software that promises to help you achieve your language skills. But how can you choose the best Spanish tutor, knowing which one is the best? How do you know what language acquisition method is best for you and your goals? You don’t have time to get a PhD in second language acquisition! And you have limited time – with big goals. You need to know who is the best and what is the best method.
Not to worry! We have exactly what you need. In this post, we will skillfully break down the top 5 things a professional language tutor MUST DO. This will help you make the right decision when choosing a private Spanish tutor.
To Choose the Best Spanish Tutor, the Tutor will Role Play experiences that you Plan on Having (not random situations from a textbook)
Simply learning grammar rules, practicing pronunciation and expanding your vocabulary won’t be enough if you wish to achieve true fluency. Following the chapters in the textbook is good, but aren’t we going for great? Customized learning, role playing the situations you think you’ll be having will help you reach fluency faster.
Imagine you really want to speak with your wife’s family. What do you talk to family about? What’s going on in your life, how your kids are doing, what you want to do in the future, how your health is, etc.
But in a textbook, or any book, the first chapter might be about getting a visa (you’ll never be getting a visa), getting a hotel (you always stay with your wife’s family), and exchanging money at the airport (this only happens for 10 minutes, not every day).
So now you’ve spent 20 hours and hundreds of dollars preparing for conversations that you’ll never have, and now you don’t have the vocabulary and practice to have the conversations that you WILL be having.
Make sure your Spanish tutor (or any language) is focused on your needs and preparing you for conversations that you’re going to have.
On the other hand, if you WILL need conversations on how to get a visa, then stick with that chapter in the textbook. Or if the business Spanish book you bought is EXACTLY the conversations you’re having at work in Mexico, then PERFECT!
If you are seeking a specific language skill or to be able to have specific conversations, you should keep an eye out for these components in your language classes:
- Does the tutor emphasize real and relevant teachings?
- Does the tutor aim to understand your goals and needs? This will help the tutor effectively teach you how to navigate a situation you will likely be in.
- Does the tutor offer you high-quality assignments and projects to effectively put your skills into practice in the real world? These assignments and projects should also be tailored to your needs, for example, email writing.
If you see these great signs, you are working with a trained professional who is eager to help you excel and achieve YOUR (AND NOT ANYONE ELSE’S) goals! : ) Also, they’ll save you time and money! WOOHOO!
A professional language tutor must be someone who can push you beyond your limits! Constantly challenging students is one of the best ways to foster a growth mindset and reach language-learning goals much faster. But a great language tutor will know the difference between motivating their students and frustrating them. If you find an exceptional language tutor who understands this and wants you to be the best that you can be, then hold on to them.
To Choose the Best Spanis Tutor, the Tutor Should Listen and Communicate well with you
You are now on this journey of gaining fluency in Spanish with your Spanish language tutor. You love that the tutor listens to you during language sessions. And we mean, really listens to you. Your tutor should know your aspirations, dreams, goals, deadlines and current background to create the perfect sessions for you. In other words, the classes should more surround you and what you need to succeed.
We highly suggest that the first lesson be ALL about getting to know you, what your very specific goals are, and even better, the teacher should have a goals form specifically for this to keep track of your goals. Also, the teacher should revisit this form every three months.
What’s more, with effective communication, you will be:
- corrected more effectively,
- grasp concepts more quickly and
- relate your questions and concerns much easily.
This all comes together to give you the best language-teaching session you will ever experience!
Makes Sure you, the Client, Are the Focus (Student Talking More and More)
Of course, children cannot start speaking without listening for hundreds of hours, so teachers cannot expect students to talk from day one. But there is a good formula. Over time, the teacher begins to speak less and less, or encourages the student to try to express him or herself more and more.
As mentioned, the student will need to listen quite a bit before this time, so it’s good to suggest songs, podcasts, TV, movies, fun youtube and more, so that the student can get used to the sound of the language, and start to form hypotheses about it.
Then, the student can be encouraged to speak more and more every 50 – 100 hours of class.
Everyone wants to feel as if they’ve accomplished something, so choosing a tutor that evaluates your level or does assessments, can really motivate you. Feeling like you’ve ‘gone to the next level’ even if they are arbitrary, make-up levels for gauging fluency, it will still help you keep pushing forward.
For instance, you will feel more invested, motivated and responsible for your own learning, inside and outside of class. Having an excellent language tutor who has a good assessment is very helpful to keep going, especially when getting fluent can take hundreds of hours. Not only will you gain the previously mentioned benefits, but your tutor can use it to target your weak spots and hone your skills.
Plus, it can be a fun exercise, as you can evaluate yourself using different methods. You can try writing blog posts, posting YouTube video updates, and so much more! Another more passive way to self evaluate, especially your listening, is to watch a TV show, then, after 50 – 100 hours of classes with your tutor, go back and listen again. You will be shocked at how much more you can understand!
Or, you can record your Zoom call with your private Spanish tutor, then record another in 6 months. WoW! Look how far you’ve come!
Ready to get started?
Now that you have unlocked the top 5 things a professional Spanish tutor must do, it’s time to find one who fits your needs. The search may be long and tedious, especially when you seek a well-trained and certified tutor.
Luckily, to help cut down this long process, we are here to help! We offer an array of well-trained and professional language tutors who will effectively uphold these necessary skills. Ready to find the language tutor of your dreams? Then feel free to contact us for more information!