Are you struggling to learn a foreign language? Maybe you just want to improve your language skills in time for the next big exam. No matter where you are in your language acquisition journey, finding an online tutor is a great way to build upon your knowledge, gain confidence, and improve your conversational skills.

With so many choices available, it can be difficult getting started on your search. To make your life a little bit easier, our team at TruFluency has put together a seven-step guide to finding the perfect online tutor for your learning style and needs. Read on to discover the essential things to consider when looking for a tutor, including your goals, budget, and trial-lesson experiences.

Step One: Consider What You Want

How can you get what you want if you don’t actually know what you want? Before getting started on your search for an online tutor, take a moment to consider what you desire from language learning. Do you want to learn a language so you can feel more confident traveling to other countries? Are you motivated by international job prospects and want to prepare for interview questions?

Regardless of what you’re looking for, it’s helpful to know how many lessons you want per week, how long you want to be tutored for, and whether you want a group or private session. Keep in mind that the more time you invest in a language, the faster you’ll learn it. Look to see if your potential tutor has different hourly packages available on their website.

Step Two: Think About Your Goals (And Write Them Down!)

Similar to understanding what kind of tutoring you want and how often, you’ll also want to take the time to set goals for yourself and assess if your choice of tutor can help you reach them. Think about what kinds of goals you want to achieve both in the long-term and the short-term.

Not only will this exercise help you find a good tutor, but it will prepare you for your first session where you’ll most likely share your goals with the tutor you finally end up choosing. Once you’ve recognized your goals, write them down! Studies have shown that learners who write down their goals on paper are 42 percent more likely to achieve them.

Step Three: Make a Budget

Everyone needs to determine how much they are comfortable spending when it comes to hiring an online tutor. Think about how much you can realistically afford per class, and calculate how much you’ll expect to spend over a desired period. Remember that learning a language is both a personal and professional investment, and it’s often worth it to spend the money on the class that suits your needs.

Speaking a foreign language as a beginner is similar to putting on an improvised performance; you read your surroundings, pick up on the tone of the situation and build off of what your peers are saying. Even if you aren’t interested in theater, being able to improvise will help you navigate difficult scenarios, stay positive, and make the best out of any situation, whether at home or abroad.

Step Four: Weigh Your Options

Have you ever had so many options that you don’t know where to begin? In the age of the internet, it might feel like the entire world is at your fingertips when it comes to finding a tutor. Start by asking yourself how you learn best and if a private or group course is right for you. For some, a group class can be helpful for making friends and staying focused, while for others it can be distracting. A private language coach will give you undivided attention and is a good option for those who need extra support.

Try using an online search engine to find the options that are right for you, or start by asking family and friends for recommendations. Once you see your options in front of you, align them with your budget and your goals to make sure you are staying on track.

Step Five: Look at Reviews

You read reviews before you try a new restaurant or hotel, so why not read reviews before you start working with a language tutor? Reading reviews and student testimonials will give you a great idea of how successful past learners have been with a particular tutor.

Keep an eye out for tutors that have loyal, long-term students and lots of positive feedback, and avoid those who have had students come and go. Even if you encounter a few negative reviews for a tutor, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different; one person’s opinion shouldn’t necessarily determine your final choice, but it can certainly inform it.

Step Six: Invest in a Trial Lesson

Many online tutors, including TruFluency’s, offer trial lessons for prospective students. Trial lessons are the perfect way to assess a tutor’s teaching style before committing to them long-term. When you sign up for a trial lesson, try connecting with your tutor about your goals and expectations for the course.

Pay special attention to tutors that are positive, knowledgeable, and patient, as these traits will help you feel comfortable in class while also keeping you motivated.

Step Seven: Reflect on Your Experience

After you’ve had your trial lesson, take time to reflect on your experience. Try taking a few minutes to journal, or writing down a list of pros and cons. You want a tutor that will help you reach your goals while maintaining a supportive atmosphere, and sometimes it takes more than one trial lesson to find the right fit.

Once you’ve looked at the benefits and drawbacks of each potential tutor, go ahead and choose the one that you think will help you the most. Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a dedicated language student.

TruFluency Online Language Tutors Will Get You Fluent

Language learners of all levels and educational backgrounds can benefit from online tutoring, especially with the increasingly competitive job market and rush of travel opportunities. While finding the right tutor can sometimes seem impossible, TruFluency has a team of experienced, dedicated, and supportive tutors that can adapt to any learning style. Want to find out for yourself? Take a trial lesson today and find a tutor that will finally end your search.