There is no unanimous opinion, do I have to resort to the help of the tutor for a successful study of the English language or not. For someone teacher, not for another – only a hindrance. Probably, for everyone to be their solution to this issue. Anyway, I would like to apologize to those who belong to the second category. This article is not for you. If you can easily tune in to independent work, you’re disciplined and hard – working you nothing, neither language courses nor the tutor. You can cope with the language themselves. Now, as never before, available a huge mass of materials designed for self-study and development of a foreign language.
If you are inclined to believe that a good and qualified tutor able to significantly improve your chances of success in learning the English language, that the subsequent reasoning may be useful for you. This article raises a number of questions aimed to help the reader to make their choice a private tutor of English. Unfortunately, in order not to deviate from the Central topic, the question here is not about how and where to look for a teacher, or what should be for corporate clients or group classes. It is wrong to say that the sequence of questions corresponds to their importance. So you can pay attention only to those that for you are of the greatest interest.
All personal pronouns referring to the tutor, is here presented in masculine form only for the reason that the words «tutor» and «teacher» — nouns masculine. I sincerely hope that the readers will not have with it big difficulties in reading.
Does the tutor?
Continuous development has become a prerequisite for the successful existence of business in today’s competitive market. Tutoring in this case is not an exception. Even if someone got a doctorate in the field of Philology on the theme: «Analysis of the effectiveness of methods of teaching English middle-aged people with secondary education in Ukraine under the program «Headway» for the period from 1995 to 1997″, today it means little if the work was in the life of the tutor of the latter. Pedagogical knowledge, skills and techniques tend to fade. Developing teacher nothing fresh to bring to the lesson are not capable. Let the information in class will be new for the student, but the dilapidated state it will hover in the air. I, unfortunately, witnessed many of my colleagues who knew the textbooks by heart, literally, teaching them for several years – and nothing is wanting to change or diversify.
What’s going on? – Simple transmission of information from a textbook lecturer to the notes of the student. The student takes over, so to speak, «form without content». And that’s because for a teacher it is nothing more than long-familiar, recycled, chewed and some overexposed lesson. Otherwise can not be. While the work of the teacher is to «recoil» that he may «give», if he does not develop? – Nothing but dry forms, no jokes, no novelty, no freshness. A good teacher is in constant search of new ideas, principles and «revelations». And he, of course, will not hesitate to share these, when appropriate, or apply it in the classroom. Such Tutors not visible to the naked eye. Sad to see how many of the students have to use «second hand» not knowing what you can qualify for a much better education. Do not consider yourself one of them.
Does the education?
This is a natural and probably the first question that usually we are interested in. The second question – how, education relates to the tutoring of the English language? In this case, the closer the education to the subject of study, the better. However, a more important questions in this section are: where and how you received this education. About national Universities – large comment. First, not many of them managed to win a good reputation, and secondly, not many of those students managed to finish them honestly. You can have a diploma and have no level. You can have a level and not have a diploma. In the second case, it is rather a misunderstanding in the first disaster. Moreover, it is not always «our» education can play a great service for the tutor. Good knowledge in the field of language theory that is not useful for those who need its practical application.
So the question of education of the tutor I would not have brought to the regalia, and his level of expertise and openness to continuous growth and improvement.
Do you have any experience living in an English speaking country?
From here it should be noted that means active experience of interaction with English-speaking environment in their native language. Somehow there is a perception that if someone has been abroad, the language of such a person can not know. It’s like some kind of magical action takes place as soon as this «someone» crosses the border. In fact – nothing like. It all depends on the person. I’ve seen people who lived and even dealing in a language school 6 hours a day for two years, but was not able to speak fluent English.
On the other hand, active experience is irreplaceable. The person applying for the title to be a tutor needs to know firsthand a living language in action, what is appropriate and what is not. Own flavor of the language determined by culture. Without a good experience of live communication difficult to understand the humor of foreigners, their idiomatic phrases, slang and sayings and idioms.
Does the subject?
I suppose no one interesting option of enabling any novice tutor to learn English with you, Yes even at your expense. To save yourself from such virtues, is to ask the potential tutor for the following questions:
- Can he clearly understand the methodology of the subject as a whole and its parts separately? You need to remember that a specialist is not difficult to explain not only what he teaches and in what order, but why it teaches it, and in that order. For each level, stage, section, topic, lesson, exercise in any existing in the market today method, there is a particular reason. If the student it will not always be clear or obvious, but it should be very clear for the teacher.
- The level at which the tutor uses language? Of course, it is not necessary to master all academic degrees in Philology, to know at least 6 languages and have 10 years of experience of teaching in Cambridge. However, as a minimum, it needs to withstand several requirements: possess a level not less than Advanced User, suggesting an appropriate vocabulary (at least 5,000), knowledge of all basic grammatical structures, etc., and have the qualifications of the teacher. If the first can confirm the independent international tests (eg. TOEFL, IELTS), the second – not less than the available certificates – INTESOL or CELTA.
- During what period, the tutor is busy with language teaching full and part-time? This question will help you to find out how much experience the tutor assumes his ability to cope with problems, whether it’s explaining the complexities of the language, whether it be conflict situations, etc. is a Large and varied experience of the teacher can assume his ability to make the right decisions in the course of training and a lower probability of making mistakes. Why? Because over time, the tutor generates a single complete «picture» of his subject, so he teaches is not fragmented, moving from one lesson in the textbook to another, but private presents material in the context of the whole. A coach knows how students learn and how they can achieve the best results. The more experience you have, the more tried and tested materials, tasks and exercises, less questionable experiments, respectively, greater credibility.
How many hours teaching?
If you hear what the tutor is constantly busy teaching, perhaps that’s a bad signal. We give a simple arithmetic, if a teacher works an 8-hour working day, in which case, given 1 hour of preparation for 1 hour of lessons, he can spend no more than 20 classroom hours per week. There is no more than 4 hours of teaching per day! Draw your own conclusions.
You’re an exception, if you will agree to be the teacher «the fifth or sixth hour» and watch it for their classes, as one who only «rose quarry». Trust you like no one else is interested in a good rest your tutor. Out of the questions, the greater the workload of the teacher, the quality of lessons inevitably extends to the level of «second best».
Those who are too busy with work, rarely set aside time for reflection and analysis. The tutor must be a time, so that he could «look back» and «stand aside», to weigh all positive and negative aspects, draw conclusions, ask questions: what was achieved and what was not and why, what lessons for the future can be removed, etc. For what? – In order to be experienced and effective tutor.
What materials he uses?
Pay attention to what benefits are available for work. Given the fact that now there is a whole range of quality benefits, there must be some rational explanation. Can the tutor to carry out a logical rationale for their choice? Can you tell that he really did research and settled on the best number possible, at least from his point of view?
Does it use additional materials?
In other words, that in addition to textbook can the teacher offer you to explore during the lesson and outside of it? It may be a theatrical production with video or audio recordings, presentations in PowerPoint, library, video and audio, website, and much, much more. The more diverse the approach, the more interesting the training and, consequently more effective. Today, a great many seem to be endless resources on the Internet and paper editions in the language centers (eg. British Council) and libraries. So there will be at least amazing, unconditional devotion of the teacher allowances, if in addition to them, no lessons or outside them, nothing will be involved. Personally, I really wanted to see at least one tutorial that would be so satisfactory and exhaustive.
Able to explain?
Knowledge of the subject does not necessarily imply the ability to explain it. Not a secret, some do and simple things to explain that without help from can not tell. A good tutor must be able to speak the language and terms understandable to the student, as if condescending to the level of the student. An experienced tutor knows the learning style of your student (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) shortly after the start of classes and always take it into consideration when explaining.
Whether preparing for lessons?
Are there any classes in General and in particular? The teacher, like no one else needs to know where he should be, and in this lesson and the course as a whole. Otherwise, it is scary to imagine where it can lead. A lesson without planning is like sailing without a map. If you have the impression that the teacher looks at the page of the textbook, as well as you – for the first time, perhaps this is a good occasion to think about how to look at someone else. Tutor must be PROFICIENT in the lesson. No helplessness and unpredictability for him, in his materials can not be.
In addition to the lesson was interesting and productive it is necessary to make what is called «his». This is exactly what is needed training. Without planning and thinking can be done material in. Foreign material in the mouth of a teacher looks «strange».
How effective is the teaching?
The simple answer to the question: «how many people, thanks to your work now use English?» may reveal the feasibility of learning with this tutor. If everything passes, even a very exciting, interesting and exciting, but the end result is no, the educational process should be considered unfinished and therefore not effective.
In addition, it should also ask how the tutor checks the students ‘ academic performance during the educational process:
- He gives himself his teaching, and how?
- If interested in how to assess the learning of its students? May be, passes any survey or personal interview with the students?
- How do you evaluate the success of the students «third parties»? For example, employees or relatives who can watch the progress from the side.
- Are there any recommendations and reviews?
If he shows a sincere interest in the development of students?
I don’t think, of course, that today really is to find a teacher who devoted themselves to students and considered their failures as their own. However, the expectation from the tutor of his personal interest in the progress of students is absolutely normal and appropriate position. You can approach this issue from a different perspective. Ask a question: as it relates to students who are skipping classes and Newspeak program? If the tutor resigns himself to constant absences of their students and indifferent to their performance, it is worthy of their students. Even if you removed the money from the student, and thus their alleged «discipline», the logic is simple: no cure, no effective; no graduates with the ownership level, no teacher, producing students with the level. Anyone who has even a little bit concerned about their reputation, will reduce the number of such students to a minimum.
Notice how he is willing to answer questions?
If the teacher can easily respond only to questions that can be answered, and other avoids, it is worth considering, or about its appropriate level as a teacher, or his interest in your success. For anybody not a secret that many teachers choose to interact with the student during the lesson in English only. Unfortunately, not always this is done in order to deliver the lesson of language atmosphere. Often, they thus try to stay away from the «sharp edges» and «embarrassing» questions. After the student, first, can not ask question, and secondly, when the teacher responds, then it is likely for a student is still remain unclear. Most importantly, the reputation of the lecturer as a connoisseur of language remains beyond shadow of doubt.
Just want to emphasize, none of the teachers are not immune, either from error or from not knowing something. And there is nothing wrong if the teacher says that he does not know the answer. In this case, it can give the answer to the next lesson, at the same time, reiterating the material covered.
Is it expensive, cheap?
High prices don’t always indicate the high quality of teaching. Low cost classes, rather it should cause doubts. Especially when you consider that every hour of classroom teacher approximately spends about an hour into the training (development of new materials, test tests, homework, etc.). Although we usually «pay as much as we are», I think this question should be considered on your abilities and how you estimate work of the teacher.
Can you name a teacher punctual?
If the teacher is late or takes classes? If he finishes before the set time? If Yes, how often and for what reasons? Always pass the tests at the scheduled time, and checked homework back home in time? Listen to the answers to these questions carefully, as they speak about the attitude of the teacher to your learning. Be careful, because you first are interested in your success.
Is it constancy?
In other words, how the external circumstances affect the mood of the teacher and, consequently, on the learning process in the classroom. If some of the lessons really fun and interesting, and others – «better if they did not exist», then … could that be your teacher? How often it moves or allows you to jump to another topic of conversation not the target language? Respects you and your personal area? Do you feel excessive dominance? If you feel constrained or are in a state of some stress, leave the training. Don’t forget, you are in the classroom, to focus on the subject, not the teacher.
How you fit environment for employment?
If you wish to conduct classes in your home and tutor was agreed, the situation will of course depend on you. But if you go to the teacher, then pay attention to the placement of chairs, table, and other environments. All convenient? If you were able to spend the first hour then are you ready to sit for a few hours a week for six months? Remember, everything should be aimed to help you focus on the subject. If the classes are held in the kitchen where stew cabbage rolls, or in the children’s room on the couch, which miraculously puts your knees level with your neck, then maybe this is not the best option to teach the lessons.
Do you use new technology?
Today, this factor should not be ignored. Basic use of PowerPoint is able to turn learning new words and grammar in a more interesting and illustrated the lesson. The drives also largely facilitates the work, as there is no need for constant peremanivanie traditional cassette tapes and finding the right places to listen.
Registered teacher as a private entrepreneur? Here, of course, there may be different answers, and they can be understandable and reasonable. But if the answer is «no» because tutoring to make some extra money, then a natural question arises: what the teacher devotes his main attention? If teaching English is not a priority, you should probably not expect a great interest of the teacher. Yes, and if no registration, how can you be sure in long term this activity?
Is there a contract?
The presence or absence of a Treaty may indicate the seriousness or, conversely, the negligence of the teacher not only to his time and finances, but time and finances with your student. The risk here is more than obvious. Moreover, if the student pays for the lesson ahead. The agreement aims to bind both parties to certain obligations to achieve specific learning goals. Carefully read the contract and ask questions on all aspects that you do not understand or with which you disagree. It is better to discuss first than to solve problem situations in the course of training.
In conclusion …
If you have the opportunity to take a trial lesson, do it. Even if it will have to pay. Better to go without $ 10 than the entire course to endure the painful waiting for the end. First impression, pay attention to what you feel. After the first hour you will be able to determine: the person’s attitude to the subject and to you personally. Try to ask at least two or three questions. Let’s see how they will meet the teacher. The main thing here is to see WHAT and HOW he answers. Although much will remain «behind» the lesson, feel the professionalism, interest to you, as the student, serious attitude to the subject you can. Perhaps your decision will be more subjective or even emotional than rational. However, try to energize or to determine their feelings and intuition issues outlined above. Let them have a good rational Foundation.