10 Tips for finding the Great Language Teacher Online for your Needs.

How to find a online language teacher. That is the question.

If you are thinking on learning Spanish or another language I can assure you that doing it online is one of the best options. But… How to find the right online language teacher?

Whether through platforms or private lessons, choosing a teacher is one of the most important decisions you must make to make sure learning your target language comes easy.

Moreover, if you really are interested in learning a new language, at some point you’ll need to find a teacher and take some classes.

I’m sure it wouldn’t sound surprising to hear that thousands upon thousands offer their services through hundreds and hundreds of platforms.

And maybe you’ll think… How can I do that??? How do I choose the perfect online language teacher for me?

And you’d be right in thinking it is not easy, but this is why I wrote this post, to help you getting a clear picture.

So, if you haven’t given it some thought or still can’t make up your mind, let me tell you about the benefits of hiring an online language teacher.

The benefits of hiring an online language teacher.

  1. Language immersion program at your home. Nowadays, not being able to travel does not mean that you can not interact with native speakers of your target language. Every time you take a class it will be as if you were traveling to the country you are interested in.
  2. Progress you make will show easier than doing it on your own or through a regular group class. All the teacher’s attention will be devoted to you.
  3. Homework will be customized for your needs. If you love homework, you’re in luck. You can get it custom-ordered! And you’ll get to ask as many questions you need. No more show of hands and waiting for your turn.
  4. You’ll inevitably start talking. This is the biggest benefit of a 1 on 1 situation. You’ll have no other choice but to jump in. Don´t worry if you are shy, a good online teacher will be ready for that and will have a lot of resources to encourage you to talk and to have a good time. This is also why it is important that you choose a person that makes you feel comfortable.
  5. Classes can be fun and interactive. With the use of ICT, online teachers have plenty of resources to make the students have a good time in their classes. They tend to be really creative and can manage to replicate an on-site class in a pinch.
  6. [Super] flexible schedule for both parties. Online teachers usually have flexible schedules because they are their own bosses and they decide when and whom to work with.
  7. Saving time for both parties. Neither you nor the teacher will have to spend time travelling to the classroom. Does it not happen to you that sometimes you can not make it to an appointment because you don’t have enough time to get to the meeting place? With online classes that will not happen to you again. E.g. if you schedule your class at 6.00 pm, every minute before that is for you, and not for travelling.
  8. Online education is affordable and convenient because you can decide who, when and how.

And now…

How to find the best language teacher online for you.

  1. To start searching, the first thing I recommend you to look for teachers who have an introduction video. That way, you can see how they express themselves, their accents, if you find it difficult to understand them or if you do it easily, if you like them right away or if they draw you out.
  1. Find someone willing to do a trial class, maybe even for free, and get yourself ready.

What??!! ME?… Get ready for a trial class? Of course!

Pick out your needs and build a nice batch of questions around them. That way, you can ask and get answers to as many questions as possible. For instance, think about why you want to learn Spanish, what are your goals, and if you have a test coming up, how could you fit the classes to that schedule. Anything you might think you need to know before pulling the trigger.

  1. A great language teacher looks good doing it, comfortable and natural. And what does that I mean?

Remember when you see someone playing an instrument or pulling the most amazing moves and you think “boy, that sure looks easy!”, even if you are sure that’s not the case. That’s the effortlessness you get from mastering a skill, so, make sure to pick someone who makes teaching look second nature.

  1. In addition to that, you will feel comfortable. Being both you and the teacher comfortable, will get you to relax. This is very important because then, you will not be afraid to make mistakes.
  2. Ability to convey. And I’m not just talking about knowledge, but about passion for teaching. If that person can convey a passion for the language they are teaching, make no mistake, you’re looking at a great teacher.
  3. Ability to adjust. Another big decisive factor when choosing an online Spanish teacher is the ability to adjust to meet your needs. He needs to be able to improvise when new questions arise or when the explanations he had prepared are just not enough for you to understand. That he doesn’t have to stick to the script.
  4. Similar tastes (or that you like theirs). I’m going to tell you about something interesting. Think about that fact that you’ll need conversation topics to improve upon your communication skills and to practice conversation in your target language. An enticing, not boring conversation.Imagine you both like movies, music and gourmet food. Great, huh? You’ll have plenty to talk about.In the case you don’t have similar tastes but you find theirs interesting, don’t rule them out just yet. You might even learn even more.How, you ask?Think about this: maybe you always wanted to learn how to surf and this is one of your teacher’s hobbies. Awesome! They’ll be able to tell you how to get into this sport, for instance. You’ll be delighted, not only because you’re learning a new language, but because you’ll learn more about other interesting topics.
  5. That they also are, or have been, a language student. This will throw a special kind of empathy into the mix. They’ll be able to fill your shoes, because they can relate. They’ll understand the fear of making mistakes, speaking to language natives, learning hard irregular verbs… and all that jazz.
  6. Creativity and originality in teaching are, without a doubt, crucial qualities any language teacher should have. It’s something you can notice from the very first lesson. If they are creative and original, your teacher will try to make you realise on that very first class why they understand these are great qualities to have.
  7. Last, but not least. A good teacher is patient. I know this could be hard to appreciate in just one class but I’ll give you some clues. For example, a good teacher will never interrupt you when you are speaking and will always wait for you to finish your sentence to correct your mistakes. A good teacher will take the necessary time to start speaking, and will be always listening to you. And that’s it. Do not sit around and start learning that new language you want to so bad. Get to it!

Search for several online language teaching professionals and make them pass my test 🙂

Ah! Do not forget to tell us how did it go in the comments!

Alicia Duarte

 

 

 

About the Author

Somos Alicia Duarte y Nuria Camacho, profesoras de español para extranjeros y apasionadas por la enseñanza. Nos encanta ayudar a personas interesadas en aprender español y guiarlos hacia sus objetivos.

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