Almost every person interested in foreign languages, once in a while feels the need for the helping hand of a professional, who can be bombarded with questions that we have failed to comprehend completely. Moreover, expert guidance is required once you have set your mind on preparation for an international exam. Needless to say that to attain these goals… attending one-on-one classes would be both quicker and more straightforward. So, the key is to find the right professional to help you complete the mission. Here are some thoughts you’d do well to keep in mind to avoid any tricky situations while searching for one.
# Before starting the search, it is better to have a clear understanding of the result you are aiming for, as in this case it is easier to talk briefly through your goals with the proposed teacher before arranging for the first class. Moreover, a clear idea of your expectations will help the tutor to tailor the material according to your interests. Ultimately, the first session will turn out to be a pleasant experience for both you and your tutor.
# Now a days if we need something or someone to find we subconsciously start googling. I do not have anything against Google or Internet in general, but to be on the safe side it is worth asking among relatives, friends or colleagues, as word-of-mouth is the most reliable source. In addition, it is a good chance to ask some questions about the personality of the potential tutor which might play a crucial role in making your final decision. Remember there will be only two of you cooperating with each other, so to make this process smooth and successful finding someone with a similar personality to yours might be helpful.
# Unfortunately, the times we are living in are not known for great honesty, and the educational field is not an exception. So, to be on your guard, before arranging the class or during the first meeting, feel free to ask questions about your tutor’s educational background, certificates and references. Remember that teachers should be professionally qualified and upgrade themselves at least every five years, as any language is a ‘living substance’ that is constantly developing. This ultimately means that a professional tutor/teacher needs to be up to date with all the current features of the language.
# Taking a test class is extremely important as it can show the level of expertise and preparation. Look through the materials that you will be offered to see if it is authentic and not dated. Another important point, gauge who speaks more during the class. As you are the student, it is not a rocket since to figure out that you will have to speak more compared to the teacher. Do not be shy to ask questions and at the same time see how the teacher handles them… check whether he or she gives you direct answers or is trying to beat around the bush. And, of course, listen to yourself, if you go away from the class feeling motivated then most likely you have found the right person.
# Studying a foreign language is not an easy straight path, on the contrary it is full of twists and turns. Talk to your tutor openly about your fears and concerns because, you might be surprised, these clarifications will be very handy in many ways for the teacher as well… after all, keeping track of one’s progress is two-way street. Moreover, this information can be utilised in preparing the right material that will address your concerns.
# Delicate question of payment needs special attention as well. Discuss it in every possible detail: when payment is due? Number of classes for which payment is made? Whether it should be paid in one go or after every class? and other such options. But at the same time try not to pay for too many classes in advance unless you are sure that you feel comfortable with the person for the long term… A refund procedure might not be a pleasant experience for either of you.
These are the main things to remember and I do hope that you will have a nice experience of studying and brushing up your skills. Have fun and enjoy your coffee!