How to Choose The Best Online Language Teacher
Did you know that nobody in human history ever learned a language without a “teacher”? Yep, somebody taught us. Then came the need to learn a second language. And this time, as adults, we initially ran to books, enrolled in courses and listened to the audio.
We probably did this because there were no people around us who could teach. Then came the internet, which was a major game-changer. It altered our possibilities for learning another language. We can now get native speakers, from miles away, to teach us their language. Next comes the question: How do I choose the right online language teacher?
What Is An Online Language Teacher?
An online language teacher is someone who will teach you the language the way you want it to be taught. How do you want it to be taught? Perhaps by the way you write it or perhaps by your diction, inflection and meaning. You can select an online language teacher who will teach you one specific type of language.
You can also select a teacher who teaches general subjects such as grammar, vocabulary, vocabulary development and language acquisition. There are also several more specific online language teacher courses that you can take. Is an online language teacher the best thing since sliced bread?
It is tough to know for sure. So before you rush into it, here are some points to consider:
- Who will be your online language teacher?
- How do you prefer to learn the language?
Why Do We Need Online Language Teachers?
Let’s face it: “teacher” is a vague word. When it comes to choosing a good one. Language learning demands so many characteristics that we cannot put into words. So we need to turn to an outside source: an online language teacher.
An online language teacher offers immersive, individualized language courses to you. If you have time for them and want to listen to an authentic language, you can choose and study with an online teacher.
But you have to deal with missing aspects. While they’re definitely there, there’s still a distinct difference between a person and a commercial teacher. When we say language teacher, most of us think of somebody who is going to be right in front of us, but that is not true. An online language teacher is someone who is teaching his students online.
How to Choose the Right Online Language Teacher
The first question you need to answer before choosing the right online language teacher is:
What do you want to learn?
There are two general approaches to choosing a language teacher.
- You can either ask someone who already speaks your target language,
- or you can search the web.
This is called the “defaults” approach. Of course, people who speak your target language will be more likely to know your target language better.
On the other hand, by taking advantage of the web, you can find a more appropriate and affordable choice for learning another language than what is available offline. Consider the format.
For example, we can find material for learning a foreign language by reading about it in books, taking tests, listening to audios, watching videos, and having native speakers talk to us on the phone.
Online language teachers offer two kinds of courses:
- Live courses where you can attend live classes
- Online courses where you can learn from audio and video.
To help you choose the right course, here are some things to consider:
The class format. When choosing the classes, please pay attention to their format. Whether it is by video or audio, make sure they are interactive and learner-centred. Focus on learners, not on the teacher. Online language classes should always follow this format:
- Introductory instruction,
- Grammar instruction, and
- Conversation practice.
You don’t need to settle with the first person you meet on the internet. Decide upfront if you’re looking for a general teacher or someone who specializes in your language.
Note that you should learn as much as you can about the language (what’s the lingo, idioms, colloquialisms, jargon, the atmosphere, etc.) and the culture. But how do I choose the right online language teacher? The answer lies in finding the right teacher for the right course.
Read The Teacher Profile And Reviews
Before going on an online language learning adventure, you must know a few things about online language teaching. Are the teacher’s language courses or skills the same as those you already know? You might think, how can I ever learn a language if the teacher doesn’t know it? Not a good thing.
I have worked with several top-notch online language teachers. They all say that they can’t teach you how to use technology to learn a language unless they know the language. A lot of beginner online language teachers assume that you are already fluent in their language.
When you start to use their programs, you discover that you don’t know what is going on. On the other hand, you should look for a language teacher with at least 5-10 years of teaching experience.
You might want to check the teacher profile before hiring a foreign language tutor. Research a few of them and make an assessment based on their credentials and reviews.
These teachers can put forward a profile that highlights some of their finest qualities. And that is your guide to choosing them. The Teachers should be better educated, proficient in their own language and many other languages, have a good personality to match yours, the right attitude and inclination towards teaching and thus be more likely to meet your needs.
The teachers should be comfortable with the fact that you’re going to challenge them, that they will face a challenge from you if they teach a second language quickly and have high demands.
Be Open-Minded To Anything
The good thing is, there are many people online who teach a language. And most of these people don’t necessarily need to be fluent in the language. In fact, that’s a great selling point. You can choose teachers with diverse backgrounds and qualifications. In general, you want someone who can teach the language you want to learn.
Most of the instructors on the web are native speakers themselves. And since they’re teaching, they’ll have some level of fluency. A strong platform needs to have a set of standards that teachers have to adhere to.
That doesn’t mean there are no good teachers out there. It’s just that they need to be more professional in the way they teach. Understand the value of a language teacher. It’s a cliché, but a good language teacher has to be a good teacher.
Find A Teacher With The Skill Sets That You Want To Acquire
Which means that first, you need to decide whether you want to get a one-on-one instructor or a full course? A one-on-one teacher can be absolute magic for both personal and professional purposes. But it is harder to find a teacher than a one-on-one instructor because it does not allow you to see them in real-time and monitor their quality of teaching.
You can buy the same course twice from different teachers, but when you find a really good one, you probably want to commit to them for life. This is why many companies outsource their language classes and pay for an expert to teach the curriculum and deliver the service. The next question is: Are you looking to learn a language quickly and be a conversation partner within the shortest possible time?
Find A Teacher With Energy And Good Personality
This is especially important when you are studying in the US or UK. You are not the only person with English language skills who cares about the subject. If you are studying an unfamiliar language, it can be a challenge. It would be best if you had a language teacher who can cater to your needs. Being honest and open about your language skill level is also important.
Sometimes it’s easier to open up and talk about your shortcomings instead of feeling insecure. There is a huge community of people learning a new language who are struggling with grammar.
Just be willing to share your own problems. Moreover, get to know about the language you are studying. “Why?” It is not possible to learn a language without knowing what you are studying.
Every language teacher has a different style and speaking style. Some of them are more excitable than others. Some teachers are more assertive and clarify that they know what they’re talking about, while others are just silent, almost like robots. Luckily, these questions can be answered with the help of testimonials and reviews.
Besides, we should also be aware that people are busy. So, it is not strange if they don’t have a lot of time for online courses. They may have other commitments, like family, work and so on. For that reason, it is important to find a teacher who can give online classes on the go.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Language Teacher?
This is a tricky question for many. No matter how clear the explanation, if it costs a fortune, you’ll never do it. You want to get a better understanding of the costs, however, to make an educated decision.
The best way to find out if a teacher is good is to have them teach you. And if they’ve been teaching for a long time, and you see they’re good at it, then you’re much more likely to give them your money.
However, if a teacher is new, and they’re nervous and awkward, and you can’t get a good grasp of the material, then you might think twice about paying. How responsive is the teacher? Most teachers are not mind-readers, but they should be able to answer any questions you have.
The Pros And Cons Of Online Language Teachers
Before you choose a language teacher, you need to understand the pros and cons. It is not all rosy as most people think. There are some practical things that you should consider when choosing an online language teacher:
- Proficiency & Language Quality.
The first and most obvious reason you need a good language teacher is to acquire new skills and speak at your best. You should know how to understand and speak another language, but how will you know when you are ready?
Is there a right way to speak? The first way to learn is to become good at listening and reading. You will need the teachers’ help in learning the language so that you can understand when others speak.
The first and most obvious pro is that you get to choose. Yes, you get to choose! I have to admit that I tend to gravitate towards the most charismatic teachers I’ve had. I feel like I can trust them. They inspire me to learn more. But it’s equally important to understand that online language teachers do not teach because they are charismatic. They do it because it is a job.
In my opinion, the most attractive aspect of online language teachers is that you get people with a language background who are willing to teach. Most of them already have at least a little knowledge of the language. And if they don’t have a background in a language, you can get them certified online, which is not possible offline.
If you think this is not enough, think of all the benefits:
- They are constantly giving you new lessons.
- They have a huge selection of texts to choose from.
- You can study any time you want. The lessons are in a language you can understand.
In this article, we have discussed the importance of choosing the right online language teacher. We have discussed the way to identify the best online language teachers. We have also shown you how to make a word list for language teaching.
I’ve also touched upon the importance of
- Transparency and a good reputation,
- How to start your language study,
- Your financial concerns,
- Time management,
as well as several things that you need to consider if you decide to work with someone who doesn’t know your native language.
I trust you enjoyed this blog post on How to Choose The Right Online Language Teacher. Would you please stay tuned for more articles like this to come? Take care!
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experiences, remarks, and/or suggestions about How To Choose The Right Online Language Teacher in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@WorkFromAnywhereInTheWorld.com.
You might also enjoy the following blog posts: