There often comes a time when a person decides that they want to invest in some private ESL tuition. I often get inquiries from people in need of exam practice, particularly when they want to revise certain areas. Equally as popular are inquiries from people wanting to improve their conversational skills, as often they simply do not get enough time to practice their English.
It's great when a new person comes to me armed with a lot of questions because then we are both clear from the outset what the goals, expectations and needs are.
This has prompted me to write what I hope is a helpful guide to choosing the right ESL tutor for you.
- For those revising for exams, make sure the teacher is familiar with the exam that you are taking. This will ensure that they can pass on to you, helpful techniques to succeed in the particular test you are preparing for. Not all exams are equal, and thorough preparation is essential to minimize your nerves on the big day as well as to predict questions that may come up on the exam.
- Choose carefully. Be clear about your needs. In my opinion it is worth investing in the services of an accredited tutor. However, if you are on a strict budget and your ESL needs are centered more around practicing conversation then it might work out to hire someone who has not been trained in ESL. Remember though, you usually get what you pay for, so that is why it is crucial to be clear about your goals. Oftentimes it is worth shelling out the extra few dollars to ensure success in the long term. You want to know that the person teaching you can correct your mistakes by explaining to you the language rules.
- Pay attention to how you feel with the tutor. Are you relaxed, do you feel like your are learning, are they patient and do you get enough time to practice the language areas you are covering? Just as in life, we may not click with everyone we meet. It is important that you feel comfortable with your tutor so that you get the most from your sessions.
- Be considerate , if you need to cancel a lesson ,whenever possible let the tutor know ahead of time . This may sound obvious, but it doesn't encourage good feelings if commitments are not met from either party.
- Have fun! Who said that you can't enjoy your time together! This is a great way to get to know someone, and honestly I feel like the people I teach have all become my friends.