Is a language tutor right for you?

March 19, 2015

 Language toolkit

If you are learning a new language or are planning to do so, hiring a private tutor is probably one of the avenues you are considering. But is a language tutor the right move? 

Just like most things in life not everything that is available serves everyone the same way. With so many different options out there how do you choose which ones will help you best?

Let's quickly review our language learning options:

1. Software - e.g. Rossetta Stone

2. Language schools - e.g. Berlitz

3. Tutors

4. Apps - e.g. Duolingo

I may have left a few options out but the above are probably the most populars one at the moment. Take a moment to look at each one and think to yourself which one option would give you the most benefit. Consider your lifestyle and time availability. 

Most people use a combination of these - which is a good option since they supplement each other. Nonetheless the more people I meet that are learning a language the less I find that they are using a private tutor. Why?

Based on my experience both as an English/Spanish tutor and as a language learner here are the reasons why language students are giving the private tutor the boot:

1. Cost - A private tutor can be an excellent asset but they can also charge quite a bit of money, especially the good ones! With so many inexpensive and often free language learning options available, price per hour is an issue.

2. Time - Having a tutor come to your place or you going to theirs takes time. Not only that but most people won't benefit much from 1 or 2 hours of tutoring a week. Especially if we take work schedules and family time into consideration. Apps, podcasts, music, etc., take little to no time away from your day and are at your disposal on command.

3. Homework - Let's face it, any respected language tutor will have you do some sort of activity in between lessons. After all you need practice what you learn, consistently. These days most people have no time for homework.

The list above can be longer. There are many factors that come into play when deciding whether a tutor is right for you. My opinion? If you have the time, the money and the desire you can absolutely use a tutor - regardless of the level you are at a private tutor can fine tune pronounciation, accents, etc. I see language tutors as a huge supplement to other language learning activities. Not necessarily because I used to be one but because tutors in fact are an amazing asset to have.

If you have time and/or money constraints then stick to apps, music, friends and other free software available. I will not mention language schools because those can be very expensive although extremely helpful as well.

Until next time!