Speaking foreign languages is an absolute necessity in the modern world!
We use them in our work/studies, our favorite hobbies, when we travel or study them just for pleasure. There are a lot of ways to study languages: at school, university, group language courses, with a private teacher or online via Skype. The main difference between group and individual classes is that we don’t get to choose a teacher while studying languages at a language school but we can do it with private lessons. And the choice of your teacher is really important.
Now, when you have finally made a decision to learn a foreign language via Skype, what should you know about choosing a teachr?
Here are some important criteria to pay attention to in order to make the right choice:
- Pay attention to a teacher's degree and training. A professional teacher must have specialised qualifications (a degree in language and literature, linguistics or teacher training).
- It's good when a teacher has international certificates in language teaching, their own teaching methods and tools, and has lived or studied in a country whose language they teach.
These points combined can indicate how professional a teacher is.
- You might get some recommendations from your family, friends or colleagues. Or you can check reviews from people you don't know on language schools’ websites. Going through them is always recommended.
3. Age and gender
- It’s all about your personal preferences in this matter. Just think what kind of a person, in your opinion, you will feel comfortable with, so you can have interesting and productive lessons.
4. Teachers’ profiles on the site
- We suggest you listen to audio-presentation from the teachers on the site. They can tell you a lot about your potential teacher. For example, if you can understand them effortlessly, comfortable with their pace of speaking, or like their voice and so on.
5. Personal traits and characteristics of the teacher
- Note that it’s absolutely necessary for your teacher to be patient, friendly, polite, punctual, responsible and tactful. It may be difficult to understand a lot about your teacher’s personality just by reading the information on their page. But if other characteristics suit you, you should definitely sign up for a trial lesson to get to know them.
Native or Russian speakers?
If you can't choose between a native or a Russian speaking teacher, we have some tips to help you:
Assess your language level
You can take a free online test to check your level.
You can have classes with native speakers regardless of your level when using a communicative approach. In this case, your results will be directly connected with frequency of your classes. The reason is that explanations of grammar rules without using a common language will take a lot of time when you just start learning.
Ask yourself if you are ready to get all the information, such as words and rules, only in your target language?
To be fully satisfied with your learning process,our main recommendation is to study with natives when you reach B1-B2 levels and higher. In this case you normally already know main grammar rules and can focus on developing speaking skills.
Professionalism and specialised education
We have already noted above the importance of having specialised degrees for a teacher.
The same fully applies to native speakers. Their role is not just talk to you in their native language, but help you understand grammar and explain various features and peculiarities of the language. And quite often these are Russian teachers who do it really well since they had to study the language themselves, they are familiar with difficulties and they have taken various international exams which means they can tell you what pitfall to avoid.
There is one more way to increase the productivity of your lessons. You can attend language courses and have classes with Russian and native-speakers.
You should definitely think about your budget while choosing a teacher. Obviously, studying with natives will be more expensive than with Russian speaking teachers. So is there a way to study with a native while being on a budget?
Skype-language.com can offer you some pocket friendly options if you can’t afford private lesson right now. For example, in our school you can have classes in pairs and the price is really good or you can sign up for group classes in a conversation club with native speakers.
Now you know all the main criteria we recommend to consider while choosing a teacher. But remember that we all are different and your choice is an absolutely personal decision based on your preferences.
Do not hesitate to try your hand with a Russian-speaking teacher, and with a native speaker. We highly recommend you to have a trial lesson. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet with a teacher, understand whether you like this person. You can talk about your teacher's plans for the lessons and understand if they suit you. And of course you can discuss your goals and expectations.
In our next article we will give you more information about what to pay attention to in a trial lesson.
Finally, we would like to tell you about some advantages of online schools’ teachers over private offline ones:
- A lot of payment methods are available: so you can choose the one which is good for you.
- Quality control. Online schools only hire qualified teachers with relevant work experience.
- Convenient and stable schedule.
We can guarantee you a stable schedule by providing you with a substitute teacher if yours isn’t able to have classes for a long time. You don't have to waste time looking for a new teacher yourself, and there aren’t going to be any long gaps in your studies.
- Teachers act as representatives for their school. For this reason, unpunctual or irresponsible ones don’t last at online schools.
And if you happen to have any doubts about your choice. Do not hesitate to talk to the manager and explain your situation. An experienced manager knows staff well and will be happy to help you.
Sign up for a trial lesson right now to find the right teacher for you!