The truth is that if you’re determined to learn, there’s absolutely nothing, not even a bad teacher, that could stop you. However, finding the right person to guide you through the process of learning a foreign language will definitely make the whole experience better, faster and more rewarding.
Before you start looking
Before you start looking for a teacher make sure you know what you want to obtain by having these lessons - in other words, set yourself achievable goals.
Also, think about the frequency of your classes. Do you want to have them once, twice a week or even more often. But be realistic here. We all tend to be over enthusiastic in the beginning. Rome wasn’t built in a day; do not take on too much because the result may be disappointing. You will get tired, overwhelmed and in the end unmotivated to continue your venture.
Another thing to consider is how much you are willing to pay. Learning a language is an investment so don’t play a scrooge here. And while you do not wish to spend a fortune here either, remember if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
Where to find a teacher?
There are heaps of adds available on the Internet these days. And even though it might be a good idea to go through them at some point, you will be better off asking your friends or family for any recommendations first.
Next, shortlist your candidates and contact them all before you make your decision. Take notes during these talks - they can help you to decide on the right teacher later on.
If a teacher offers a trial lesson, take advantage of this option. I personally don’t believe in trial lessons but I always have a short (20-30 min) interview with a potential student. This allows me to find out more about the person and design a course that meets their needs. For a student it’s a great opportunity to get to know me a bit and ask the questions about the course.
Online or not online? - that’s a question!
I only teach online and naturally my opinion may be a bit biased here. But my advice would be to check before you say no. If you have never had online classes before you cannot possibly know if they’re for you or not. Stay open-minded. There’re tons of excellent online teachers and who knows maybe you will find your gem as well.
Final advice-choose your teacher wisely
Choose a teacher who specializes in your area of interest, a teacher who has experience and still wants to develop in this field. Do not under any circumstances opt for the one who specializes in everything - children, business, exam preparations, online - you name it. No, the truth is that if one specializes in everything, they actually specialize in nothing.
Wishing you all the best of luck in finding the right teacher.
Written by Agnieszka Kansy