Learning a language comes with a number of benefits, from improved memory and problem-solving skills, to a more developed vocabulary in your mother tongue.
This is where tutors come into the fore and can provide extra support for students of all ages and abilities. Tuition has become ever more useful in the light of new exam formats and grading systems, which have left many students unsure of how best to prepare for, and ace, upcoming exams.
In addition, more students than ever are opting for online tuition, which allows for lessons that fit around busy schedules, and make use of sophisticated online teaching platforms. Nevertheless, it can be tricky to know where to start when searching for a language tutor for your child, so with this in mind we’ve compiled our top tips for finding the perfect tutor.
Before you start searching
It’s important to consider which qualities and qualifications you are looking for in a language tutor before you begin your search. For example, you can consider factors such as whether you’d prefer them to have a language degree, teaching qualification, or experience tutoring a specific exam board, and use these desired qualifications to narrow down your search.
You can also consider whether you’d like a tutor who is a native speaker of the target language, or who has spent time in the target language country. Taking the time to note down these points will help to narrow your search criteria and find the right tutor faster.
Once you’ve formulated a clear picture of the ideal tutor, you can start searching for a language tutor. There are many different ways to source a tutor, so we’ve put together our top tips to help you get your search started.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is one of the quickest and easiest ways to find the right tutor for your child. If a parent you know is using a language tutor for their child, you can ask for their contact details, and get in touch to see if they would be a good fit. If the child goes to the same school as yours, this also comes with the added benefit that the tutor will be familiar with the exam board used by the school, and the material being taught in their language lessons.
Moreover, finding a tutor through word of mouth means that they come with a reliable, first-hand review of their skills, and you can contact them directly, rather than having to go through another agency or tutoring site.
Tutoring agencies are another way to get your search for the perfect tutor started, and they come with the benefit of providing a more personalised, bespoke service. All of the tutors on their databases will have been interviewed and vetted, (most will have DBS checks), and will have profiles that come complete with referrals and reviews.
In order to find a language tutor through an agency site, you’ll first be asked to fill out a contact form on the agency’s website, or phone them for an initial consultation, where you can discuss your child’s tuition needs. The agency will then provide you with a selection of potential tutors from their database, from which you can make your final selection.
Once chosen, lessons and payment are generally organised through the agency, but this does sometimes come with the disadvantage of being at higher rates than if you were going directly to a tutor.
Online platforms and tutoring websites
One of the most popular, and easiest, was of finding a language tutor is through online platforms and websites such as Tutorful or First Tutors. Searching these sites couldn’t be simpler – all you have to do is input the language and level your child needs tuition for, along with your postcode, and a list of potential online and in-person tutors will appear.
As the tutors will vary in price and experience, it’s worth taking some time to view the profiles of the tutors which interest you, as they will often have reviews from past and present students, along with their academic credentials.
When using these sites, however, there are a few things to bear in mind, such as the fact that some tutoring platforms may take commission from their tutors, as payments are handled through the site, which can mean that tutors have to hike up their prices in order to compensate for this loss of earnings. This means a higher price for you, as a client, and therefore is an important factor to consider. This being said, if you are looking for online tuition many tutoring sites now come complete with their own online teaching platforms, meaning learning, lesson planning, and payment, can all easily be dealt with through a single site.
A similarly effective, yet less commonly used, method of finding a language tutor is to use social media platforms. Many tutors now use platforms such as Instagram or Twitter to market their services, share great language-learning related content, and connect with other tutors.
These social media profiles allow you to gain a deeper insight into a tutor and their work, and also allow you to contact the tutor directly, which saves you time and effort. With links to their websites, if they have one, social media is a fast way to search for tutors, and sites such as Facebook Pages also come with the bonus of showing reviews from past and present students, which may help you to make your decision.
If you are more interested in a tutor’s educational and work background, LinkedIn can be a great site to visit, as it allows you to view their CV, and their work history. Tutors on this platform can also receive ‘endorsements’ from fellow professionals, allowing you to quickly and easily evaluate their skills as a language tutor. All of these social media platforms allow you to directly message a tutor to find out more of them, and they will also often contain other contact details, such as e-mail addresses or phone numbers.
The Tutor Website
Finally, using our database of brilliant tutors here at The Tutor website is a great way to find the perfect language tutor for your child. It couldn’t be easier – just simply put in your postcode, target language and level, and you’ll be provided with a selection of excellent online and in-person tutors.
From start to finish, the search and decision-making process is entirely in your hands, unlike with other tutoring sites who might use algorithms to ‘match’ you with the right tutor. We believe that finding a language tutor should be a simple, transparent process, where you are in control, as this ensures confidence in beginning a successful tutor-tutee relationship for your child.
Moreover, what sets The Tutor Website apart from other sites is that we don’t take any commission from our tutors, meaning that they don’t have to raise their rates in order to compensate for commission cuts. We simply ask for a one-time payment in order to receive your chosen tutor’s contact details, and that’s it! The organisation and payment of lessons is taken care of directly between yourself and the tutor, making the tuition process simple and straight-forward.
Learning a language can be truly rewarding, offering your child transferrable skills that will come in handy throughout their life. With the help of a tutor, languages can be grasped more easily and enjoyably at any age and ability, especially with the growing popularity of flexible, online learning.
By using our top tips for finding a great tutor, we hope that you’ll be able to use all the sites and service available to you in order to make your search successful and hassle-free.
For more advice on how to find a language tutor, check out this useful video from Lindsay Does Languages: