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How to Choose your Portuguese Teacher

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Portuguese > Choosing The Right Portuguese Tutor

In your quest to become fluent in Portuguese, you will make no bigger decision than the teacher you decide to learn with. As with any new language, you need to feel comfortable with what you are being taught and therefore you need a tutor who will make your language lessons interesting and fun, but most importantly understandable.

If you feel like you are getting more and more lost week by week, you will see no tangible progress in what you learn, and you will therefore be more likely to give up.

There are many tips for learning Portuguese on the internet, but in this article we will deal with how to choose the right tutor for you. There are many things to consider, but first of all you need to know your own motivations for learning.

If you only want a conversational level in Portuguese in order to be able to go on holiday and speak to a native speaker, then you don’t need to bother as much about the intricacies of Portuguese grammar with verbs and their conjugation.

If you want to do a level proficiency test then you will need to know these types of things, at the same time as developing your language skills in reading and writing.

Of course, your motivations will also influence how your teacher should structure your lessons. At the end of the day, you need to be studying what is going to help you achieve your goals!


Thanks to Superprof you no longer need to ask yourself where you can learn Portuguese. Our website allows you to search for a Portuguese instructor in your town or city.

So the question is, how do you find the best tutor with whom to take Portuguese lessons?

We’ll tell you now…read on!

Choosing your Tutor According to the Rates

lesson-cash It depend on how much cash you have in hand for the lessons!

The rate of a Portuguese tutor will depend on a multitude of factors including skills, experience, education, and geographic location. If you decide to choose your Portuguese tutor according to the price you are willing to pay, you will have to make a comparison and decide on the tutor’s skills.

Think about which aspect of learning will mean that you are ready to pay a little more? What is your learner profile?

Indeed, in terms of language learning, the needs are not the same for a student wishing to spend a few weeks in a Portuguese-speaking country as they may be for an employee wishing to get a job in Portugal and requiring an expert level of proficiency as to sound almost bilingual.

The price of a tutor fluctuates according to all these variables.

For example, on Superprof, the price of a Portuguese course by webcam varies from 10 to 30 dollars an hour.

There may be significant differences in each course, such as:

  • The content offered,
  • The qualification level of the tutors,
  • Or the mastery of a skill in a very specific field (Portuguese business language, for example).

For someone with specific learning needs, the amount of the price per hour may increase.

In any case, be aware that tutoring, homework help for children, individual or group tuition can give rise to a tax credit or a tax reduction. A good way to soften the note!

Choosing a Tutor Depending on His or Her Experience

new-tutor Have a good look at your new tutor’s resume!

It’s almost always true: the more experience the tutor has, the higher his or her rate will be. Logically, an associate professor asks for a higher salary than a graduate student.

A question that often comes up when choosing to hire a tutor in order to progress or refine your command of the Portuguese language is should I reach out to a tutor or a graduate student?

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Indeed, if you choose a graduate student as a private tutor, it is a safe bet that the hourly rate is lower but also that the course will be more practical. This can be a good option to learn to speak the language quickly and in a fun way. For a younger student, learning with a grad student can also help them gain confidence sooner.

Choosing a tutor also means looking at his or her experience, knowledge, and mastery of the most useful cogs for learning a language. A longer education can prove to be useful for the learner, whether the student is a beginner or at a more advanced level.

The same is true for the rates. Choose a tutor according to your needs!

You do not need to hire a tutor with 30 years of experience if you want to learn some Portuguese vocabulary or grammar.

Choosing in Order of Your Competences and Your Level

portugal-turquoise Brazilian Portuguese is very different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.

One might legitimately think that experience and language level are necessarily linked, but this is not necessarily true.

For example, a grad student who has grown up in Brazil is likely to provide better keys to understanding the culture of his country than a tutor (as bright as he or she may be) whose mother tongue is not Portuguese.

Similarly, for those wishing to take Brazilian Portuguese courses, it is recommended to take them with a native Brazilian, in order to become familiar with Brazilian pronunciation, the accent being different in Portugal than it is in Brazil.

It will be easier to understand a conversation or even to be understood. Some differences are to be noted with the accent, but also in writing. Grammar and spelling may vary. In some cases with simple elements, but other times with entire words.

For example, to say “train” we say “trem” in Brazilian Portuguese but “comboio” in Portuguese.

For someone wishing to work in a company dealing directly with Portuguese-speaking entities and needing to master a certain number of elements quickly, looking at the tutor’s CV is essential!

Whether you need to know very specific Portuguese vocabulary or cultural customs, Brazilian culture is very different from Portuguese culture, and this needs to be kept in mind when choosing a tutor.

Yes, you will obviously be looking at the tutor’s language level, but additional knowledge about Portuguese culture, civilization, or the Portuguese customs can in some cases be great assets for the learner!

Choosing a Tutor in Function of the Teaching Method

high-quality A certified teacher will be able to give you higher quality courses.

Whether it’s learning French, learning German, learning Spanish, Italian, or Chinese, the way the tutor teaches you is just as important as the knowledge itself. This is of course true for Portuguese.

In fact, it is extremely important to have a teacher with whom you feel good.

There is no perfect methodology and pedagogy. Each tutor will have his or her personal definition of the two notions. However, one thing remains certain: you have to find a teacher with whom you feel great.

Nevertheless, some qualities are often used when describing a “good teacher.” An active method that directly involves students is better than an instruction method that leaves little room for interaction with the student.

Orally but also in writing, the good teacher must free his student. A good teacher is also one who tries to make the student understand why he or she made a mistake regarding a specific point so that he or she does not make the same mistake again.

Finally, a private tutor must be rigorous with his or her teaching style. The first class, often free of charge, is generally used to explain and convey a student’s vision for teaching.

Generally, it is quite easy to see if the proposed methods stick to his or her expectations from the first class. This is because you will understand who the tutor is and what he or she is promising to teach you and how. If you do not get the feeling from the first class on that this will work, it is probably best to go on to another tutor who will teach you in a way that suits you best.

Remember, regardless of the teaching method that suits you better, you will need to practise between Portuguese lessons in order to really improve and kick on in your learning experience.

In short:

  • When choosing your Portuguese teacher you are choosing the person who will accompany you in your learning project.
  • Whether taking intensive Portuguese courses online to learn Portuguese very quickly or simply finding a tutor who will give you a “survival guide” to order at a Portuguese restaurant, book a Portuguese hotel, and communicate with Portuguese locals, it is quite possible to find exactly what you need. If you don’t find them at first, keep looking!
  • The first step is to clearly define your learning objectives and expectations, so as to look for a tutor with skills adapted to your learning needs.
  • Privilege certain things if you have specific requests. If you are a beginner you probably need tutoring as an introduction to the language.
  • Well, how does one find a good tutor? As we have seen, a good tutor does not meet the same criteria according to different needs and personalities.
  • Nevertheless, although the best methods to achieve learning Portuguese differ according to the learners, a good tutor is one who will make you want to improve, to study, to review, to learn a lesson even when the very nature of it is not the most interesting.
  • Let’s all keep in mind that pedagogy – that is, the ability to convey a message – is as important as the message itself.

There are loads of great reasons to learn Portuguese, so don’t waste a minute longer! Start your Portuguese classes today!


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