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!
Pick a Portuguese tutor that fits your budget
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 someone needing an advanced level of proficiency in order to work in Portugal.
The price of a tutor fluctuates according to all these variables. Prices also vary depending if you want to have classes in person, or via webcam.
There may be significant differences in each course, such as:
For someone with specific learning needs, the price of Portuguese lessons is almost guaranteed to be higher.
Make sure you have a good look at your Portuguese language tutor’s CV
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 recent Portuguese graduate.
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 student?
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Indeed, if you choose a student or a recent graduate as a private tutor, it is a safe bet that the hourly rate will be lower, and also that the course will be more practical due to their recent learning experiences. 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 student or recent graduate 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 just want to learn some Portuguese vocabulary or grammar.
Brazilian Portuguese is very different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.
You could legitimately think that experience and language level are linked, but this is not necessarily true.
For example, someone 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. Remember that European and Brazilian Portuguese are different from each other in more ways that just the accent.
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 the vocabulary is completely different.
For example, “train” in Brazilian Portuguese is “trem”, but in European Portuguese it is “comboio”.
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!
Brazilian and Portuguese culture is markedly different, and therefore you need to bear this in mind when choosing your Portuguese teacher because the culture will ultimately come to the forefront in your language lessons.
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!
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 find the best way to learn a language for you, and 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 who you feel comfortable learning with.
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 or her 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 lesson, 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.
There are loads of great reasons to learn Portuguese, so don’t waste a minute longer! Start your Portuguese classes today!