The growing importance of good English reading, writing and comprehension skills for employers and further education institutions is just one reason why English tutors are in such high demand.
For school pupils preparing to sit their GCSE English exams as well as university undergraduates looking for help with their essay writing skills, having support from an English tutor can make all the difference when exam results day comes around.
Tutoring is available for all ages and abilities when it comes to learning English, from pre-school children as well as working adults and everyone in-between!
However, being spoilt for choice might leave you feeling dizzy.
It’s always helpful to save yourself the hassle of trawling through endless lists of tutors by planning your search.
Before you begin looking for your ideal tutor, think about what you want them to be like. Make a list of their ideal qualities (for instance, someone who delivers their lessons in your home and has formal teaching experience) which will help you make the most of your time by helping you rule out any tutors who do not fit your criteria.
As the market for private tuition grows, it is becoming even easier to receive one to one tuition wherever you are! This is all thanks to online tutoring, where tutor and tutee work together via a webcam.
Online tutoring means that you can find and hire your ideal tutor without having to worry about geographical location.
So, you can access the best teaching without moving from your PC!
If you prefer to keep your tuition traditional, there are plenty of effective ways to find the best English tutors to optimise your language skills in your local area without too much hassle.
So, whether you prefer to stay local or search worldwide, this guide should make your quest for the ideal tutor as stress-free as possible.
You can start your search with this checklist of criteria for tutors and start refining your English today!
Why is English Tuition So Important?
English stands alongside maths and science as one of the core subjects in schools, but what makes it so important?
The academic subject we call ‘English’ represents everything from learning to spell to knowing how to structure an essay, but the skills we acquire by studying English are useful for more things than we appreciate as schoolchildren.
As a native speaker of English, having a good command of English grammar, punctuation and writing confidently are all skills which are central to being a good communicator, yet which we often take for granted.
The fact is, studying English teaches you valuable transferable skills which you use every single day.
So, the next question is surely: what makes English tuition different from school English?
The nature of private tuition means that the student has the full, undivided attention of their tutor, and there are no other pupils to distract them.
Because of this, the tutor can focus on helping their English learner student overcome their specific problems at a pace that suits them.
So, unlike classroom teaching, in private lessons, there is no risk of the tutee becoming bored with easy course content or being worried about being left behind, as the tutor will adapt their teaching to the student’s learning pace as well as their individual learning style.
Finding a one to one English tutor could well be the answer for those slipping through the net in school and need someone to focus on providing individualised help for English, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.
The reasons people hire private tutors are many and varied, as is the type of tuition available.
So, what are the aims of one to one tutoring?
One of the most common reasons for finding a tutor is to give children support alongside their formal education.
English is an especially tough subject if you’re struggling in some areas, so tutors are there to fill in the gaps left by a national curriculum which moves too swiftly over key points for a certain pupil, or which is not broad enough for another.
But let’s not forget that English tuition isn’t just about improving your grades in English at school – it can come in handy for a range of subjects.
Learning how to structure an essay with an English tutor can help you in subjects like history or religious studies, and developing revision methods for your personal learning style can help across the board at exam time.
Working on your reading comprehension skills could even help you process maths word problems!
Studying English in school is essential to improving your communication skills in adult life, and the possibilities really are endless.
Is It Worth Learning English with A Tutor For Anything Pre-A Levels?
Of course, college level A Levels are an extremely important time in terms of your education, with your results defining your future - which university you might get into and opening up job prospects - but surely each preceding year sets out your long-term path to success when studying English?
It's really important to get your level of English up at an early stage so that you have less work to do when you arrive at your A Level college, as this will make your English learning journey much easier. However, it's not just your English studies that benefit from hard work from the start, improving your English skills offers you a number of key transferable skills that will dictate how you do in other lessons too.
You could leave it until you reach A Levels to consider a tutor to get your studies on track, but you are better off thinking about it as soon as you notice any signs of struggle. This way, you may even need fewer sessions with a tutor than if you were to let your lack of understanding get out of hand!
While some parents of younger pupils feel torn between allowing their son or daughter to continue down a path of confusion or risk upsetting their teacher and school by paying for private tuition, this extra service does not have to spell dissatisfaction with their English teaching.
If a child is having particular problems in a class, it is not always possible (no matter how good and dedicated the teacher is) to get the instructor's full attention and to iron out any difficulties due to the professional being in charge of 30+ students in some cases. If your school does take offence to you hiring extra help, then this defensive attitude is a sign that they may not have your best interests at heart.
The reason why tutoring at any age, and why schools should support this, is the best way forward is that tutoring can really boost a child's confidence in the subject which can, in turn, be projected onto other subjects. For those who are struggling, it offers them a chance at success and for those who are already on track, it allows them to fine-tune exam technique and revision methods so that they can achieve even greater heights.
Furthermore, tutoring takes away the pressure on students and, in some ways, on their English tutor.
Take A Level students, for example, who want to achieve a specific grade in order to get accepted on their first choice university course. Having that extra bit of help means they can be more optimistic about their grades and perhaps even set their sights higher than if they hadn't been on a tutoring programme.
Similarly, teachers who are invested in helping their pupils get the places they want at universities across the country can feel at ease knowing that their students are well-equipped to face the exams and get a positive outcome.
As we can see, the benefits of hiring a tutor at any stage of education are undeniable. Students gain from extra knowledge and schools also have the advantage of better-performing students to enhance their place in the league tables!
Tutoring is also incredibly useful for boys and girls with special needs or for those who require help with work discipline, as this can make their entire experience of school much more positive.
What To Expect From English Tuition
Entering an agreement with an English Tutor
Hiring a tutor hasn't got just one possible outcome - to get a better grade.
Private tuition offers a number of great benefits. Indeed, tutors aim to help you achieve a higher grade but aside from the obvious academic advantage, a good tutor will motivate you to learn and help you to develop confidence in many areas of the classroom.
Before you go and pick any old tutor, you really should consider a few things first.
For instance, discuss your expectations with prospective instructors first. What are your goals? Do you want support in your current level or do you want to advance from an intermediate level to a higher level within the academic year? Do you want help specifically with homework tasks? Do you/your parents want feedback on your performance and improvement during tutoring sessions? It's getting these questions out in the open from the start that will enable you to get the most from your tutor.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you are struggling. Although you might not be too thrilled about needing the extra tuition to practice English, especially if your friends are all doing fine in class, then remember that this very minor disruption to your life outside of school will help to make you more self-sufficient, meaning that you'll be mentally stronger and super focused when it comes to taking exams whereas they might not have the same tools to approach the English test with such positivity.
What to do once you've picked your private tutor
As soon as you have started up a relationship with your external English teacher, be sure to tell your instructor from your English class at school or college so that they are aware and can be involved in making plans. It may be that they can offer you some suggestions on areas that you are weaker in and that need to be covered. Obtain details of the syllabus, assignments and, where possible, lesson plans to share with your tutor and be sure to check if they wish for you to buy any learning materials like textbooks for the sessions.
Make sure you have a nice, quiet and comfortable zone in which you can carry out your learning.
The best way to get your tutor to target these troublesome areas is to take any work or vocabulary exercises to them which you found hard. They can come up with strategies to help you overcome any obstacles and will begin to understand and get to know what it is you are good at and what areas you need a confidence boost in.
Being open and honest is the best policy as you ultimately want your tutor to get to know your personality as well, and the ways you like to work. Inform them of any extra-curricular activities you do (these could even be brought into your private tutoring lessons in some way). Tell them your career goals. Show them books and photos that you like and try to generally establish a connection.
However, don't befriend your tutor too much and bake them cakes to eat when they are on the clock with you. You must make sure that you have already eaten so as not to be distracted by hunger! Focus and concentration are really important if you want to gain the most from tutoring and to remember the materials addressed in class.
Just some of the key areas in which a tutor can help you to improve your English are:
-Grammar (grammar rules)
-Vocabulary (distinguishing adverb, idiom, preposition, noun etc...)
-Verbs (Tenses, infinitive, irregular verbs, simple past, simple present, present simple, and so on)
-English Writing skills (Basic English or Conversational English vs Business English)
-English reading skills
-English listening skills (listening comprehension, understanding dialect)
-English speaking skills (English conversational speech)
Where To Find An English Tutor
Finding an English Tutor in Your Area
As more and more people begin to appreciate the applications of a good command of English and the skills it teaches, demand for English tutors is on the up, and luckily, there are plenty of motivated educators willing to meet it.
But just how difficult is it to find a Private English tutor near you?
From retired teachers to PhD students, the tutoring community shares a wealth of knowledge and skill to be shared with learners – you just need to know where to find them!
The key is to keep it simple – you don’t need to contact every English tutor in a 20-mile radius to find one that suits you.
Start by consulting your local press and looking for tutors advertising their services.
In the modern age, it’s far too easy to head straight to the internet to find what we’re looking for – but when it comes to finding an English tutor in your area, the traditional approach often triumphs.
By simply flicking through the advertisements in your local newspaper, you’ll be able to find out tutors’ names, contact details and some information on their services.
Supermarkets and convenience stores often display advertisements and offer flyers from people in the area including tutors.
So next time you pop to the shop, why not take a look at the notice boards and see what you find?
Seek Out A Tutor Online
Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of modern technology, finding a tutor who is local to you is still possible!
The World Wide Web provides a wealth of information on the tutoring companies in each city as well as platforms to find individual tutors within a certain radius.
Superprof is just one of these platforms.
We provide both online and in-home tutors with a means of putting their services on the market and gaining an online presence to find customers whilst making it as easy as possible for students to find their ideal tutor – let’s take it as an example.
There are three simple steps to finding English tutors around you:
- Go to the Superprof UK homepage
- Fill in the relevant information (e.g. English lessons in-person in London)
- Click ‘Find a Tutor’
Here, you’ll see a list of tutors that fit your search criteria.
You can narrow down your search even further by adjusting the filters on the left-hand side of the page.
So, looking for an English tutor who is local to you is less restrictive than you may initially think - there are plenty of avenues to be explored!
As for questions of cost, you might find your answers here!
What To Know When Looking For An Online English Tutor
Unlike searching for a face-to-face tutor, looking for an online English tutor for language learning is only really possible with the help of the internet.
In many ways, learning English online by finding a tutor who teaches via webcam is easier than searching for someone who teaches locally.
This isn’t surprising, and another advantage to online tutoring is that there are no restrictions based on where you live, since there is no need to make travel arrangements, so you can focus on the qualities of each tutor rather than the practicalities of hiring them.
So, when the time comes to start looking for an online tutor, the process is much the same, except there’s no need to even leave the house!
All of your research will be done online.
Not only is the internet a brilliant place to learn more about tutoring through articles and blog posts such as this one, but it offers many tools to filter and target your research so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in as little time as possible.
Online tutors usually advertise their services on the type of tutoring platforms we mentioned above, and the search process is almost identical, except you’ll search for online tutors exclusively.
There are many pros and cons to both online and in-home tutors, and the type of tuition should be chosen by weighing up the positives and negatives with the learner in mind.
Whichever path you choose to follow, there are plenty of resources both online and around your local area to help you first find suitable tutors before choosing one.