English speakers in general often have a bad reputation for learning other languages. Perhaps this is due to the frequency with which you can often find English speakers anywhere in the world.
Education has therefore often historically focused more on the fundamental subjects of maths, science, and English, but in recent times languages have started to make their way to the forefront.
Spanish in particular is a language of great importance. It is an official language in 20 countries, and it is spoken by over 440 million native speakers worldwide. Subsequently, it is a skill that would enhance anyone’s CV.
We all know that the Spanish language is quite close to Italian and even French. As a general rule, it is one of the easiest to learn for English speakers too as Spanish shares common roots with English. We share the same alphabet, minus a few accents!
All the same, training in a new language cannot be done in a day: it requires time, personal investment, devotion, and basic knowledge in Spanish grammar, syntax, spelling, and everyday vocabulary. This is necessary before achieving proficiency in things like the subjunctive, advanced Spanish phrases, and conversational Spanish.
There are many ways to go about studying Spanish. You can take classes at a local language school, learn the language online, or you can even learn Spanish with a tutor.
When it comes to the last option, choosing the right Spanish tutor for you is an important step. So how do you go about doing this? Here are a few pieces of useful advice to help you find the best teacher for you.
Learning Spanish through private lessons is a great way to fill in the gaps, overcome your shortcomings, and make fast progress. So before you choose a teacher with whom you can learn Spanish, make sure you know what your expectations and needs are.
Choosing the best Spanish tutor for you is one of the most important decisions you’ll make on your language learning adventure
Have a think about the following questions:
Are you having difficulties with Spanish vocabulary in your school curriculum? Or is it grammar, pronunciation, tenses, reading comprehension or written expression? Is it Spanish verbs that give you the most trouble?
Your Spanish instructor will create personalised language classes after you’ve targeted several topics or problem areas you’d like to work on.
What is your preference in terms of learning materials and resources? Are you simply interested in a Spanish conversation class? Each Spanish instructor has his or her own method for teaching. Flashcards, periodical quizzes, and conversational lessons are among a variety of different approaches.
Home lessons are an excellent means of making progress as you study Spanish. Comfortable and alone, these are the best conditions for listening and staying focused on the Spanish language. However, some teachers are able teach you Spanish online. Distance learning is very fashionable at the moment, in addition to being practical!
Teacher advertisements are everywhere, so much so that it’s sometimes difficult to find the most relevant ones.
With what type of teacher do you want for your Spanish learning? An accredited or certified instructor? A student who is still studying Spanish? Or simply a native speaker?
Perhaps you want to find a teacher with a specific diploma: a BA in Spanish language, literature and civilization, an MA in teaching and education etc. If so, start your search with Superprof, which employs Spanish instructors and tutors with a wide array of educational backgrounds and degrees.
With Superprf, you can consult their online CV whilst you are doing your research.
Some tutors are Spanish teachers at schools, so they will be familiar with national curriculum Spanish that is taught in the country where they live and work. Others have taken an atypical route and bring their original touch to learning the language of Cervantes.
Get on the Superprof platform to choose your Spanish instructor. Each teacher will list their expertise and experience, so you can see which one feels right for you. What’s more, each teacher can list their only price that they charge for lessons, and this can be seen on the Superprof platform as well.
Another thing to look out for is the little webcam symbol on a Spanish tutor’s profile. This means that they offer distance learning via webcam.
Why not use your smartphone to find yourself a Spanish teacher?
The first class is usually free (please check with each individual Spanish teacher to confirm this), so you have nothing do lose! That’s “nada” to you Spanish speakers!
Most Spanish instructors are bilingual. With a university degree, they have learned to reinforce their advanced Spanish knowledge.
With them, you can converse in the Spanish language but also in English if you are having trouble with comprehension or translation.
The are used to academic classes, so they’ll know the right methods and tools for providing you with good training in a foreign language. A bilingual teacher is ideal for learning how to speak Spanish.
There are not only teachers on online platforms! Many students advertise their Spanish teaching or tutoring services too. What can they bring that a more established teacher in the national education system cannot?
Another approach and viewpoint to Spanish learning! Often young, these teaching apprentices can offer dynamic classes, which make learning Spanish words, grammar, conjugation and adjectives easier. Also, they are more like peers and colleagues than authority figures. So communication is likely to be easier!
Similarly, you might try joining a Spanish speaking club, for a true immersion experience (without having to live in Spain). Learn to speak with the help of your peers! This gives new meaning to free Spanish lessons.
You’ll be able to find many native speakers working as Spanish language instructors.
If you are looking to achieve that perfect Spanish accent or soak up Hispanic culture, this is a good option for you!
For intermediate levels, this will help you perfect your Spanish by focusing on individualized conversations and exchanges.
You can profit from the culture of your teacher who can regale you with anecdotes and customs of their country! This is vital to learning any foreign language properly.
As we’ve shown, there are multiple and diverse profiles for a Spanish teacher. If you are feeling somewhat lost and would like a rational selection method, base it on the following points:
The other important criteria is the teacher’s experience. Are they used to giving private Spanish lessons? What level are they qualified to teach: primary school, high school, or university?
If you are worried that your Spanish teacher lacks knowledge, focus on experience. Established teachers are generally well positioned to quickly suss out the weaknesses of a Spanish learner. If you feel more comfortable knowing a teacher has many years of experience, make that a deal breaker in your search.
In contrast, you can opt for a less experienced Spanish teacher if you feel it will help your confidence. You can evolve and learn together! This teacher will likely have a lower fee, as experience comes at a cost.
If you’re a beginner in the Spanish language, have basic Spanish notions, or just need some help before a Spanish exam at school, the level of your teacher is generally not a huge determining factor. But, because you’ll need a teacher who has a higher level of Spanish than yourself, intermediate level and advanced learners will need to be more selective with the Spanish teacher that they select.
Indeed, if you wish to perfect your Spanish in the hope of getting your masters degree in a foreign language, a professor with at least the same university level as you would be a wise option!
Do you live in a big city? Or in the suburbs? You can find teachers in your location. So look to find one close to you to make your exchanges and meeting places easier. Classes at home are ideal because you won’t have to leave the house!
Your new Spanish teacher is just waiting for you to get in touch
If you prefer to take online Spanish lessons, location is obviously not important. Keep an open mind, Skype makes distance lessons interactive and personable! Be cautious about free Spanish lessons on the internet, as they are usually too good to be true in one way or another.
It’s very important to define your budget. You’ll need to know how much Spanish lessons cost, so you’ll need to do this research in advance. If you are thinking about small group classes, why not get a group of colleagues together for a Spanish course?
In general the fees are lower if there are more people in the class.
Equally, if you commit to more hours of classes upfront, teachers will often be receptive to offering a discount for a block booking. And some online teachers offer the first hour for free! This is an excellent way to test if you get along with your teacher.
Even if you think you’ve found your ideal Spanish teacher, don’t forget that your schedules have to match. Some teachers can only commit to one class per week while others focus on the weekends only. Work out your schedule and choose the days and hours that you can meet on in advance of picking a teacher.
Every good Spanish teacher should have the following 5 qualities:
Today’s teachers have access to plenty of resources. Having expert knowledge of their subject is mandatory but they must also be able to communicate and transmit this skill to their students! In easy to digest language and with engaging exercises, your teacher should be able to teach you Spanish easily.
Patience is the golden rule of the entire teaching profession, and Spanish language classes are no exception! Your teacher should take time to adapt to your rhythm and level.
Teaching with a dose of compassion helps the student learn quicker and it also reinforces the student-teacher bond. A student who feels that they are being heard and understood will have more confidence, this counts especially in spoken Spanish.
Today there are a range of new language programs and digital tools for learning Spanish, like Rosetta Stone. So much more than a few articles, worksheets and pens! Tactile and interactive tablets and digital working centers have appeared with new Spanish audio methods. Fun and easy to use, they allow you to learn how to speak Spanish in a new way. These can also be used to help you prepare for your Spanish classes, too.
Of course, you should find a teacher who is nice! The ability to work and converse in a friendly and warm ambiance will make learning a new language that much easier.
You should have a good relationship with your Spanish tutor
To sum up, to get good results from the start, you have to choose the right Spanish instructor. To do so, we recommend figuring out your expectations and communicate this clearly to the Spanish teachers that you are considering hiring. Questions to discuss are your aims, the tutor’s teaching methodology, where you will be working, etc.
Learn Spanish fast with the perfect instructor! Why not become bilingual in English and Spanish with a Superprof?