You never stop hearing that you must learn how to speak English in order to be able to communicate with the rest of the world.
Being able to speak English as a foreign language is a personal and professional asset – so don’t miss an opportunity to learn it!
So how do you find a way of learning English and practising it as a non native speaker?
Should you find an English school, private educational institution or a personal tutor?
Here is our advice on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
The Cost of ESOL Classes
What is the normal hourly rate for English tuition?
Taking a language-learning course comes with a price. Learning foreign languages is becoming trendy as more and more learners see the benefits of being a linguist.
Whether you want to improve your English for personal or professional reasons, you’ll have to make the same decision: which teaching organisation to choose.
As you will probably know, a Google search for “English courses” will produce a number of tutoring companies and private organisations.
A quick glance at websites such as Wall Street English will tell you that studying English can be costly.
So what are the alternatives?
Turning to a one to one tutor is a good option.
You will find courses for beginners, intermediates and for advanced speakers who wish to improve their language skills.
Superprof offers a large choice of qualified and experienced private tutors. Read their tutor profiles and take a look at what other students think in the reviews section.
Prices vary depending on the level of the student (beginner, intermediate or advanced), as well as the length of the course and the tutor’s level of qualification.
So, why not search for a tutor in your area and see if you can be persuaded by the other students’ reviews.
Prices for one on one English classes vary from city to city.
Tutors in Paris charge far more than tutors in the French countryside.
It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the general tariffs in your nearby towns before making a decision!
If travelling a few more miles for your lessons means you save money, why not take advantage?
Check for available ESOL courses online.
Your tutor’s hourly rate will vary depending on their profile.
This means you can learn from an undergraduate for cheaper tutoring services.
If, on the other hand, you are an advanced learner who wishes to improve their usage of idiomatic phrases or learn to speak British English, choose a highly experienced or native English speaking tutor.
Making Your ESOL Course Cost-Efficient
Do you doubt the value-for-money aspect of your private tuition?
Benefit from the full attention of a one to one educator to improve your English fluency.
Discuss your doubts with your tutor. Why not write down some questions to ask before each lesson?
Learning a language requires commitment – so take your lessons seriously. Make sure you set out a learning plan with specific goals and deadlines to give yourself the motivation to work hard.
Here is all you need to know to get the most out of your English lessons online.
Focus on Your Weaknesses
What do you struggle with in English? It could be verb conjugation, reading and writing skills, English listening skills, vocabulary or even tricky pronunciation.
Ask your tutor to concentrate on the specific area of difficulty.
This is the first step in optimising your English lessons.
Do Your Homework
If you’re still at school or in college, you’ll have homework to complete for your teachers.
For your language lessons, your homework may be based on comprehension or helping you improve your vocabulary.
You can ask your private tutor to help you with your school homework by helping you with difficult questions or explaining things further.
If you have an upcoming English test or exams, take advantage of your tutor by asking them to help you with your test preparation.
Your tutor can also help you prepare for the Test of English for International Communication or TOEIC.
Speaking English with your tutor will help you get used to confidently using your oral skills. Having any conversation in a foreign language is good for helping improve your fluency.
In addition, good pronunciation is essential to becoming a skilled English speaker.
So, put the effort into speaking and work hard to perfect your English pronunciation so that one day, you may be truly fluent!
How to Choose the Right ESOL Teacher for You
There are thousands of personal english tutors around the world, but how do you choose the right one?
First of all, taking supplemental English lessons is a brilliant way to make rapid progress.
This is because your language lessons can be personalised according to your needs.
It is also more enjoyable to involve another person in your learning rather than teaching yourself.
With private tutoring, the choice is yours. You can take lessons in person or online – telephone English lessons are also available!
Making the Choice Between a Certified Teacher and a Student
It all depends on what you’re looking for.
Maybe you feel more at ease with a student, or perhaps you feel reassured with the experience of a school teacher.
You should equally ask yourself whether you prefer a more academic approach, or if freedom helps you learn.
If you prefer more freedom in your learning, choosing a native English speaker is probably the right option for you.
It is important that you make potential tutors aware of your availability so you can get into a routine with your learning.
Deciding on an ESOL tutor depends on the type of English you want to master.
For example, if you want to learn business English, opt for a professional English course where you will be taught by business English specialists.
When the time comes for job interviews, don’t be afraid to emphasise your linguistic skills – this will make you an attractive candidate!
Set Out Your Must-Haves in a Tutor
Your tutor must be patient, know how to adapt their methods to your personal learning style, speak as much English as possible, listen to you, help you overcome any difficulties and encourage you!
But where should you look for tutors? Local adverts, tutoring agencies, and word of mouth are a good place to start.
Tutoring platforms such as Superprof are as equally as popular among tutors who want to advertise their services. Choose Superprof for competitive prices and the ability to find the best tutor for you down to the very last detail.
English as a Second Language Tutors for Parents Who Don’t Speak English
Some parents of pupils learning English do not speak it at all and cannot, therefore, help their children with their learning.
Here is our advice for parents who don’t speak English:
- Try to learn at the same pace as your child
- Encourage your child to speak English to you
- Don’t attempt to translate word-for-word
- Have a meeting with the tutor
- Buy English textbooks relating to your course content
- Take evening classes or online lessons to learn English
How Long Does it Take to Learn English with a Private Tutor?
The time you take to improve your English skills depends on several factors:
Your Starting Level
Beginners will need a few months to a year, whereas if you already know the basics, you can improve your English proficiency in just a few weeks!
Your Choice of English Tutor
Your private tutor is useful for learning English in a methodical way so that you will no longer need to rely on dodgy online translation tools.
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It is important that you choose a tutor who can help you make significant progress.
Many tutors offer a free first lesson which gives you the chance to find out whether their learning strategies suit you.
In addition, tutors who speak a language fluently will be able to help you with your pronunciation and accent, so native speakers can understand you.
Lastly, make sure your tutor uses resources and worksheets which suit your level of English so you’re not overwhelmed or bored with your lessons.
Your Personal Involvement
Your determination is a crucial aspect of achieving success in your learning.
Private tutors can also be used to provide intensive courses.
Shakespeare’s English is far more complex than it appears. There are certain things you must learn by heart such as English vocabulary, grammar and irregular verbs.
If you want to learn English quickly, why not try an intensive course?
Reaching a good level of English demands regular practice.
Set yourself one goal per week. The progress you make will be noticeable after just a few months.
If you overhear a stranger speaking English, try to start a conversation with them!
You can also learn English with online tutoring.
Online learning means you can work from the comfort of your own home whenever you want. Feeling more at-ease with your learning will help with your overall confidence in English.
There are also plenty of opportunities to learn English for free online with apps like Duolingo.
The internet offers a fantastic way to learn to read and write in English outside of your private lessons.
Finally, why not look into spending some time in an English-speaking country? Immersing yourself in the native culture is the best way to improve quickly.
Studying English has never been so accessible! And what’s more, it can help you to make new friends.
You could stay with an English-speaking host family as an au pair, for example.
Studying abroad is also available at many universities and higher education institutions, so explore your options!
Leaving for a foreign country will give you lots of valuable experience and looks great on your CV. So, England or Australia?