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Finding the right Spanish instructor

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Spanish > How to Choose Your Spanish Teacher

The United States is not known for cultivating great foreign language speakers. It has a bad reputation for foreign language studies in the national education system. We neglect these languages to the detriment of so-called primary subjects such as math and English. But Spanish courses are just as important!

Learning Spanish, the third most spoken language in the world, and the second language of the USA, would be a huge bonus on anyone’s CV. Everyone will be impressed with your fluency in English and Spanish.

We all know that the Spanish language is quite close to Italian and even French. But as a general rule, it is one of the easiest to learn for Americans 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 subjunctive tense, advanced Spanish phrases and conversational Spanish.

So if you want to take private lessons to master this language, make sure you choose the right instructor! How should you take Spanish lessons? Here are a few pieces of useful advice from Superprof, global reference for language learning (and all other subjects), to help you make the right choice!

Define your expectations before choosing a teacher

Learning Spanish through private lessons is a great way to fill in the gaps, overcome your shortcomings and make fast progress. So before you can choose a teacher to learn Spanish with you, make sure you know what your expectations and needs are.

What type of Spanish teacher are you looking for? source: visualhunt.com

  • Why do you want to take Spanish classes?

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 individualized language classes after you’ve targeted several topics or problem areas you’d like to work on.

  • How do you like to work?

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, conversational lessons are among various approaches.

  • Where do you want to study Spanish?

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!

Discover teaching ads

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 in training? 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… If so, start your search at Superprof, which employs Spanish instructors and tutors with a wide array of educational backgrounds and degrees.

Make sure you consult their online CV to do your research.

Some are teachers are already employed in schools and know the curriculum and American education system perfectly. Others have taken an atypical route and bring their original touch to learning the language of Cervantes.

Teachers with Superprof

Get on the Superprof platform to choose your teachers!

  • Gonzalo, based in new York

“I have a Journalist degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a masters degree in International Policy. I have been teaching Spanish in NY for the last 5 years and I have a wide experience, helping children and adults, beginners and advanced students to improve their language skills.”

  • Guillermo, based in Virginia

Spanish-English all level tutoring by bilingual native-fluent Edinburgh University, Scotland M.A. graduate

  • Leigh, teaches via webcam.

Princeton Ph.D. and published author teaches French, Spanish, and English to ages 11-70

Learn grammar and enrich your vocabulary Learn the basics of Spanish grammar.

The first course is free, so you have nothing do lose! That’s “nada” to you Spanish speakers!

Bilingual teachers

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 in comprehension or translation.

Used to academic classes, they’ll know the right methods and tools for providing you with a good training in a foreign language. A bilingual teacher is ideal for learning how to speak Spanish.

Students

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.

Native Spanish speakers

Many native speakers from Spanish speaking countries work as language instructors, for obvious reasons!

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. Your spoken Spanish will be perfect!

You can profit from the culture of your teacher who can relate many anecdotes and customs of his or her country! This is vital to learning any foreign language properly.

Select the teacher profile that corresponds to you the most

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:

Experience

The other important criterion is the teacher’s experience. Is he or she used to giving private Spanish lessons? What level is he or she qualified to teach: primary school, high school, college, or graduate school?

If you are scared that your Spanish teacher lacks knowledge, focus on experience. Established teachers are generally more critical. They can suss out the weak points of the learner quicker. If you feel more comfortable knowing a teacher has many years of experience, make that a high point on 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. How much does a Spanish lesson cost?

Level

If you’re a beginner in Spanish, have basic Spanish notions, or wish to obtain your high school diploma, the level of your teacher is generally not a huge determining factor. However, for intermediate level or advanced learners, we advise you to select a teacher with a higher degree than yourself.

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!

He or she can give you advice on the steps he or she has already taken and especially give precious help on homework.

Distance

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 good, as long as it isn’t too far!

how to get students spanish tutoring The new generation and Spanish online courses.

If you prefer to take online Spanish lessons, location is obviously not important. Keep an open mind, Skype makes distance lessons interactive and personable! But beware for free lessons on the internet, which are often too good to be true.

Price

It’s very important to define your budget. You can find classes of all costs, from $10 to $30, so it’s very important to research this in advance. If you are thinking of 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, the more hours you take, the more advantageous the fee. And some online teachers offer the first hour for free! This is an excellent way to test if you get along with your teacher.

Scheduling

Even if you think you’ve found your ideal Spanish teacher, don’t forget that your schedules have to correspond. 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.

The 5 top qualities in a Spanish teacher

Every good Spanish teacher should have the following 5 qualities:

  • Methodology

Today’s teachers have access to plenty of resources. Having an 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

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.

  • Compassion

Teaching with a dose of compassion helps the student learn quicker and it also reinforces the student-teacher bond. A student who feels he or she is heard and understood will have more confidence, this counts especially in spoken Spanish.

  • Creativity

You must live in your time! 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.

  • Friendliness

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.

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 your teacher candidates. Questions to discuss are your aims, his or her 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?

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