Learning a language with a personal tutor is one of the best ways to learn. Learning with a tutor means you get all the attention! Your tutor will adapt Dutch lessons to your goals and learning style, so you don't have to go at any else's pace like you would in a group class.
A tutor can also give you direct feedback so you can continue to improve quickly. Having a personal tutor leans everything is adapted to you, so you don't have to be scared to ask a stupid question or to ask to cover a topic again. You will develop a more personal relationship with a tutor so you'll feel more confident in your learning. This is especially true when learning a language; it can be daunting to hear yourself speak another language so having someone invested in your learning will help a great deal!
Finding a native Dutch tutor in your area might be difficult, depending on where you are, so don't hesitate to look online for a tutor. An online private tutor will offer you all the same benefits as an 'in real life' tutor. You can arrange lessons over Skype and they can send you feedback via email or over the Skype call. Superprof has plenty of tutors all across the country and online that can help you reach your language goals.
No matter if you are looking for a tutor online or in your area there are some things to keep in mind so you find the right one for you.
Here are some of our tips on finding the best Dutch tutor and make sure to check the price of the lesson first.
Specify the Purpose of Studying
To find a good tutor, you need to clearly understand what you want. What is your goal and what do you want to achieve. Do you want to pass a specific exam? What grade are you aiming for? Maybe you want to travel to the Netherlands so you are just looking for conversational Dutch, or maybe you are moving there permanently for a job so you need to get up to a level of working and delivering presentations in Dutch.
Whatever your goal is try to be specific when reaching out to tutors. Each one will have different skills and will be able to help in different areas. Knowing what you want beforehand will save you a lot of wasted time with the wrong tutor.
It’s always easier to find a perfect tutor if you have a goal in mind. To use a maths analogy, if you need to get 85% in a maths exam but you're currently at 70% you should look for a tutor who is the best choice for this specific purpose, who has experience in this area, and not just a “good teacher of mathematics.”
Do Your Research
Of course, you can do a quick Google search of “…tutor “, click on the first link and leave a request there. You will probably be promptly contacted by a teacher and it's as easy as that!
But be careful doing this. You won't know if this teacher has the requirements you're looking for to reach your goals or their reputation. Do a little research to ensure you're picking a good tutor.
Examine at least 5 different websites that offer services of tutors. View profiles, look at what tutors say about themselves. Looking at various websites will give you an idea of the standard tutors should be at.
Check the reviews of the websites and check the reviews of the tutors if there are any.
Look for some information on different forums, blogs, and social networks. Check out how other people found their tutors, how they interacted and how the lessons went.
Don't Rely on Reviews
A good tutor, especially if they been teaching for a long time, should have many good reviews. But at the same time, good reviews don’t guarantee that the teacher will fit you and your needs.
A few tips on how to evaluate teachers:
-Of course don't consider contacting teachers with a large number of bad reviews, if everyone had a bad experience there is inevitably some truth to these reviews. But having said that if there are 1-2 negative feedbacks amongst a large number of positive reviews don't be put off. Any teacher could have been in a situation where it didn't go well with a student because of some reason. Maybe that teacher wasn't suited to that student, it doesn't mean they wouldn't suit you.
-The reviews on the websites of the companies searching for tutors are for the most part, real — most companies value their reputation. But if the tutor only promotes themselves through a particular website or their own social media accounts there might be only good reviews that may not reflect reality.
-Find out what your tutor’s specialty is. If you want to work towards a specific exam and most of the reviews are from students who just wanted to learn conversational Dutch then this tutor probably isn't the best choice even if all of the reviews are positive.
-Also, there might be other evidence of qualification of teachers. Some companies conduct the preliminary selection of all tutors or say that they do it. In this case, contact the company and ask for details on the selection methodology — if they can’t clearly answer, they don’t do it.
Don't Overestimate the Qualifications of a Tutor
Many people think that the more experienced and qualified a tutor is, the better. But this is not necessarily always the case. It is important that you find the right tutor for you. You don't need a tutor that has written a book on learning Dutch you just need someone who understands how you learn and can adapt the lessons to suit your needs.
You don't even need to get a tutor that is a qualified teacher. Often private tutors are University graduates or they are still studying and want to earn some extra money on the side. Whatever the case, as long as you can find a native Dutch person that can adapt lessons to you, you're on to a winner. (Plus you'll find they charge a lot less per hour than professional teachers!)
You need to feel comfortable with your tutor. Learning a new language can be daunting so you want to have a tutor who will encourage you and who you feel is invested in your learning. Speaking Dutch requires confidence and you should be able to draw confidence from your tutor and not feel shy in front of them. Finding the right tutor for you is just as much about your gut feeling about them as it is their qualifications.
Don't hesitate to ask to meet your tutor, or arrange a Skype call, before you commit to lessons with them. If you connect with them and you feel at ease then this is just as important as their experience!
Remember, you're paying for a personal tutor, so make sure they're exactly what you want.