Who Makes Better Language Teachers? Part 2
Recently, we explored how gender, nationality, and age can affect a language teacher’s success rate and hire-ability. Some positive verdicts emerged, proving that as long as an instructor is good at their job, none of these factors should matter. And yet, questions and stereotypes persist.
This week, we’re taking a more scholastic approach to the question: what makes a good language teacher? You’ve probably always wondered what type of language classes are the most effective and sure to render results. Are online classes the way to go? Or should you make sure you do face to face? What about personal vs. group classes? If any of these musings have ever crossed your mind, you’re in luck, read on to find out what type of teacher can make these different options viable for you:
Personal vs. Group
When it comes to making the decision between group or private lessons, you’ll find that there are definite pros and cons to each. If you have a particularly crazy work schedule, you may gravitate towards private lessons simply because private tutors are able to be more flexible in order to fit into your busy lifestyle. But flexibility and convenience aren’t the only pros to hiring a private tutor, one of the best aspects of one-on-one learning is that your teacher doesn’t have to spread their attention across an entire classroom but instead can focus solely on you. These types of instructors are pros at tailoring and molding the language classes to individuals which means that you can learn more quickly and efficiently!
At the same time, there are also many pros to seeking out an instructor in a group setting (making your choice between personal and group all the harder). Language teachers have a completely different approach when it comes to teaching an entire class and in such settings have the assets to offer students a more social experience. Group teachers are all about making students interact which means that you’ll be pushed to learn to communicate and understand a wide range of accents and modes of speech. Also, collaborative projects like creating skits or acting out scenarios are ways in which group teachers strive to bring students out of their shells and make them assertive language users. As studies show that students who take part in group presentations tend to be more confident, it seems that languages instructors are on to something with this one!
Verdict: Solo time or set time, how you learn is up to you!
Online vs. In person
In our age of advanced technology, it seems that just about anything and everything can be accomplished via the web without ever having to set foot outside your home. But should you rely on the Internet when it comes to language learning? Well, one of the major benefits of online language learning is that the possibilities are endless. You’re not limited to the availability and skills of local language tutors but instead have access to native speaking instructors who can provide you with a ‘real’ look at the language and culture of a specific country. If you live in Small Town, USA where there is a startlingly low quantity of qualified language tutors, you don’t have to give up on your dreams of learning Japanese. With nothing more than an internet connection you can forge ties with native Japanese speakers who have great credentials and high success rates. They in turn can offer you a real look at their culture, language, and way of life!
Although with online learning it may seem that the world is your oyster, many instructors will still argue that in-person classes win every time, hands down. Indeed, studies show that face-to-face interactions vs. online interactions are not only healthier but allow individuals to form a closer bond. When it comes to language learning in particular, verbal and facial cues are a big part of picking up on a new tongue and can get lost in translation when limited to the 14 inch space of your computer screen. Instructors claim they can be more effective in teaching such cues when doing it face to face. And not only that, most language teachers love finding creative ways to interact with their language students – something which is often hard to do online. It’d be a little difficult to attend a local French cinema festival, or go on a Spanish picnic with a web tutor wouldn’t it?
Verdict: Online time or face time, the sky’s the limit!
Whether you decide to tackle language learning with your own personal online tutor or attend group sessions in your area, the process of picking up a new tongue can be both challenging and exciting! Before you rush in, get off on the right foot by signing up for the best language classes you can find. Experiment with your own personal language needs and find out exactly what works best for you, all the while brushing up on your training with convenient online placement tests. Who knows? You may like all the options so much that you’ll combine the wonders of online learning with in-person and personal lessons with group sets! Either way, you’ll be working your way towards success with your new language skills!