Learning a new language can be a frustrating experience, especially if you are going about it alone. You will achieve greater progress if you have a qualified teacher assisting you. But what makes a good language teacher? With the number of schools, classes, programs, and instructors available, sometimes it is hard to narrow down the choices. There are a number of things you should look for when choosing a language teacher that will help separate out the best from the rest:
A good language teacher should be…
… empathetic and supportive
You are going to make a lot of mistakes, there’s no doubt about it. For most people, mastering a new language is not easy. A good language teacher will be patient with your learning style and rate. He or she will have strong communication skills in order to guide you through your practice, and an understanding of what it is like to study a new tongue. The ideal teacher is willing to listen to all of your questions and be respectful of your culture.
Is the teacher a native speaker and/or fluent in the language that you want to acquire? She or he should show a high level of proficiency in the selected language as well as various methods for acquisition. For example, do you need total immersion, grammar-translation, task-based learning, situational learning or a combination of one or more? The teacher will be flexible to shape learning to meet your needs.
… prepared and organized
Choosing appropriate materials, practice, and lessons are all part of effective instruction. An experienced teacher will be versed in knowing what things will best suit you. He or she will be able to assess your skill level and then proceed with a solid idea of how you should progress.
Language is all about communicating with others. A good language teacher will be creative and perceptive, while challenging you appropriately. Making learning fun is also a great way to maintain interest and lock in memory.
When a teacher demonstrates a lifelong passion for language instruction, you may find that it will motivate you to improve and appreciate your newly acquired skill.
Everyone has unique needs, interests, and situations. What is important for one person in language instruction may not be the same for the next. However, selecting the right teacher in studying a new language will make your experience enjoyable, memorable and less frustrating.
Written by Marlene Martzke for English Classes by Skype