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Sometimes I'm thinking about starting studying Japanese with a tutor on italki, that's why I began to think what a perfect tutor should be like. And of course, I'm interested in that, because I teach Russian here.
So, for me, a tutor should be: kind, sympathetic and patient, always caring about student's purposes, able to change his/her tactics to help the student improve faster and preparing for his lessons. I think personal traits are more important for me, than his teaching status, because I can remember studying with the teacher I really liked helped me improve faster, I wanted to make progress to make her satisfied with me. And when I was studying with a very professional and famous teacher in the university, but her personal traits were not great, thoughts about this person prevented me from doing better (maybe that was my fault, but studying with her wasn't pleasant). Of course, these are only my thoughts, so I want to ask you - how do you imagine a perfect tutor? What traits do you think are important and what teaching method do you prefer? If you find some mistakes, feel free to correct them. :)
Nenê008, thanks for the comment! That's a sound thought - intonation matter too, I think.
Bruce, Thank you for your comment! I totally agree with you: any teacher should have a lesson plan, that's the basic in teaching profession - to create a learning environment.
I think it will be hard to nail down exactly what makes a good tutor as every student has different learning styles, motivations and abilities. One thing I have noticed from your lessons is that you seem to adapt very easily to my preferred style, but you should remember I am not a typical student. Someone who is learning for a specific purpose will have very different requirements than someone who is learning purely as a hobby, like me. I want something that is a bit of an intellectual challenge, but also I want to feel that I am making progress despite my awful memory, so I like lots and lots of review. Someone with more of a gift for memorising vocabulary won't need as much review. I would say that when I think of all of my language tutors, the ability to adapt to the requirements of the student is the main factor that separates the better teachers from those that are not so good.
This is a very good question!
I think that the best characteristic that an informal tutor can have is patience and friendliness. If an informal tutor is friendly then it makes tutoring sessions much more enjoyable and easy going. It also makes me want to speak the language more and more often.
This is just my two cents.