At the moment I’m juggling three languages - Polish, Mandarin and Kurdish. With the help of Italki teachers of course!
To make the Italki learning experience as successful as possible, It’s important not only to choose the right teacher, but to be clear about what you hope to accomplish in your target language. By giving your tutor an idea of what you want to achieve helps you head off in the right direction on your language learning journey.
How to choose your tutor
Choosing the right teacher for your needs can be key to your language development,
but for some languages there are so many teachers to choose from. So, here are
some tips for making a choice. From your teacher’s profile, you’ll be able to watch
their introductory video. This will give you a good overview of your teacher’s style
and approach. You’ll also be able to hear their accent. So, if you’re looking to learn
Portuguese for example, but want to learn with European Portuguese, you’ll be able
to narrow your choices down. Tutors’ feedback and the number of lessons they have
completed can also be seen from their profiles.
How to approach your tutor
So, you’ve chosen a teacher, and you want to let them know what level you’re at and
what you hope to achieve from the lessons, right? The next step is to contact them
before even booking a lesson. You can do this using the “Contact Teacher” button
on their profile. From here, you can write a message to your potential teacher to ask
them specific questions, tell them about what you’ve been doing so far and what you
would like to concentrate on, be it grammar, conversation practise or language for
Without this contact, you will be going into a lesson blindly and it will take longer for
you both to establish what will work well for you. Hopefully, and even if you haven’t
done this, your teacher may contact you once you’ve booked a lesson and ask for
specifics from you.
So, you’ve started your lessons, you and your tutor are getting on fine, and all is well.
The first lessons will always be about familiarizing yourself with your teacher. Don’t
forget, your teacher is also human and might be nervous that they are doing a good
job! And they probably are! But what if the lessons are not panning out the way you
expected? The teacher may be focusing too much time on grammar and not
enough on conversation, for example. Tell them!! It’s important to put aside a few
minutes in the early lessons to give feedback to your tutor. If you can do this during
the lesson, that’s great. If not, then send a personal message afterwards suggesting
how you would like to continue. Try to be specific, for example, “I’d like to
concentrate more on examples and less on grammar drills.”
Your tutors are there to help you, so don’t be afraid of asking them for help. I asked
my Polish teacher to explain some exercises that I’d been working on by myself and
she offered to help mark my exercise book as part of an Italki lesson. My Kurdish
teacher helps me decipher a phrase book that I was struggling with because I asked
him to. My Mandarin teacher helped me revise some Chinese characters because I
felt like I needed to review rather than learn new items at that stage. These are
three examples of me having some influence over the content of my lessons.
So, best wishes with your language learning. I’d be interested to hear about your
progress and how your teacher has helped you with your journey.
Hi my name is Andy and I’m an avid language learner. I’m currently learning Kurdish, Polish and Mandarin. I have a YouTube channel that you can check out called Andyjuggleslanguages