Discuss the Article : How To Find A Good Russian Teacher On italki
This article gives five guidelines to help students choose the right teacher in the italki community to study Russian.
I'm Caroline, a community tutor. I have read your article and I have disliked some part of it. Whereas I agree that "not every native speaker is a language teacher" I have choke on "A good teacher should have a linguistic education and he or she should have taken professional training in teaching language skills."
In my experience, I discovered one can learn on awful lot on his/her mother tongue just by learning a second language.
Also, have you also consider the up sides of a non professional? Their approach to language is more intuitive, less bookish. In other words, more free of what made learning a second language in school painfully boring. Just saying!
Personaly, I find choosing the right teacher a bit like a marriage. You need to have 2 compatible people in the first place who are both keen to know each other. That way, the teacher will go above and beyond to help and the student will be equally eager to please and impress. That's my 2 cents about this matter anyway.
I've been having Russian lessons with many many tutors here on Italki and I think that Russian is a special language! Special means DIFFICULT AS HELL hehe.
And I agree with Caroline entirely that not always a professional teacher will be able the only option.
But that'd be more appliable to other languages, I think. For instance, a non-professional teacher of English, Spanish or other " EASY " languages can perfectly have the feeling of helping others. I have taken some lessons with a 17 year-old Russian boy whose classes were PERFECT, he was non-professional but you could see that he knew what he was doing, we used a textbook, he'd create his own material as well and it was just like a professional teacher and I'd totally recommend him. And I have taken classes with a professional teacher which simply wasn't helpful at all.
But... there's always a but...
What we see on Italki most of the times, are Russians who studied English at the university and they are professional English teachers but not professional Russian language teachers and there are some Russians who study Russian language and literature as a degree, that doesn't make them capable of dealing with foreigners, they are able to teach Russian for russian-native speakers, at schools and universities in Russian-speaking countries.
Some on Italki has a very interesting certificate of " Methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language ", I would give more credits to these ones! (But that's not a rule, we can never generalise). Because those who study how to teach foreigners their language learn how foreigners will react to Russian.
To be continued..
I have two tutors that took these courses and I love their sessions because they simply know how to deal with me, once I was learning the numbers and we learnt until 1 million. And then I asked how to speak numbers with comma, like ' 136,350 dollars " and she simply said " Don't worry about this now, let's learn it in the future ", she said that because apparently when you have to say comma, things will change in a difficult manner, other tutors would simply try teaching me and would leave me more confused.
But also, it depends on the student, what does the student want? Some have a intermediate level and would like to improve conversational skills, and informal tutors are the best options! Some students want to be challenged, they want REAL TALK in order to check their comprehension and professional teachers of Russians tend to soften and make things easier, they use a different vocabulary and they're careful, sometimes a student doesn't want all this attention, he simply wants a real experience of how he'd deal with a real russian person in the street!
a_kushnareva I don't know if exist in your country but in some countries you can study in home, and in some countries the requirements of tutor/ teacher it's he need do the test of disciplines they teach and have more graduation than the students. I meet some persons who travel around the world and they have education in home and isn't because of that they are illiterate they do the exams of all disciplines like if they are having lessons in a normal school. Some of that tutors aren't professionals and the kids aren't illiterates. One thing it's we know speak languages and another it's be an linguists, as Murillo say a lot of persons didn't teach the native languages, how they can teach an foreign language if they didn't even understood the own language?
Caroline L-B I had professionals teachers of English in school (non-natives) and I learned much more with native friends than with my teachers. Also I learned much more with tutors of French than in school with professionals. All depend of persons I saw persons with a lot of professionals teachers with certificates (natives and non natives) and after all they aren't perfects and do mistakes ins't all person who can't teach a language, no matter if it's tutor or professional.