If you are living in Tarifa, you might have been through the experience of having to learn Spanish from absolute zero to a level of ‘working-proficiency’.
Assuming you’ve studied Spanish in the past, or are learning Spanish at the moment, or are planning to start studying the language, what do you consider to be the essential qualities of an effective Spanish private tutor or a teacher in any other Modern Foreign language?
Don’t worry if you’ve never given it much thought before , in which case you’ll be wanting to have at least a general idea of what to look out for.
So below are a few ideas on the best qualities to look for in a Spanish private Teacher;
- has an in-depth knowledge of Spanish grammar
- is good at explaining new concepts, therefore he/she should also be fluent in English
- is happy to answer your questions
- makes lessons interesting and fun
- plans lessons so they combine practice and input
- is well-organised and well-prepared
- is flexible in responding to changing priorities
- uses different approaches and methodologies according to the situation
also teaches his/her students how to learn (so makes them better, more autonomous, learners)
- is empathetic (understands how her students are feeling, can put herself in their position)
- sets and corrects homework
- organises regular revision and progress tests
- knows how to motivate her class
doesn’t waste time…
- but doesn’t go too quickly
It’s quite a long list so choose a few points which seem to you to be the most important. Add your own ideas, if you wish. Now put them in order of importance.
And here you have the best ingredients that makes a Spanish teacher truly great at his/her job.
people reading this article will prioritise different things according to their needs and qualities as their situations and preferences are unlikely to match yours. Some people might prefer a teacher who is great at explaining grammar clearly, and sets regular tests which help them feel a sense of progress, others might love lessons in which they can talk in Spanish with the teacher.
There are plenty of different people that approach learning Spanish in Tarifa in their unique own Style. Tourist coming to the Tarifa to practice kite surfing are expecting highly flexible Spanish lessons.
Those looking for more fun-loving places may have been up all night practicing their Spanish in a chiringuito, and so will often stroll into class, looking exhausted but very pleased with themselves, just in time for the mid-morning break.
And this takes us to the original question. What does make a Spanish Private tutor truly fantastic at his/her job?
It’s not the method or the course book they choose. Neither is it the fact that they are teaching in a cafeteria or in a classroom. Experience is vital, of course.
But so is a love of working with people, and that can be found in teachers of any age or background.
As a student, my perfect teacher has plenty of empathy, and so manages both a personal and professional understanding that no two students have precisely the same needs or preferences, a teacher who listens. And based on what he/she hears, is able to successfully adapt his/her approach to the situation and to the students she is teaching. Therefore, no one should study Spanish with a teacher who thinks they know it all, or with someone who has a ‘one size fits all’ approach to preparing and delivering lessons.
An exceptional Spanish teacher make sure everyone is learning something new, and that no one feels lost or left behind.
Then, organise your activities in such a way that throughout the lesson you get lots of chances to speak in Spanish, and that you are never bored or frustrated and teaches Spanish in such a way that the full hour pass before you know know it.
That way, tomorrow morning, you will ready for another Spanish lesson.