4 min read

Choosing an English Teacher for Optimal Progress: 10 Tips for a Perfect Match

Ekaterina, the founder of Element, a language and communication training company for tech specialists, explains what to pay attention to when choosing the ideal teacher.

The founder of Element, a language and communication training company for tech specialists

Learning a new language is an exciting journey that opens up a world of opportunities. When it comes to learning English, a skilled and compatible teacher can significantly accelerate your progress. The right English teacher will not only provide you with the necessary language skills but also inspire and guide you through the complexities of the language. With countless options available, here's a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best English teacher for your learning journey.

1. Assess your goals

At Element, we always begin with goal setting, firmly believing it's the most effective strategy for progressing from point A to point B in your language journey.

So, before embarking on your search for the perfect English teacher, it's crucial to identify your goals. Are you learning English for IT, travel, work, academic purposes, or personal enrichment? Your goals will influence the type of teacher you need. If you need to improve business communication, you might prioritize teachers with professional background who have successfully catered to students with similar needs and requirements.

Obviously, if you want to improve your English in the field of tech, it is better to contact those who specialize in tech professionals and possess a deep understanding of the field's nuances and challenges.

2. Consider your learning style

Everyone learns differently. Some thrive in a structured classroom environment, while others prefer a more flexible and personalized approach. It's essential to reflect on whether you learn most effectively through conversations, written exercises, interactive activities, or a blend of these methods.

To discover your optimal learning style, you can analyze your past learning experiences or schedule an assessment test. This will help you identify your learning style, set achievable goals, and develop a customized English study plan. Once you've done this, you'll be well-prepared to search for an English teacher who can tailor their teaching style to align with your preferred learning approach.

3. Evaluate qualifications and experience

A qualified and experienced English teacher can make a world of difference in your learning journey. Look for teachers who hold relevant certifications such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and experience in teaching English to students with similar goals and proficiency levels.

Also keep in mind that a certification like CELTA involves a substantial investment of both time and money. So, an experienced teacher can’t cost $10 per session.

4. Check language proficiency

It's crucial that your English teacher has a high level of proficiency in the language. They should be able to demonstrate not only fluency in speaking and writing but also a deep understanding of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. This will ensure that you receive accurate and reliable guidance.

Quite often native speakers as teachers may not be the best choice, particularly for lower-level students. Not every native speaker possesses an in-depth understanding of grammar principles or the ability to effectively explain them.

5. Technological proficiency

In today's digital age, technology plays a vital role in online language learning. Ensure that your chosen teacher is comfortable using online platforms, video conferencing tools, and interactive learning resources to enhance your experience. It's a good idea to inquire about the resources and tools they use in their teaching.

Some questions you might ask include:

1. What learning materials or textbooks do you use in your lessons?

2. Are there any specific online platforms or apps you recommend for practice and reinforcement? Here you can learn more about the apps we use to enhance learning progress.

3. Do you offer customised lesson plans tailored to individual students' needs?

By discussing the resources and methods the teacher employs, you can better assess whether they resonate with your learning style and goals.

6. Assess communication skills

Effective communication is a cornerstone of language learning. Pay attention to how well the teacher explains concepts and engages you in conversation during your initial interactions. A skilled teacher can simplify complex ideas and make learning enjoyable.

7. Flexibility and availability

Consider your schedule and time zone when selecting an English teacher. Choose someone whose availability aligns with your preferred learning times. Additionally, find out whether the teacher offers flexibility in terms of rescheduling lessons if needed.

8. Trial lessons

Many teachers offer trial lessons or initial consultations. These sessions are an excellent opportunity to experience their teaching style firsthand and get a sense of their personality. Use this trial period to evaluate the teacher's effectiveness and whether their teaching methods are in accordance with your preferred way of learning or aspirations.

9. Set realistic expectations

While a great teacher can accelerate your progress, language learning still requires dedication and effort on your part. Set realistic expectations and be prepared to put in consistent practice outside of your lessons.

10. Trust your instincts

Ultimately, trust your instincts when making your final decision. If a teacher feels like the right fit, they likely are. A positive and supportive learning environment can make a significant impact on your language learning journey.

Choosing the right English teacher is a crucial step toward achieving your language learning goals. By assessing your needs, evaluating qualifications, and considering teaching styles, you can find a teacher who not only imparts language skills but also motivates and guides you toward optimal progress. Remember that a strong teacher-student relationship is key to successful language acquisition, so take your time to make the best choice for your learning journey.

Related posts