The Advantages and Disadvantages of Having an Online English Teacher

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Where to Find an English Tutor Online

Nowadays, more and more businesses and universities require a certain English level in order to even apply. This puts pressure on many people to improve their English, be it conversational skills, business English or grammar. Others simply want to learn English for fun. This has led to a huge demand for teachers, and you may not know exactly where to find your own private tutor. Fortunately, there are many platforms online that can help you to find your perfect teacher, such as LiveXP, Cambly, Verbling, Tutor, iTalki Justlearn, and WyzAnt.

Advantages of Online English Tutors

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The main issue preventing people from pursuing their English-learning dreams or opening doors to new career opportunities is a lack of time. Online classes are easy for everybody to access, which is why they have increased in popularity over the last few years. They are ideal for people with busy schedules who struggle to find the time for hobbies, even important ones such as learning a language. With an English teacher online you can learn anytime, anywhere.

You can take a quick conversation class on your commute to work, or a grammar lesson while sitting on your sofa. Nowadays, most people have access to a smartphone or computer meaning that nothing can prevent you or your teacher from attending class, not even a global pandemic! Course flexibility means you won’t have any scheduling conflicts with work, childcare or illness, and can follow your course without interruption. There are no more excuses!

As well as the freedom of location and flexible hours, there’s also the advantage of reduced pressure. Some people don’t feel comfortable being alone in a one-to-one environment with a stranger, and others don’t like the social pressure of group classes. Video lessons abolish the need for social pleasantries, you can get straight into learning, and not have to deal with the awkwardness of face-to-face lessons. Another benefit of English online courses is that you can easily find a teacher who is a native speaker.

Trying to find a native teacher in non-English speaking countries can be difficult, as there is such a high number of students and not enough qualified teachers or language schools to fulfill the demand. If you do find a native tutor, they will often be students or expats tutoring in their spare time, who don’t have teaching experience, materials, or qualifications. In contrast, the internet has millions of native English speakers from various Anglophone countries with a range of different specialties to meet your needs.

Disadvantages of English Tutoring

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Despite the many benefits of online tutoring, you may feel that it’s not the right learning style for you. Online classes can feel impersonal, as you may never meet your teacher face to face. This lack of familiarity can make you reluctant to relax around your teacher, who is, in essence, a stranger.

Self-discipline is a key factor to consider for those seeking online lessons. This includes good time management skills as you must turn up to your lesson on time or risk paying for missed sessions. What’s more, you must complete your course and any potential homework without encouragement or pressure from your teacher or classmates which calls for self-motivation.

Finally, you must have the discipline to not cheat, as a quick Google search on your phone without the teacher noticing may be tempting, but you must avoid the urge, and instead learn to ask your teacher questions and tell them when you are struggling. Computer skills are unequivocally important in order to take part in video lessons.

You are required to not only log in to a website or e-learning platform, but sometimes you will additionally need to upload files such as homework documents or use more complex interactive learning software. That said, lessons can take place on usual video calling platforms such as Skype or Zoom, or even social media messaging services. The level of technology required may be important criteria to consider when looking for your private tutor.

Learning English in Private Lessons

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One-to-one classes provide you with a personalized learning program. Unlike group lessons, you have your teacher’s undivided attention. Your teacher will adapt the course to your wants and needs in order to help you progress faster and to create a more enjoyable learning experience.

As well as tailoring the course to your specific needs, the flexibility of online courses also enables both you and your teacher to adjust the lesson to your current situation. If you are overly tired, your teacher might choose to practice light-hearted conversation, or if you have a test coming up your teacher will be able to help you revise.

This isn’t always possible in face-to-face lessons as the teacher prepares work in advance and doesn’t always have access to other materials. Online tutors, on the other hand, have their whole teaching database at their fingertips during each lesson.

How to Choose an English Teacher Online

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● Age and gender
Some students prefer a teacher with who they have things in common and may feel more comfortable with a teacher of the same gender and generation.

● Qualifications and experience level
An experienced school teacher would be ideal for helping you with grammar drills and exam preparation, while that level of experience or formality isn’t necessary if you’re looking to improve your conversational skills.

● Languages spoken
For an immersive course, opt for a native English speaker who does not speak or understand your mother tongue. If the thought of that is daunting to you, then choose instead a teacher who speaks your language to make communication easier.

● Budget and ratings
Your budget is vital when choosing a teacher, as only you know what you can afford. Know that more experienced teachers will charge more, but the experience isn’t the most important factor. A great way to choose a teacher is to read reviews or check out their ratings online.

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