You might be wondering, who is the 'right' teacher? What does this actually mean, wouldn't anyone who speaks and tutors French be considered 'right' for teaching?
To tell the truth, this is not quite the case!
Casting your mind back to school days, you may remember not particularly liking every teacher. Surely there were some lessons you didn't really look forward to!
Although there may have also been those teachers who were better at tuning into your preferred learning methods, more attentive to the needs of your class, and provided a more supportive and encouraging environment.
Some educators just have a way of bringing life to the subject matter.
Now that's what we're talking about when it comes to finding the right tutor for those learning French!
We certainly aren't referring to the teachers who aren't passionate about French and barely know how to say a few words!
Continue reading for tips on how to find a French tutor suitable for you!
Why Are You Learning French?
First things first, let's think about the reasons you have chosen to study French.
Are you dreaming of a trip to the south of France? How about some wine tasting in Bordeaux, or an adventure in the Pyrénées?
In these cases, conversational French would suit you well!
Perhaps you are heading to a French-speaking country such as Switzerland for a ski holiday, or are visiting family in Canada.
You would need to be mindful of the regional variations of French in these countries and their differences to what is known as Metropolitan French.
Do you work in the public sector and are interested in attending the next summit meeting in Brussels? If so your French vocabulary should include some business terms!
Maybe you're learning French to obtain a wage increase or develop your multitasking skills at work.
Research has shown that being bilingual is a valuable skill to have in the workplace but it can actually delay the onset of dementia!
What is Your Current Level of French?
The next thing to consider is whether you are starting at a basic French level, or have more intermediate French skills with a need to fine-tuning your French pronunciation?
Are you a student preparing for the Year 12 exams or to sit the DELF?
These are but some of the many variables which come into play when choosing the perfect French tutor!
The list doesn't stop there...
Let's look at where your strengths lie in language learning. What are the concepts you have mastered, and which do you need to work on with your tutor?
Some students may have strong listening and speaking skills, but struggle with reading and writing.
You might be one of the lucky ones that understand French grammar, or maybe you're more of a whizz with French vocabulary.
How you go about learning French is also important. Do you take a more traditional approach, sitting at your desk with a pen and notebook in hand?
Or do you prefer to sing, move around, and clap your hands?
It has actually been proven that music helps you study!
There is a certain rhythm to the French language.
You won't find any stress on the syllables of individual words, and sentences are divided by their rhythmic group rhythmic groups according to syntax.
The question remains, how can you find a French tutor who looks at all of these aspects?
Improve your language skills with some French classes Melbourne here.
Qualities to Look For in a French Teacher
A good language teacher can be hard to come by.
It doesn't take much for someone to get up in front of a classroom, what really matters is if whether or not they have the skills and attributes needed for teaching.
There are some qualities however that all teachers should have:
- supportive for all; not biased towards students or deeming them as hopeless
- passionate for learning and in life
- open-minded and flexible in their explanations of subject matter
A French tutor must also be well across their subject matter.
Teaching French as a foreign language can indeed be a challenging task!
Picture yourself trying to deliver a lesson on French grammar and French vocabulary to a whole classroom, with barely a handful of students interested in learning.
Come mid-semester, it is then your teaching skills and methods that are put to the test by the students' aptitude scores.
Hence why being patient is one of the most desired attributes in French tutors.
Another measure of a good French teacher is their temperament.
To try and establish this of the instructors offering French lessons Sydney, you could read through the feedback of former students.
Rate my Teachers is a useful site where users share their experience of an instructor, providing an overview of their teaching style and the quality of their course. For example, there is information on what kinds of tests are used, how much homework is assigned, if the teacher is available for extra help, etc.
If all the teachers on this website work at a secondary school, can the reviews still be helpful for adults taking French lessons?
You will find many foreign language teachers are passionate about that they do, and also offer evening or weekend classes as an extra income source.
Aspects to Consider in Selecting a French Tutor
It is important to ensure your teacher is well-suited to your level of French and your learning needs. A highschool instructor may not be the same as the French tutor providing lessons to adults wanting to learn French as a second language.
If your child is studying French, they would need a teacher well-across language education and able to deliver content that is age-appropriate and consistent with the Australian Curriculum standards.
The French grammar or French vocabulary taught for example should be based on the required textbooks, it should not differ a great deal from what the student is expecting to learn.
The French teacher can and should including a new concept or expression from time to time, but it is essential that French lessons are targetted to a student's age.
Younger learners may be able to speak about their family or favourite sport, but it would not be appropriate to discuss economics, politics, or other aspects of language and culture.
It does depend on your circumstances. If a student is wishing to improve their spoken French for an upcoming holiday, it would be wise for them to practice discussing cultural activities.
Find a tutor offering French class Melbourne on Superprof.
Native French vs Bilingual Teacher
It is natural to want the best bang for your buck, and this is especually true when choosing a French teacher!
The question is whether you should engage a native French speaker or someone who has learned the language.
You might find that a native speaker is fluent in and can understand French, but they may not always have the answers you're looking for.
A French native has learned the language naturally so it may be difficult for them to teach complex rules on French grammar, regardless of how educated they are.
It may also be challenging for them when handling aspects of spoken French which are especially tricky for non-native speakers such as the guttural R or the sounds which accent marks give to particular vowels. A teacher with French as their native language will also have to have sufficient English skills to be able to explain rules on French grammar or pronunciation.
What about a bilingual teacher who has learned French as a second language?
To become a teacher in Australia, a person is required to undergo rigorous language training and demonstrate they are proficient in French.
Potential teachers must also prove their abilities to be granted their licensure.
All of this can escalate the price of your French language courses!
A French tutor does not need a special license or training before delivering a French class.
When hiring a French teacher, rememeber the golden rule that their language level should be a minimum of one degree higher than yours.
If your French conversation is at the beginner stage, your instructor should be at an intermediate level.
In searching for a language school or for French courses, you may need to sift through a heap of recommendations from past students.
You might find these testimonials on Gumtree or other online French learning websites.
Alternatively, have a look on Superprof.
If you're learning French, want to obtain your diploma or simply improve your spoken French before a trip to France, there will be a tutor for you on Superprof.
Whether your focus is on tenses or conjugating verbs; whether you are seeking out French immersion or simply trying to better speak French, the tutors on Superprof will help you gain the skills you need.
What it takes is a Skype connection or the ability or meet up but most importantly, a willingness to learn.
Are you concerned about not choosing the right teacher?
Keep in mind, most Superprof tutors will offer the first hour of instruction free to help you determine they are the right fit!
Are you waiting for anything else? Allons-y!
Read more on the cost of French tuition here.