How to choose a good French teacher?

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” William Arthur Ward

You have decided to learn French and you know exactly what language level you would like to obtain… Next, you think about materials you’ll be going to use and you find a multitude of them on Internet: publics in social medias, videos, TV, etc. And in theory, you have everything you need to become fluent in this language. But...

But however, sooner or later, you will need to find a certified French teacher. Someone who will be able to help you with different aspects of the French language, detect your strengths and weaknesses, especially if you have defined some strategy in the language… In fact, even if there are hundreds of teachers offering their services online, it is not so easy to find the right one. What is really important when choosing a teacher is the success of their students and the passion for the language they should be able to pass to the student.

It’s important that your French tutor provides structured French classes that at the same time are sufficiently flexible to adapt to your objectives

The complex approach is important when choosing a good professional. Here are some important points to wonder:

  • Does this French teacher speak your native language?Maybe not if the teacher is a native French speaker. But if yes, it’s a big plus, especially if you have a beginner’s level. Even so, monoglots (and not only polyglots) can be great teachers for you - this is only when your French skills are pretty good. And if you speak English pretty well, this is okay too because most language teachers also master English.
  • Does your teacher hold a professional degree - in Languages or in Pedagogics?Even if learning with a native French speaker will help, not every person has a teaching talent nor a necessary qualification. Being responsible for another person’s progress in language takes a lot of professional skills. Learning with a native speaker but not a professional can help to improve conversation especially when a student has already a good level of French. For a real progress, your French lessons should be structured and different aspects should be worked on as grammar, vocabulary, etc. However, the degree cannot guarantee that the tutor will be attentive to you and your questions, will adapt learning materials to your level, is well organized... Or that they will find solutions for non-standard problems that can develop during the learning process.
  • If you’re looking for a French tutor for your child… Does this French teacher have experience working with children? Because the methods will be different. Children learn more by emotion than intellectually - that means that such lessons should contain some game elements and some more visionary materials than when teaching adults. The French teacher should create an atmosphere in which a child will feel natural and interested.
  • Is the teacher quite organized and rigorous? And if yes, at the same time is he or she quite flexible ? It’s important that your French tutor provides structured French classes that at the same time are sufficiently flexible to adapt to your objectives. Flexible lessons with no structure may be enjoyable but will not make you progress a lot. Furthermore, French lessons with a rigid structure will not create the feeling of comfort or progress.
  • Is your French teacher comfortable to work with? And is his or her personality interesting? You should choose a person with whom you will feel comfortable and motivated. For the student’s progress, it’s very important that the tutor should be a helpful and a sensitive person. When you make mistakes while speaking or writing, your coach should not stop you at every misstep. A good teacher would rather take your mistakes into account without notifying you at once about all of them, otherwise, it will discourage you… and prevent for further success.

You should know too that one of the decisive factors when choosing a good teacher will also be his or her readiness to take responsibility for the whole learning process.

A French teacher should be very passionate about this language, she or he will teach you not only what is written in the textbook but a vivid language that you can speak with people being in any francophone country. To communicate effectively it is important to learn the same type of language that people are speaking around you.

I hope, this will help…

Alice