Are you still watching entire seasons of “House of Cards” instead of studying?
If yes, then you probably should start booking private language lessons.
It’s the only way to have a disappointed face looking at you until you do your homework.
YouTube won’t block you because you didn’t finish the entire playlist of a language course.
Nor will language learning apps.
And a textbook? It won’t know if you’re using it as a doorstop.
Whether you’re learning for fun, preparing for future travel abroad or anything in-between, private language lessons are a must.
Along your private language learning journey, you’ll be exposed to new people, cultures and backgrounds.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to some top resources language learners use to find great language tutors.
Before we get into it, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your private language lessons.
How to Get the Most out of Your Private Language Lessons
Choose the right instructor
If you decide to take private language courses online, selecting the right language instructor is the x-factor that will decide your success or failure. You should be highly selective about who you learn with.
Getting ripped off by your first instructor can seem to create an unhealable wound, which might put the kibosh on your motivation to learn your target language.
Passion for teaching, love for languages, charisma and experience are the most crucial characteristics of a phenomenal language teacher. Your teacher can even offer you extra free hours, especially if you share the same interests and passions.
Know what you want
Many online agencies and language schools offer customized or one-size-fits-all learning plans for their students. To make learning more enjoyable, ask your instructor to only teach you the material that engages you.
For example, if your learning plan includes a lesson on regional accents, and you’re not interested, you can simply ask to skip it.
And to supplement your interest-driven learning plan, FluentU’s vast library of content covers all genres and topics, which will be sure to keep you engaged.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Record your conversations
Recording your conversations with your language tutor will save you time, money and energy. It’s pointless to rack your brain to remember the idiom your tutor used at the 29th minute while you could’ve just recorded the talk and replayed it.
Also, you can use the replay as a revision. Most tutors spend 15 to 30 minutes recapping a previous lesson, which can only take a few minutes (if not seconds) if you’ve watched your last class.
You can use Camtasia Studio to record your lessons and save them to your laptop.
Make sure you ask your teacher for permission to record your conversations for personal use.
Ask for error correction
Normally, experienced teachers subconsciously correct errors. If your teacher is letting you babble with no regard for your mistakes, feel free to ask them to correct you. Error correction is the stepping stone to language fluency.
The Top 7 Resources for Private Language Lessons Online
italki is a language learning platform that connects freelance instructors and native speakers with foreign language learners.
italki hosts a roster of over 1,000 professional teachers and 2,000 community tutors who speak almost every language you can think of. The first category, teachers, is the most experienced and formal.
Teachers are usually certified and well-experienced, meaning they charge more than the second category, tutors, who work for very reasonable prices to teach you their local slang so you can enjoy conversing informally.
Based on instructors’ profiles (i.e., student reviews, video, country and pricing), you can decide which options best fit your needs.
Verbling is without a doubt the best one-on-one teaching resource when it comes to convenience. With the dashboard’s all-in-one toolbox, you can review your vocabulary cards, schedule lessons, manage assignments and much more.
Also, its integrated HD platform, Verbling Video, will exempt you from juggling external communication apps and software. You only need to log into Verbling and get started.
Verbling gathers top language teachers from all over the globe with whom you can schedule unlimited trial classes until you find the right match.
You also can access Verbling’s community between classes to practice with learners from different parts of the world.
Are you afraid of spending hours on learning and commuting to your traditional language school?
Rype has got you covered. There you’ll spend only 30 minutes in every language learning session instead of hours at your language school. According to Rype, students spend only two to three hours every week learning their target language.
Rype offers one-on-one tutoring with well-established teachers all around the world in English, French and Spanish.
All teachers use a very down-to-earth methodology in their teaching, which can be adopted by all learners (i.e., total beginners or advanced speakers).
Plus, Rype provides all of its students with customized lesson plans based on several factors such as your goals and proficiency. Your teacher tailors your plan after arranging a free consultation with you.
Live Lingua is an award-winning online language school based in the USA and Mexico.
Currently, Live Lingua offers private language lessons in eleven languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean and Japanese.
Every student has the right to take a half-hour free trial lesson on Skype or Zoom. They receive a language learning plan and decide whether they like the teacher or not. A personal class coordinator will work with you to find the teacher that best fits your needs.
Live Lingua gives you total flexibility when it comes to booking language lessons.
Wyzant is a one-on-one learning platform for students and language learners. With over 80,000 tutors, you can easily find your ideal online language teacher.
After answering a few questions about yourself, Wyzant will introduce you to a couple of teachers that best match your answers. Afterward, based on teachers’ rates, reviews, style, qualifications, etc., you can pick the tutor you like the most and kick-start your private language lesson adventure.
All tutors at Wyzant are based in the USA; therefore, communication and translation won’t be a barrier.
Tandem is a free language learning app available for Android and iOS devices.
To pick the right teacher, Tandem allows you to try 15 minutes for free. If you like your teacher, you can start booking 20, 40 or 60-minute lessons.
What sets Tandem apart from the crowd is its selectivity when it comes to hiring new tutors. Every prospective tutor should be characterized by “professionalism, knowledge and fun factor.”
Unfortunately, Tandem does not support web browsers. You should, therefore, use your mobile device to have access to it.
Verbalplanet is a fab community of language teachers and students from over 100 countries.
Like most private language learning websites, Verbalplanet connects online tutors and language students via Skype.
To make sure you stay motivated, your tutor will provide you with a customized fluency analysis based on your speaking and listening performance during every language lesson. This will also help you track your progress and set realistic language learning goals.
Without a doubt—online private language lessons are the fuel that’s going to drive your language level’s growth.
That’s why you should start booking online language classes today!
Let’s add some fuel to that fire!
Yassir Sahnoun is a freelance writer, polyglot and translator living in Morocco. He loves learning about other languages, peoples and cultures. You can learn more about Yassir at his website.