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How to find the ideal online teacher

So you decided you want to take online lessons but you are not sure how to proceed to find the right teacher for you? The good news is that the internet makes it possible to have a larger market and thus also many more choice options. Anyway, not all languages are well covered and you may wonder how to find the right tutor for you.

Here are some tips that might be useful in your search...

1. Always ask for a trial lesson where you can decide if the teacher's method appeals to you. If you feel something is not working, you are not bound to stick to that teacher. 
2. Check the teacher's credentials (degree, experience, feedback by other students). You can ask to see a CV or to contact some other students in case you cannot find any other information. If you don't need a teacher with lots of credentials, the trial lesson should be enough to understand if that teacher is the right one for you. Ideally your teacher should have some experience in teaching, especially online and at least have testimonials by previous students explaining well how they liked the teacher's style and why
3. Native speaker or not? I believe it's always useful to have a native speaker to pick up the language from, anyway keep in mind that not all native speakers of a language are automatically the best teachers, they should be able to start from scratch with you, understand the problems and the learning process of a non-native speaker and know the grammar and correct pronunciation of their native language very well. If you start from scratch you need someone who will first of all give you solid basics so a non-native speaker can also be a good teacher. He/she has gone through your same problems and probably has been taught a method, so it could still be a great option. 
4. Search for teachers who can adapt their teaching material to each student, in this case they will ask a few questions on your experience and will make sure you understand everything before going to the next lesson
5. A good teacher has a method, you should be taught new things and be able to apply them, if you keep on doing the same thing every lesson maybe something is not working. Ask yourself 'Am I learning new things?', 'Am I learning things that will be useful for me?'. In any case, talk to the teacher and explain your needs, a good teacher should be open to adapt their method to a student's needs.
6. Fee: don't choose your teacher only because the fee is lower, you might waste time with someone cheaper. Of course, this is not always true. Once you have tried the trial lesson you should have an idea (is the teacher well organized and clear? do I feel comfortable? etc.). Always make sure a low fee does not correspond to a cheaper method, that's all. In this case, you can still take a lesser number of lessons with a more expensive teacher, if the latter proves to be worth it!

7. I have noticed some students tend to identify the subject with the teacher... if you had a boring or strict teacher once, it does not mean that that subject is not for you or that it's too hard or boring itself. If a teacher is passionate about the subject or about teaching and has a good method, I'm sure you will enjoy learning the subject, whatever it is.

8. Choose your teachers from their profile, are they talking about their previous teaching experience and how precisely? Do they say they are passionate about their subject? Do they use the language correctly? Are they using at least their real first name? Did they copy/paste their description from the net? A serious teacher can always find his/her own words to describe his/her work, experience and subject. If a sentence looks suspicious just google it as it is, if it was borrowed from anywhere else on the net, you should be able to get the page they pasted their description from.

9. Group or one to one lessons? Group lessons are more affordable and good for beginners who might find it easier to have other people starting from scratch like them, but once you have the basics of a language I always recommend trying one-to-one sessions as they assure the most possible individual attention and help you improve faster.

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