What is the Best Way to Choose a Language Teacher?

Choosing a language teacher is a very personal choice.  It is a question of “chemistry.”  A teacher might be well-qualified, but still might not be right for you.  That is one reason why I offer all new students a free first meeting:  Only you can decide if I am the right teacher for you.

There are certain things to look for in any language teacher:
Only study with a native speaker!  There are nuances and fine points and instincts that only a native speaker has.  When choosing a native speaker, avoid someone with a very strong regional accent (like Scottish or Mississippi!)  When you are studying a foreign language, you are also studying the country.  A language is more than words: It is a style of communicating.  To learn American English properly, you must interact with a real American!

Do you like the way your teacher talks? Does their English sound beautiful to you?  Do they have a nice voice?  Is that how you want to sound?  Listen carefully and decide.

Your teacher should be able to analyze your English problems and have a clear plan. Your teacher must always be on time and prepared.

As an adult learner, you need a teacher who does not only teach “it” (meaning English), but who will teach YOU. You need someone who will analyze your English skills, your problems and your goals and create a program just for you.  People often ask me which textbook I use.  I say: “The student is the textbook.”  How I teach depends on what that student needs and the individual way that student learns.  From there, I choose teaching materials.

Your English teacher should have respect for your own culture and language. It is better if he or she knows a little of your language:  That often gives a clue to your problems.  In working with my students, I am always glad I have studied 12 languages.  I can usually find some example that helps the lesson.

Really, the only right way to choose an English teacher is to take a few lessons with someone and decide if you enjoy them and whether you are learning something.  Who is the right English teacher for you?  Only YOU can answer that!