Jan 13

Take the Guesswork Out of Finding an English Tutor

Check These 7 Things First

If you or your child is falling behind academically, it can be an anxious time – but as we always say, nobody can be good at everything. English is one of those subjects that comes naturally to some, while others might struggle with the many theories and rules surrounding grammar and writing styles.

Luckily, there are plenty of tutoring services available at all curriculum levels, but finding an English tutor can be a difficult task, as there are so many to choose between.

In this blog post, we will discuss the main things you should check before hiring one, so you can make sure that you or your child have the best chance of academic success.

Does Your Tutor Have Experience Working With Your Level of English?

Tutors have a range of specialisms, and some prefer working with students at a specific academic level. For example, a graduate might choose to teach KS1 – GCSE English, while an experienced tutor could specialise in helping students with their A-Levels and University studies.

Before choosing a tutor for yourself or your child, it’s essential to ask about their previous experience. Most English tutors will be happy to tell you about their qualifications and prior students, so you can get a good idea of how suitable they are for your needs.

Do You Need a Bilingual Tutor?

If English isn’t your first language, it can be beneficial to find a tutor that can work with students from different countries. Many people find it’s better to learn a new language with a person that speaks their native language too.

Tutors come from diverse backgrounds, and you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that speaks your language – especially with online tutoring being so popular.

If you go online, you can access a wide range of tutors, and as the lessons are remote, you don’t have to restrict your search to a specific location.

Is Your Tutor Adaptive?

Not all students learn the same way, and some people need more or less help than others. Any good tutor will tailor the learning experience to suit the needs of their students, which is one of the best things about private tutoring.

There are four main types of learning styles, which are:

  • Visual – Prefer to learn through sight (pictures, slideshows, diagrams)
  • Auditory – Better with vocal directions (might struggle with graphs and charts)
  • Kinesthetic – Learn through experience and practical activity
  • Reading/Writing – Learns through reading, researching and writing

While some students might primarily prefer one learning type, others might respond well to a mixture of teaching styles depending on the topic and their current understanding of it.

English will come naturally to learners geared towards the reading and writing learning style. However, any good tutor will adapt their teaching style to suit a range of learning types- which is particularly useful for kinesthetic learners.

Is Your Tutor Reputable?

Perhaps one of the most important elements is finding a tutor is checking if they’re reputable. The internet has given us so many wonderful things, but it also makes it easier for scammers to find victims.

A genuine English tutor will prove their experience and qualifications upon request. If your potential tutor doesn’t, it’s best to look elsewhere because you’re investing time and money in lessons that might not offer any benefits.

If possible, it’s best to use a reputable tutoring agency because you can guarantee that their tutors are able to prove their experience and qualifications.

At Fleet, each English tutor we hire goes through a strict recruitment process, so you can rest assured that you’ll have access to high-quality educators that demonstrate excellent teaching skills.

Will Your Teacher Be In It For The Long Haul?

Students learn best when their tutor is committed to helping them grow academically. It’s not enough to teach someone the curriculum because many students lack confidence in the subject they struggle with.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your tutor how they’ll be able to support you, and an excellent way to test whether a potential tutor is right for you is to ask questions and see how they respond and whether they take an interest in you.

Does Your Tutor Have Good Reviews?

Never underestimate the power of reviews! While it’s great to know that your tutor takes an interest in you and can adapt to your learning style, it’s better to see how they’ve helped other students. Testimonials are one of the best ways to see whether a potential tutor is right for you.

If most of the reviews are positive, you know that your English tutor has a strong track record and can support you with your studies.

When you’re looking for reviews, third party sites are the best to get an impartial opinion. Of course, most people will only showcase positive reviews on their website, but websites such as TrustPilot and Google My Business showcase all kinds of reviews.

You can also look at a companies Facebook page, and even employee reviews are good if you want to get a picture of the entire company and the culture.

Is Your Tutor Reliable?

One of the worst things is investing time and money in a tutor and not receiving the same in return. Successful tutors are busy, but they should make time for you and accommodate your learning needs.

Children especially might have questions about their homework, and a good tutor will respond and help them along the way. If your tutor takes days to respond to your message and seems to be unable to schedule a meeting, then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Finding a tutor might seem like a daunting task, but once you meet the right one, it will be completely worth it in the end.

We’d always advise people to use a reputable tutoring agency because the recruitment policies are often more strict, and should things go wrong, you’ll have a coordinator to help match you with a more suitable tutor.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure your tutor is right for you before you commit to lessons.