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Monday, March 22, 2010

10 Tips for a Chinese Tutor

Some quick thoughts:

1. You are the boss, and the tutor is your employee. So make sure your Chinese tutor understands what you want to accomplish and has a plan. Treat your tutor with respect, but good communication is key. Getting feedback after every lesson is good for both the tutor and you. Ask your child how the tutor is doing and what you learned this week!

2. To make progress in Learning Chinese, a curriculum/textbook helps with a framework and structure. There are brilliant Chinese tutors who don't need this, but for the other 95% this helps a lot. When interviewing a tutor, ask about what materials they plan to use. When selecting a curriculum, it helps to find one that is a good fit for the tutor. ChildBook has lots of sample pages to help tutors choose the right one.

3. Ask about their experience and how they would handle potential issues, such as your child not doing their Chinese home work.

4. Talk about Home Work and have clear expectations in this area. Some Chinese parents expect their kids to be given lots of homework.

5. Ask your tutor what extra material would be helpful and compliment their tutoring. Coloring Books, CDs of Chinese Songs/Stories, DVD's, and Flashcards can all add a lot to teaching Chinese. Games are another great way to Learn Chinese.

6. Have the tutor you are considering hiring do a sample lesson with your child. See how they interact. I would pay for the lesson no matter what. Just because a person is a native speaker of a language does not automatically make them an excellent teacher. And it has to be a good fit with you, your child, and the tutor.

7. Your place or theirs. If you can have the tutor come to your house. This can help your time a lot. Driving can take a lot of time.

8. The tutor may need their own set of textbook to work with your child, so you may need to buy two sets.

9. College Students vs. Professional. If you have a local college you may want to consider using a college student. Or the significant other of a college student.

10. The tutor can also be a role model for your child, so you may want to consider this when hiring a tutor.



Blogger Unknown said...

Many people think that a Native speaker of a language will necessarily be a great teacher of that language. Sadly, this isn't true.

I have been living in China and learning Chinese for about 5 years and I have had about 6-7 different tutors in that amount of time. All Chinese teachers are not created equal.

I definitely agree with the 2nd suggestion on the list. It is absolutely necessary to have some sort of Chinese textbook or other source material get the results.

If you are learning Chinese without a textbook, then most of your classes will not have any structure.

Some great websites for learning Chinese are http://mandarinnetwork.com which has hundreds of language videos and http://learnchineseonline.net which has many tools for reading Chinese characters.

April 30, 2010 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ritchey said...

Thanks Sean! I agree 100% that not all tutors are created equally and its important to find one that is a good fit for your style of Learning.

May 1, 2010 at 8:45 PM  

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