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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Picking a Chinese Tutor

Not all Chinese tutors are created equally. Just because a person is a native language speaker does not mean they can teach that knowledge to another person. That is not even getting into the issue of standard Mandarin and the different accents within China. A person from Shanghai has a different accent than a person from Beijing, that is different from Taiwan. The official standard in China is close to the Beijing accent.

Some suggestions:

1. Do they have experience teaching? With what age group?

2. What do their existing students say?

3. Can you get a test lesson to see if it's a good fit on your learning style and their teaching style?

4. What textbook do they recommend and why?

5. Do they teach the type of Chinese characters you are interested in? Traditional or Simplified Chinese?

6. Figure out what the going rate is. A school with tutoring on site may charge more than having a person come to your house.

7. Do they give a cash discount :-) I heard a story of a voice coach who was $180 cash, or $320 with a check. After a few months of tutoring the person getting tutored did get a starring role i a Broadway musical.

8. Investigate getting an online tutor for Teaching Chinese. It may offer a better value than a physical tutor, but there are trade offs.

9. Get referrals on tutoring. Until you actually work with a tutor its so hard to find out if they are a good fit. Sometimes it can take a few months.

10. Discuss with the tutor what your goals are for Learning Chinese.

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