Some students can breeze through their high school years without a problem. But most students need a little help along the way.
Learning a foreign language is a skill where even the smartest kids often run into challenges, especially if they are studying one that differs so much from English and involves learning a new script, like Arabic. Couple that with other tough academic pursuits, even a motivated kid will feel overwhelmed.
A foreign language tutor can teach your student the strategies that will help him or her learn to speak, read and write with confidence. The immediate benefits can be improved understanding and test scores. But the long-term benefits are greater still: improved vocabulary and writing skills, a desire to study abroad or explore new cultures, and an ability to distinguish themselves from other college applicants.
Here’s a look at 8 benefits of hiring a foreign language tutor.
1. Learn How to Learn a Foreign Language
Most schools require students to learn a foreign language, but many teachers, while fluent speakers, lack the training in the proper techniques for language learning.
A good language tutor can help students develop the techniques and strategies to learn a foreign language. Many of the study habits required to learn a foreign language are transferrable, which is one of the reasons schools continue to emphasize language learning. Successful foreign language study requires a student to memorize large swaths of information, comprehend a new system of thinking, learn through failure, and build respect for different perspectives.
A great language tutor understands that multiplier effect and can teach your student the strategies they need to be successful in their foreign language classroom and beyond.
2. Build and Memorize Vocabulary
Vocabulary development is one of the most difficult aspects of learning a new language, particularly if there is a lack of English cognates or a need to recognize a different alphabet or script. It requires more than just brute force practice and memorization.
An experienced foreign language tutor can teach your student how to build vocabulary, master pronunciation and remember what they’ve learned. Tools may include games, songs, and flash cards. A tutor can also help build both a plan and the motivation for the daily repetition required to fully absorb and use new vocabulary. Working with a tutor can help your student feel more confident and less overwhelmed.
3. Strengthen Grammar Skills
Grammar is no longer a major focus in today’s classrooms.
Students who are unfamiliar with grammatical terms and concepts will be particularly frustrated when their language teacher introduces parts of speech, verb tenses or sentence structure and expects students to recognize the English equivalent. and other basic elements of grammar. Students who already understand the rules of grammar have a significant advantage when learning a foreign language.
A language tutor can help students build their grammatical skills and better explain the commonalities and differences between English and the language they’re studying.
Improving knowledge of grammar not only benefits students with language learning, but also with standardized test taking and college writing. While many school districts no longer place an emphasis on grammar, it’s still a focus of many standardized tests, including the SAT and ACT. Arriving on campus with good grammar skills is one way to impress picky professors.
4. Benefit from One-On-One Instruction
Today’s students are usually learning in crowded classrooms or isolated at home. Unfortunately, neither of these environments is conducive to language learning. Crowded classrooms are overwhelming for some students. Students don’t receive enough individual help and may feel hesitant to ask questions or participate in class.
Remote learners often feel disconnected from their learning. Lack of individual instruction and collaboration contribute to a less than ideal learning situation. One of the benefits of a language tutor is one-on-one instruction. This offers students personalized attention, the chance to ask questions, receive feedback and address their specific challenges. Using an individualized approach, a language tutor can assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses and focus on what they need most. Equally, students feel more comfortable sharing their struggles, asking for help, and practicing new skills in a one-on-one environment.
5. Improve Public Speaking Skills
Foreign language study often requires impromptu speaking in front of a class or within a group. This requirement can be tough for shy or introverted students who may try to sink into the back of the classroom.
A good language tutor understands that strong speaking skills require practice in a comfortable, low-pressure setting. By steadily building confidence, young language learners can overcome their fear of embarrassment and learn to laugh off their inevitable mistakes and improvise or “talk around” when they don’t know the precise word. A tutor can also tailor these speaking sessions to topics that interest the student, which keeps motivation high and helps make the connection between classroom language studies and everyday life.
6. Feel More at Ease
Language skills can be a struggle for many students. When a child struggles in class, they may feel hesitant to raise their hand or ask a question.
Tutoring provides a safe space for students to learn. They can work at their own pace to master difficult concepts.
A tutor provides a low-stress and no-judgement learning environment for students.
7. Appreciate Other Cultures
Between memorizing vocabulary and remembering grammar rules, students often forget that learning a foreign language is a window into a new culture.
A tutor who is passionate about the foreign language can connect the language to the people who speak it. A great language tutor will use a student’s own interests – whether it’s fashion, food, sports or music – to build enthusiasm for the language and culture and make language learning both fun and relatable.
Learning another language broadens a student’s perspective and teaches them a deeper appreciation for diversity and the value of being a good global citizen.
8. Invest in their Future
Language tutoring reaps lasting benefits for students, in terms of better study habits, improved memory and fact retention, stronger writer skills and confidence in public speaking. Whether your student is one day bound for Paris, Cairo or Mexico City, or puts their foreign language study aside after high school, successful foreign language study sets students on the path to being a better scholar.
The Benefits of Hiring a Language Tutor
Whether your child is struggling in their foreign language class or just hoping to improve their test scores, a language tutor can help. Most students thrive in a one-on-one learning environment. A quality language tutor can assess your student’s needs and provide tailor-made instruction to help your child improve and achieve their learning goals.
Our goal is to help your student succeed and reach their academic potential. Contact us today to learn more.