When you are learning English conversation, it is important to use it. It can be difficult to find the right person and the time to practice. Nowadays, a good option is to find an online tutor. Speaking with an online tutor can save you time and money. Also, you can select from many tutors!
It is easy to practice English online now with the Internet. For many learners, it’s still a new way to learn and it may be overwhelming to figure out the best site, best tutor, and how to get the best value for your money.
The first point that people usually think about is the cost.
How much does it cost exactly to take online English lessons?
The amount it costs to take online lessons can be as cheap as $5 USD per hour to $100 USD per hour. That’s a huge range. So you might wonder, why not just find the cheapest lessons online?
The second point you have to consider is what you are getting for the price.
The cheapest lessons may be helpful, but you need to know what you are paying for. Usually when you pay a little more, you can expect more. For example, you can expect a qualified, experienced teacher. Native speakers tend to cost more to learn with because there may be more demand. You can expect your tutor to prepare for you and your needs specifically, instead of using a generic lesson or not preparing at all.
Honestly, the world of online teaching is not really regulated. You should be a smart buyer and find out about your tutor’s qualifications and experience. Ask about their degrees or certifications in teaching English, how long they have been teaching and in what situations. You may be able to ask for a free or discounted trial lesson to see if they are the right tutor for you. Qualifications, experience and the tutor’s personality and teaching style are all important points to consider.
The best question to ask yourself is, what do you really want and need in an online tutor? You probably want someone who is experienced, qualified, prepared, and motivated to give you a great lesson. Also, you probably want someone who you respect and like. That probably means that you will need to pay in the range of $15-30 per hour, the average rate for most professional online tutors. For most English learners, this price point will include a good value for the money.
If you would like someone very experienced and specialized in a unique area such as science or business, then you can expect to pay more. Many tutors at this level will create a long-term plan for you that is not per hour, but rather a package of lessons along with support outside the lessons. If you want VIP treatment and want to learn from the best, then look for a professional tutor who charges on the high end of the price scale.
If your budget can not support 1-to-1 lessons, consider options for online group practice lessons, or try an online language exchange. An exchange will give you speaking practice; however, it is really different than lessons. An exchange is not for teaching. It is not a lesson. It is simply to have someone to speak with.
Also, you can try practicing with a few different tutors. It is always a good idea to learn from more than one person. You want to speak with more than one person in real life, so it’s good to get used to different ways of speaking.
Hopefully, you will find a great online tutor. A good place to start is with Verbling, since they are offering your first trial lesson completely for free. There’s nothing to lose! Take a look at all the different tutors available and see who you want to schedule a free trial lesson with now.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Kevin Dooley
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