Should Your Online Language Tutor Be a Native Speaker?
An important step every language learner takes is putting their knowledge to use by conversing with a native speaker. Little is more disheartening than finally having the opportunity to converse with a native speaker and finding that they cannot understand you or that you cannot understand them. Learning another language directly from a native speaking tutor ensures regular exposure to an authentic accent, the ability to achieve communicative competence, and opportunities for cultural exchange.
Achieving Communicative Competence With a Native Speaker
Recent research shows language taught in traditional classroom settings focuses on grammatical rules, vocabulary, and the more formal way a language is spoken. While this prepares students well to read and write in a foreign language, it does not give them communicative competence. Learners of a second language who obtain communicative competence are capable of discerning between formal and informal discourse and can use the language effectively in a variety of social settings.
A native speaking tutor can adeptly simulate various conversational situations with students such as a job interview, hanging out with friends, or discussing a rental agreement with a landlord. Working with a native speaking tutor aids a learner not only in finding the right vocabulary for a particular situation, but also the register of speech to use. A native speaking language tutor can provide their students with valuable information on colloquialisms and can infuse lessons with fun slang words and the context in which to use them.
Nail That Accent!
Importantly, native speaking language instructors can coach students effectively on accents and proper pronunciation. Continued exposure to a native-speaker’s accent will help students build their listening comprehension and improve their own accent in the target language.
A native speaking tutor may speak their language with a particular dialect that is useful for students to learn. If an Arabic student is seeking to study abroad in Morocco, they can find an online Arabic tutor who speaks the Maghrebi dialect to best prepare them for their trip.
When you hire a native speaking language tutor, you give yourself the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language’s culture without traveling abroad. Whether the tutor learned the language growing up abroad or from their family, chances are they will have real life examples of how to use certain phrases, idioms, and vocabulary. Just as importantly, they will also be able to share what types of words to avoid in certain situations! Having cultural context when learning a world language is integral to building and retaining vocabulary.
Further, learning a second language with a native speaker gives both the student and instructor an opportunity for valuable cultural exchange. The student and instructor can discuss the differences in their everyday routines and differences in social or cultural norms, all which contribute to increased cultural understanding. Just as the language student may be eager to learn about a new culture, language instructors are often equally eager to share and learn about the student’s background!
Learning Directly From a Native Speaker
Enrolling in a LanguageBird program affords language learners the opportunity to truly master a new language with the help of a native speaking tutor. Our one-to-one classes equip students with the ability to speak a new language with confidence knowing they can be understood by native speakers!