All serious language students will eventually spend time studying with a tutor. Tutors always want to be helpful, but even though they want to help, most tutoring time is wasted.
Here’s something you can do right away to make sure your next tutoring session is valuable.
Only have your tutors correct you on old material. Don’t have them teach you new material.
“Now wait a minute,” I can hear you ask. “Why shouldn’t I have my tutors teach me new material? Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?” Well, not if you want to learn as quickly as possible.
If you want to learn as quickly as possible, you should use every tool you have in your learning bag of tricks in the way that it works best.
Use software for what it’s best at, and human tutors for what they are best at.
Human tutors are really good at correcting you, encouraging you, and inspiring you with the love of learning. Machines can’t do that very well.
But humans are not very good at being infinitely patient and available 24 hours a day. Software is really good at that.
Software is NOT very good at telling you to open your mouth more or close your mouth more or to pucker up your lips more when you say a foreign language word. Humans are really good at that.
Have Your Tutor Check You on Material You Learned by Yourself
If you are studying with a paper system like flash cards, simply take your most recently studied flash cards with you to meet your tutor and have your tutor review them with you.
Tell your tutor that you want her to make sure you know how to speak and understand the material you just studied. Also ask her to encourage you.
Learning a foreign language with software AND human tutors is a very good idea. If you decide to do this, make sure your software makes it easy to find a list of the phrases you just studied. This makes it easy to go over them with your tutor.
Our language program has a big button at the bottom of the main study screen. Clicking on this button takes you to a list of the items you know. This list is sorted by the grade you gave yourself the last time you studied. It’s easy!
This feature makes it easy to review only the items you need help with, with your tutor.
If you take a list like this of material to review to your tutor, you will get the biggest benefit possible from your tutoring time.