How to Pick the Best Online Chinese Tutor
The top 10 criteria for selecting an online Mandarin Chinese tutor are listed below.
Finding a teacher who speaks the dialect of Mandarin you wish to learn is the single most crucial factor to consider while searching for a Mandarin instructor online.
You should seek out a native speaker to learn all the nuances of Mandarin, such as slang, idioms, and colloquial expressions, but be aware of the variations between Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Although the style of Mandarin you learn may depend on what you find enjoyable, think about how you will use your Mandarin in the future. For example, do you need to speak Mandarin to interact with a specific community? Do you have any plans to relocate there? These are all excellent inquiries to make of yourself before selecting the ideal Chinese tutor.
The best teachers know the subject matter. They are skilled at explaining it in a way you will comprehend and appreciate. Before you begin your first session, discuss the type of lessons you want to have with the tutors and make sure they are on board with doing the sessions your way, regardless of their level of expertise.
You probably already like it when your teacher uses as much Chinese as possible during a lesson. Next, you should pick an O-level Chinese tutor who, besides speaking Chinese, is also fluent in your native language or English.
The rationale is that an instructor who speaks a foreign language fluently demonstrates a thorough understanding of language acquisition. Additionally, they might be able to relate to your learning process and provide you with advice and pointers that other tutors can’t.
A beginner in Mandarin would also study best and most effectively with tutors who can explain topics and grammar in English, according to my own experience (or your native language).
A highly useful quality to look for in an online Chinese tutor is availability, which comes at number five on the list.
One of the most important considerations when hiring an online tutor may be scheduling. I had a “wonderful” tutor when I initially started learning Mandarin. She was skilled, knowledgeable, and entertaining.
She was constantly booked, so I could only schedule a few lessons a month with her. I had to make concessions and fit my lessons around her hectic schedule. After being burned out and quitting booking, I lost most of what I had learned.
A few well-known tutors on major platforms have tight, unyielding timetables. And many more only provide Chinese tuition online as a side business. Therefore, even if the teachers are excellent, you should consider their availability and flexibility.
You want to be able to stay in close contact with your tutor unless you don’t intend to meet with them again. Therefore, finding the best Chinese tutor online requires careful consideration of responsiveness.
A responsive tutor responds quickly to your queries before, during, and after your classes. You can gauge their responsiveness the first time you contact a potential tutor to learn more about their services.
Reading evaluations from former students who have already taken lessons with the instructor you’re thinking about working with is one of the finest methods to find out more about a Mandarin tutor online. Their open accounts of their experiences will tell you whether the tutor is knowledgeable and effective, tell you what to anticipate from their classes, and perhaps even forewarn you if things don’t go as planned.
Reviews only provide a thin layer of details. However, nothing beats having first-hand knowledge of oneself.
To give potential students a taste of what it’s like to have a one-on-one Chinese lesson with them, many online Mandarin tutors and Mandarin tutoring services provide a free or reduced trial lesson (both italki and Preply offer trial lessons, among others). If it’s possible, use the chance to see if you get along before you commit to a full lesson or package.
To make the most of the trial classes, get in touch with your tutors—possibly via message—ahead of time and make it obvious to them what level you are at and what you want to focus on. Then, you and your tutors can prepare for the trial lesson to make it the most beneficial experience possible by being clear about your expectations.
The price of tutoring sessions is the last consideration in your decision. The secret is to select the greatest Mandarin tutor you can afford.
The majority of online education platforms are fairly open regarding costs. Since tutors choose their fees, there are possibilities for people on a wide range of budgets, ranging from less than US$10 for an hour of speaking practice to more than US$50 for assistance with a challenging subject like HSK, AP Chinese, or job interview preparation.
You can sort teachers by pricing to meet your needs regardless of the platform you pick. There’s no need to break the money when working with one because, generally, you can find some decent, patient, and creative professional Mandarin teachers online for roughly US$20-25 per hour on a platform like italki (which we recommend).