As a learner, do you remember how great it was having a teacher who understands you, who actually have a passion for the subject they are teaching and focus their efforts on their students?
These are the kind of teachers you have to learn French from, good with the French language, understanding, and passionate, French itself is a passionate language, so we don’t see how it can be taught otherwise.
It can be frustrating to learn from someone who doesn’t have the qualities that make a good teacher because they will only stunt your education.
Especially in the case of beginners. French for beginners should ideally be well taught, they need the best they can get, and that is why when selecting a French tutor you need to cross-examine who you choose as a French tutor.
Whether a French tutor for your child who needs more French lessons or for yourself as you try to grasp more of the language, the French teacher has to have some characteristic qualities that indicate their ability as a good teacher and a healthy interest in their learner's passions to learn French, and you can make sure of that.
So, why should anyone choose to learn a third language? After all, in Nigeria, everyone already speaks two or more languages, their mother tongue, and English.
Are you new to the French language, and don't know where to begin? Don't fret, we have got you covered.
Why You Should Learn French
The French language is applicable in many situations where we might find ourselves in, there is a good chance you will encounter the French language especially here in Africa. Do you doubt it? Then read below.
We are surrounded by French-speaking countries, four of them, Africa has over 26 Francophone countries and makes up more than 70% of the world’s French-speaking population, and the official language of many foreign nations is French.
Definitely, a knowledge of the French language can be a great asset to you, which you can easily learn with a French tutor as we have pointed out earlier.
The reason for learning French vary from person to person, some want to study in France which is Almost impossible if you don’t know how to speak the language because they teach their classes in the French language. Even when they don’t, you will need to talk with the other students who would naturally, converse in their local language, French.
A good example is right here next to us in Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Nigerian students go there in droves to study for undergraduate degrees. Some of the classes are taught in English, but no matter students are still required to learn French for about a year during the course of their study to become acquainted with their surroundings.
Another reason why you should worry about learning this romantic language is the opportunity for work, France is among one of the most developed countries in the world, they have factories, companies, and innumerable start-ups that as they grow will need more employees.
And since a great majority of their offices reside in France, a qualification in spoken French will undoubtedly be a requirement in their job application.
If not France, then the numerous African francophone countries we have, they can provide work opportunities in an industry you have an interest in, from engineering jobs on the oil rigs of Sao Tome Et Principe to diplomatic jobs at the Nigerian embassy in Morocco, there are lots of opportunities that could become your calling, and your ticket, it is learning the French language.
Before starting French lessons, however, there is something important to consider, which is, your level of French.
Are you a beginner in French, and need lots of help regarding building new vocabulary? Or an intermediate speaker, and need just enough to help advance you to the next level?
You could also take a more severe approach to French, and try to learn it as a professional francophone. Another instance is to learn French to prepare for exams such as DELF.
All of these and more are the objectives and end goals of people who wish to learn French, and different French teachers have different portfolios, one may be offering to help with exam preparations while one may be offering to teach small kids.
So you must find a French tutor suitable for you and what you want to achieve. Someone that would be able to tell your strengths from your weaknesses and help you overcome each aspect of the French language you find difficult.
Furthermore, how do you wish to learn, i.e., what’s your learning style? Do you prefer the traditional mode of learning which is on a desk with a notebook and a pen?
Or do you find it more amusing to learn new languages by singing rhythmic songs just like nursery pupils do? You will be surprised how much that works.
A good French tutor should be able to assimilate your learning situation and adapt to it, but where would you find such a French teacher, with such qualities as these?
Qualities Of A Good French Tutor
Despite the fact French teachers number in the thousands, it’s not all of them that have what it takes, or what you may consider as suitable, for you.
If you need a French tutor to help you prepare for exams it is counterproductive to get one who's speciality is teaching ‘French for beginners'.
A French tutor who understands the limit of your abilities and tries to help you improve on them is a worthy French teacher, and one whose passion to teach is focused on the student, such French teachers are the type you really need to help you learn French.
On Superprof, you can tell the best ones that would be a good fit. You can discover verified French tutors and based on what you read on their profiles you can judge if you should hire them or not.
Here are some of the characteristic qualities of good teachers.
They Have Patience
Patience is important, without which teaching is quite impossible. Good teachers take note of your faults and mistakes every time you make them and bear the burden of correcting you gracefully.
Whether teaching in front of a classroom or teaching just one person, patience is key to gaining that person’s trust.
You Easily Trust Them
There are those teachers you can ask anything anytime, without hesitation, not just because they give satisfactory answers but also because you trust them. And why do you think it is so?
Part of the reason is probably their knowledge of the subject, and part of it because they easily make you feel at home.
You can’t expect your French lesson teacher to always be late for your classes, else you won’t learn anything substantial from the teacher. Being punctual tells you about the seriousness or lack thereof of the teacher.
The Motivation To Teach
Teaching can be boring sometimes, it needs a great deal of effort and determination for the teachers to rise every morning to come and lecture their students, a love for the subject they are teaching, in our case French, is a big factor.
It could be all the difference between having a highly motivated teacher and having one that just goes through the motions until your appointment time is up.
They Actually Know The Subject Well
Having a nice trusting and patient French teacher is not enough to learn French, you need someone who actually knows the subject well. They can explain well and who, their teaching method is agreeable with your learning methods.
What To Consider When Seeking A Tutor
If you have the ideal image of the French lesson teacher you want and the qualities that make them acceptable to you it’s time to look into the things you should consider when hiring a tutor.
We can begin with those objectives of yours, you can find a French tutor solely to help you achieve something specific, like exams, help with catching up at school, learning enough to speak when you are about to travel, etc.
The location of the lessons, which is where they should take place is also of significant importance. Do you wish to commute to the tutor's home or would they come to yours?
The learning environment is just as important as the lesson itself. Choose a place where the learner feels they are at ease, or where you are most comfortable.
Or better still you can try online French lessons. Thanks to technological advancements it is now possible to learn French while the tutor is thousands of miles away and you at your home. Take quizzes, share and view files and so on, all online.
That’s how you can have an actual native French speaker to teach you the French lessons. Although there is an argument on whether it is better that way especially for intermediate learners.
They argue a native speaker might not know all the answers because they learned French without knowing it. So grammar and its rules can be oblivious to them.
What you can do is to check a teacher’s qualifications on their profile which Superprof has already verified, that way you can tell if they are equipped to teach French even if it’s their native language.
Among the things you should consider is the cost of the lessons, here's how to budget for French lessons.