In the past few years a whole industry has popped up around one-on-one language tutoring — usually conducted over video chat. There are services connecting French students with tutors all over the world, making it easier (and cheaper) than ever to find your own personal French tutor.
But do you really need a tutor? Will using a tutor accelerate your learning? If you use a tutor, can you get away without using a French course?
The answer, like always, is a big, fuzzy, "it depends"...
If you're a beginner and your only French study is the hour or two you spend with a tutor each week, you're not going to get very far.
It's best to think of a tutor as a supplement to your learning, rather than your sole source of knowledge. Outside of your tutoring session, you still need to be doing your own study— working through your French grammar course, completing exercises, and building your vocabulary.
I'm using the word "tutor" pretty broadly to mean "another human with some experience in French who you can chat with face to face (or video to video) in real time to help with your learning."
But there are actually a few different types of tutor that you should be aware of:
A tutoring platform is the website or service that connects a learner with a tutor. They'll help you find a tutor based on things like:
Some platforms will offer a matching service, but usually it's up to you to browse through the listings of available tutors and pick someone who seems suitable.
Not all tutoring platforms operate the same way, and you’ll find differences in...
A tutor isn't a magic bullet — you will still need to work on your French outside of these hours. But they make a powerful additional tool to add to your language learning toolbox.
In the next chapter we're going to add even more to your toolbox with some sweet, supplementary resources you can use to add more variety to your study.