What are the hallmarks of a great Russian tutor?

Securing a Russian tutor can be a highly beneficial move if you have the funds to train with a qualified native speaker. However, there are certain characteristics that distinguish great tutors from native speakers simply trying to make a quick buck without having any pedagogical training and with this guide, you’ll be able to weed out the imposters.

1. The first lesson

In your first lesson, you’ll likely spend time getting to know each other and you may be asked to do a placement test so that your tutor can accurately identify your proficiency in Russian.

2. The plan

You need to have a clear objective in mind when you decide to start working with a tutor in order to get the most out of the service. For instance, you might decide to enlist the help of a tutor to help you master foundational principles if you’ve found it difficult to get started with studying independently, to improve your pronunciation, to practice conversation, or to explain complex grammar rules in a more digestible format. Even if you are having conversational classes, a plan is still necessary once you get beyond exchanging pleasantries. Having a plan based on pre-defined themes will facilitate rich and stimulating conversation.

Understanding precisely what you hope to achieve will enable the tutor to provide you with a well-structured course which is tailored to your wants and/or needs. It will also enable you to prepare in advance and remain focussed, as you’ll have a better idea of what is expected of you each lesson and the path that your will take with the tutor.

3. Textbook support

If you are preparing for an exam, or prefer an academic approach, your tutor might incorporate exercises from a good Russian textbook into the learning programme. They may suggest a textbook or workbook for you to purchase, or provide you with a PDF guide they created which is specially tailored to your needs.

4. In-lesson review and error correction

A great tutor will not only feed you new material, but also ensure that you have understood it well and will create opportunities for you to review it, allowing better retention of information. In addition, once a point of grammar has been explained to you, they will support you by encouraging the use of correct form so that bad habits don’t become fossilised. However, an essential part of teacher correction is understanding the character of the student and requesting their preference as to the type of correction required. For instance, a shy student may necessitate a gentler approach with lots of encouragement and error correction at a later moment. More confident learners might be able to handle on-the-spot correction.

5. In-lesson immersion

If you have attained intermediate proficiency in Russian, your tutor may (with your permission) stick to communicating and explaining everything in Russian, with very limited use of your native language.

6. Independent study support

Your tutor may provide you with a vocabulary list featuring key words encountered in the lesson.
Gives you homework which is corrected in a timely manner and contains advice so that you can improve your performance.

7. Even skill development

You’ll know you have a great tutor if, in accordance with the personalised plan created at the start, your tutor identifies your strengths and weaknesses in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing and ensures that great focus is placed on plugging gaps in your knowledge and developing these skillsets in Russian, rather than tirelessly revising things that you have already mastered. This will enable you to progress more quickly.

8. A trusty aide and friend

There are matters of importance beyond the format of the lesson. For example, the extent to which you connect with your tutor can influence your motivation and increase the speed at which you learn. The more your tutor expresses an interest in your life, provides you with opportunities to learn about Russophone culture, encourages you to persevere, and demonstrates patience, the more you will excel.

If you are ready to make a serious commitment to learning Russian and would like to secure the assistance of a tutor, make an enquiry today for high-quality lessons provided by expert Russian teachers.

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