Advantages and disadvantages of choosing a native English tutor

When it is time to start studying English, one of the most requested resources are online private classes with native tutors. In recent years, thanks to the constant exchange of cultures born of globalization, it is not difficult to find a native speaker who wants to give classes. 

However, this option may raise concerns especially if the student does not have a high level of English. It is understandable that starting private online English lessons with a native English tutor may cause uncertainty and suspicion. For this reason, we have made a list of advantages and disadvantages so that you can decide if a native English tutor is the right option for you.  

Benefits of choosing a native English tutor

There are many advantages to choosing a native English tutor. There are benefits that only a native speaker can provide. And there is nothing more important for online education than a good tutor. 

  • Better vocabulary. Having English as your native language means that you have a better and more varied range of vocabulary. There are phrases, expressions, words or dialectal constructions that you don't study in class. They are either learned through experience or it is difficult to find them in a classroom. For this reason, the linguistic richness of a native tutor is generally much greater. In addition, the error rate when constructing sentences or using grammar is very low. 
  • There is no temptation to speak in the native language. This factor is vital for improving speaking skills. It is usually more important for advanced levels, but it is useful whether you are in advance or if you want to take the First or PET exams. If your tutor does not understand much Spanish as a student you will look for words or construct sentences that he/she can understand without resorting to your mother tongue. 
  • The tutor knows more about Anglo-Saxon culture. In addition to linguistic richness, a native tutor can also bring cultural richness. As a student you can benefit from coming into contact with their culture and learning new customs and ways of life. Take the opportunity to absorb knowledge and enjoy the classes. 
  • Bring a new and fresh approach to the classes. A native English tutor tends to focus more on speaking and listening. This may be because they are generally the skills he or she is most proficient in and can play the most important role. This different approach can make the classes more dynamic and fun for the student. 
  • Speaking is natural and up-to-date. Language, like mathematics or music, is a living entity that transforms and evolves. It adds words, gets rid of outdated expressions and generally adapts to the times. A native tutor is in regular contact with English and integrates these small details. Details that non-native English tutors may miss. 

Disadvantages of Choosing a Native English Tutor

Despite all the advantages, having a native English tutor is not always the best option for all students. Each student has his or her needs and not all tutors can meet them. 

  • You may have an unintelligible accent. Depending on where the tutor is from, the accent can help or hinder the class. If you come from London or New York, your speaking will be easy to understand and you will have a familiar pronunciation. If, on the other hand, you come from Scotland or Ireland, understanding is going to be a bit more complicated. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't be a good tutor. The only drawback will be the extra effort to understand you. 
  • You may lack empathy with the student. Non-native tutors tend to empathize much more with the students, because they have also been in your situation in the past. They know and are familiar with the weaknesses and strengths of Spanish speakers and can tailor their lessons accordingly. Sometimes, native speakers do not have this consideration for their students, so you have to be careful. 
  • Being a native speaker does not compensate for a lack of teaching experience. If the tutor has no previous teaching experience or has no passion for their work, being a native speaker will not make any difference. There are factors of teaching that cannot be learned unless you have experienced them. 
  • Lack of grammar knowledge. Sometimes and rarely, a native English tutor has little control over grammatical structures. Structures that are very necessary for learning another language. His or her perfect command of English does not indicate that he or she knows how to explain grammatical functioning. For this reason, the aforementioned empathy and experience are often essential. 

How to Choose a Good Native English Tutor

Students, when deciding which tutor to choose, should look not only at whether he/she is a native speaker or not. They should also know how he/she teaches, the objectives with which he/she works and above all if there is affinity or not. Finding a tutor is a bit like finding a partner, you have to know when there is chemistry and when there is not. 

For this reason, Classgap is a good platform to find a native English tutor that suits you. Its offer is very wide and integrates all types of profiles. Choosing a private tutor has never been easier. Take a free trial and book an interview with a candidate who convinces you.