The ever-increasing significance of effective use of the English language, namely writing, reading and comprehension proficiencies, for higher education establishments and employers is one of the many causes for a growing demand for English tutors.

Matriculants facing the final exams at school level and varsity undergraduates seeking assistance with the writing of essays, will benefit tremendously from having a skilled English tutor by their side.

People of all ages, from pre-schoolers through to employed adults, will find a tutor available to assist them!

Sometimes, however, having too much of a choice can leave one bemused.

Plan your search before you actually start your search for a tutor.

Decide on the criteria your tutor should meet. For instance, decide if you want an experienced tutor who can deliver instruction in your home or someone who works online. This will save you time by ruling out anyone who does not meet your basic requirements.

The demand for private tuition is ever-increasing and, so, it has become relatively easy to engage in one-on-one tuition.

Thanks to online tutoring and a webcams, the geographical distance between you and your tutor is no longer a factor.

Basically, you can access great educational support without getting up from your desk.

You can hire your ideal tutor without having to worry about where they are based.

For people who prefer traditional tuition, there are numerous, easy ways to find a great English tutor living quite close to you.

So, whether local is lekker for you or you want some international flavour, this guide aims to make your search for an ideal tutor hassle-free!

Start your quest with our specifications for tutors and start polishing up your English right away!

Why is There Such a Great Focus on English Tuition?

English is one of the principal subjects in schools, along with mathematics and science, but what is the reason for its pre-eminence.

English, the subject, consists of many components; from learning spelling and its rules to how to compose an essay.

The skills we gain when we study English have greater import and usefulness than we realise as young children.

As a native English speaker, punctuation, writing with ease and understanding grammar with ease are all skills which make one an effective communicator, yet are often taken for granted.

In fact, learning English empowers you with indispensable, transferable skills which are used daily. So, how does English tuition differ from classroom English?

The beauty of one-on-one tutoring is that the learner has the tutor’s total attention and there is no-one else to disturb him or her.

The tutor can, therefore, concentrate on helping his or her English student surmount their particular problem, at their own pace.

child's handprints in paint
Individualised learners require individualised teaching. (Source: Unsplash)

In private tutoring, there’s virtually no chance of the learner becoming weary of content that’s too easy or being concerned with falling behind. The tutor will adjust the his or her teaching to match the learner’s pace and learning style.

Finding a private tutor could be exactly what a student who’s falling through the cracks at school needs; someone who can provide individualised instruction, direction and support as opposed to the generic approach followed by many schools.

The types of tuition which is available are as varied and numerous as the reasons that people seek the support of private tutors.

So, essentially, what does individualised teaching set out to achieve?

First and foremost, it supports children with their day-to-day education.

English can be particularly difficult if you’re having trouble with specific aspects of the language. Tutors help to assist the learner where certain areas are simply glossed over in class.

The skills learned in English classes, with the help of tutor, are not only confined to English. They have applications in subjects like history, geography and even in the sciences, where essay-writing is a prerequisite. Having developed methods to revise will be beneficial across a range of subjects come exam time.

Improved comprehension of reading pieces can be beneficial in the processing of math word sums.

The study of English is critical to refining your communication skills as an adult.

Really, the possibilities are never-ending!

Is There Any Value To Studying English With a  Tutor For Any Grade Before Matric?

Passing matric is, of course, extremely important. Your results will determine which university or college you’ll gain entry to or whether you receive a bursary or an interview for a job you’re pursuing. When looking at the sum of its parts, each previous year was a building block in the big puzzle.

The earlier you start working with a tutor, the better, particularly if you’ve struggled at any point along the way.

You would then need a smaller number of tutoring sessions than if you’d waited for the problem to grow.

A difficult situation may arise for the parent of a young child, when the parent has to decide between seeing their child struggle continuously or risking the ire of an upset teacher by employing the services of a private tutor.

This extra help should not be seen as a threat. It isn’t discontent with the teacher’s English teaching, but rather assistance for a child who is not coping. The teacher is assisted as well, since he or she has between 30 and 40 other learners amongst whom his or her attention is divided.

Tutoring can really lift a child’s confidence in English and this may filter through to his other subjects too. That is why tutoring can take place no matter how young the school-going child is and why it should be supported by schools.

Learners who are battling are offered an opportunity to taste success.

Those learners, who are already on course, are granted the opportunity refine their exam and revision techniques.

What You Can Expect From Your English Tutor

Enter Into an Agreement With Your English Tutor

The hiring of a tutor will have several possible outcomes, not only better grades. A good mentor will also encourage you to learn and aid you in developing confidence in many spheres in your learning space.

Before you rush out to choose a tutor, there are several things to consider first.

At the outset you must, for example, discuss what you expect from your tutor. This will be determined by your goals. Decide if you want assistance at your grade level or at a more advanced level. Would you require homework assistance and would your parents expect progress reports as the tutoring continues? You will gain the most from your teacher if these questions are clarified before your tutorials commence.

Although you may, at first, have your doubts about taking extra classes and maybe feel a bit embarrassed about them, especially if your friends are getting along swimmingly. What is important to remember is that your tutorials will assist you to be more self-sufficient.

This means that you will be mentally stronger and superbly focused, as opposed to your peers who may not have the same means at their disposal and may not be able to face their next English exam with the same amount of confidence.

You’ve Chosen a Private Tutor. What Now?

Start Now written with scrabble tiles
The earlier you seek help, the sooner you'll start making progress. (Source: Unsplash)

Immediately after you’ve started working with your external tutor, inform your English teacher at school.

He or she may propose topics that you should particularly focus on. Where possible, procure details of your curriculum (syllabus), assignments and lesson plans to communicate to your tutor. Ascertain if you should buy any textbooks or other learning materials for your tutorials.

Ensure that you have a comfortable and area where you can continue with your studies.

A good way for you to get started with you tutor is for you to take examples of work you find troublesome for perusal and discussion. This will immediately give your tutor an opportunity to develop some strategies you can employ to overcome your challenges. Ultimately, honesty is the best policy!

You want your tutor to know a bit of your personality as well as your work habits. Also discuss your extra-mural activities and career goals with them in an effort to form a connection with them.

However, guard against becoming too friendly with you tutor: they are paid to assist you, so skip the idle chatter. Remember that concentration and focus on the task at hand are crucial. Also, don’t forget to bring along items discussed in your full-time class.

Here are some main areas where a tutor can assist to develop your English:

  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary (distinguishing nouns, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives, idioms, etc ...)
  • Verbs (Infinitive, gerund, tenses: simple past, simple present, present simple, etc.)
  • English speaking skills (conversational speech)
  • Grammar (rules of grammar)
  • English reading skills
  • English pronunciation
  • English listening skills (identifying themes and main ideas; sequencing events, listening comprehension)
  • English writing skills (essays, transactional texts, business writing).

Where Do I Find an English Tutor

Find an English Tutor Close to Your Home

As more people start to realise how important proficiency in English is, the need for English tutors is on the rise and, fortunately, there is a large number of inspired teachers eager to meet that demand.

Is it really hard to find a private tutor close to you?

The tutoring community consists of a group of individuals, ranging from retired teachers through to doctoral candidates willing to share their talent, expertise and experience with you. You simply need to know where to look for them!

A good place to start is with the local press and search for tutors in your locality. To find a tutor in your area, your community newspaper, local supermarket and convenience store often trumps trawling the Internet. Advertisements and flyers are often posted on notice boards in supermarkets or corner cafés.

woman talking on mobile phone
Tutors in your area are a call away. (Source: Unsplash)

So, when next you’re at the store, have a look at the notice boards. You’ll be surprised at what or who you may uncover.

Find a Tutor Online

It is also, of course, possible to find a local tutor online.

The Internet makes available a treasure trove of information on private tutors and tutoring companies in the large metropoles. There are also platforms on which you can locate a tutor within a particular radius.

Superprof is such a platform, and offers in-home and online tutors a way to advertise their services and gain exposure. This makes it easy for tutors to find students and vice versa.

There are three easy steps to find an online English tutor close to you using Superprof:

  1. Go to the Superprof South Africa homepage
  2. Fill in the relevant information (e.g. English lessons in Cape Town)
  3. Click ‘Find a Tutor’

A list of tutors who fit your search criteria will appear.

Filters, on the top of the search results page, can be adjusted to hone in on particular criteria (such as webcam lessons instead of face-to-face lessons).

So, finding a local English tutor is not as off-putting as you may have imagined – there are a number of options that can be explored!

What to Look For in an Online Tutor

The only way to find an online English tutor is to search on the Internet. It may be easier for you to learn via webcam than trying to locate someone who lives and works in your neighbourhood. Working with a tutor online, obviates the need to co-ordinate travelling arrangements, so that you can concentrate the tutor’s qualities and nothing else.

person using laptop
Use the Internet to find on online tutor. (Source: Unsplash)

When looking for an online tutor, you follow the same procedure - you just don’t need to leave your house!

Your research is all done online, and it is easier to compare the rates of the available tutors.

The Internet is not only an excellent space to find out more about online teaching through blog posts and tutoring articles, but it also offers tools to hone your search down to exactly what you are seeking.

The services of online tutors are normally advertised on these kinds of platforms and that limits you search to online tutors only.

In-home and online tutors both have positive and negative aspects. The kind of tuition chosen should weigh up the pros and cons with the learner’s needs in mind.

Whatever route you follow, numerous resources are available in your local area and online to assist you in choosing the  appropriate tutor.

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Career teacher turned writer. Passionate about family, running, and the great outdoors.