www.digitalmars.com         C & C++   DMDScript  

digitalmars.D - Best Ways to Teach Languages

Every language tutor sometimes encounters a question: what is the 
best way to teach languages? Every competent tutor asks that 
question to himself at least once in a while, and unfortunately, 
not all of them find the answer which is satisfying for them. 
Also, there are many services for tutotrs and freelancers. They 
can get very good experience there. I know pretty good one - 
https://2polyglot.com. There are many ways to improve your tutor 
skills. Very simple service, as for me.
If you know another services, please share with us, it's very 
important for beginners.
However, we’ll try to outline the methods used in teaching the 
languages, their pros and cons and what kind of method can be 
considered as “the best” one.

Textbook method.
The “traditional” method of learning languages relies heavily on 
textbooks and memorizing the grammar along with seeing it in 
action by paying attention to examples provided by the tutor and 
trying to learn to do the same by understanding the process. 
While this method is not bad because it’s proven to work for a 
big number of people, it’s not without flaws and issues.
Speech skills require practical knowledge, and relying on 
theoretical knowledge alone won’t bring the desired result. 
Without practice and setting the entire grammar in stone, the 
“rules” set by the grammar will make a noticeable “latency” in 
speech, as the person who writes more than speaks spends more 
time processing the language through the grammar he or she 
learned so far, thus slowing down conversations.

Practical method.
Practical method usually involves students and native language 
speakers conversing with each other and putting the knowledge 
acquired by theoretical method to proper use. Tutoring this way 
is easier, as it assumes that the student has prior knowledge of 
theoretical part of the language (at least most of the basics 
which allow building proper sentences) and is ready to learn 
things on the fly.
This way the student quickly learns how to interpret the language 
and speak it in a faster and more efficient manner. However, 
without prior grammar and without constant learning of additional 
parts of the language, this method will not be as efficient as 
one wants it.

Just talking.
It’s just like the practical method, except it’s less about 
learning and more about acquiring skills on the go. While this 
method is not exactly related to tutoring, as any native speaker 
can take the place of the tutor, it’s a good way for anyone who 
speaks the language to help those who need practice.
This method is especially useful when travelling abroad. This way 
you can learn more by talking to people — by learning about their 
mentality, culture and views you might acquire the necessary 
information to push yourself forward. For example, you can focus 
on trying to sound more native, which will help you a lot in the 
process, because by learning their culture from the inside you’ll 
intuitively start grasping the aspects most people tend to miss 
during studies. The tutor in this case can get involved only if 
he knows the culture of the language of choice, and it’s more 
than recommended to get involved if the tutor is a native speaker.

Now when you know several ways of tutoring and helping people in 
learning the foreign language, perhaps you feel like you’re ready 
to become a tutor?
If so, then don’t hesitate to give it a try!
Dec 09 2015