Online French Teacher

Where To Find A Private French Tutor Online

online-french-tutorsThe task of trying to find a good online French teacher can be quite daunting. In this post I’ve taken a look at the top 10 websites which offer private French lessons at home. These sites contain hundreds of online teacher profiles. Take your time to read the tutors’ profiles and make your decision to find the best teacher today!

WEBSITEDESCRIPTION
www.verbling.comVerbling is a website where students from all over the world can meet qualified French teachers. Similar to Verbal Planet, students and teachers agree on a schedule in advance and the lessons take place over Skype. Verbling currently has just over 40 teachers offering French lessons, all of which are native speakers. What's great is that each of the individual teachers uploads a personal introductory video on his or her profile. On the profile pages you'll also find a calendar of available time slots, complete résumés and students' feedback scores. Each teacher sets his or her price and they tend to be quite affordable. What's more, you can contact the teachers directly before doing a trial lesson.
www.wyzant.com
Tel: +18779992681
Wyzant is an industry leader in matching students with tutors and has over 1,100 online French tutors. To find an instructor simply click on the link to the left. Before browsing tutors you can enter your availability into a calandar and teachers with matching time slots will appear. Start scrolling through the tutors. Click on any of them and you can read their profiles as well as customer ratings and feedback scores. Once you find a teaching you like click the "contact" button to establish contact with the tutor. Payments occur after lessons are completed through Wyzant's online payment platform.
www.takelessons.com
Tel: +18009592497
Takelessons.com is a website where you can find tutors for an extremely wide range of subjects including French. When you log onto the site you're asked to enter the subject you'd like to learn with your zip code. The site then suggests tutors who live closest to you as well as online teachers. This site offers both native and non-native speaking instructors. You can see the tutor's location and whether they teach online or not. The teachers' profiles offer schedules for availability, price ranges and customer reviews. You pay for your lessons on the site itself and have the right to ask for a refund.
www.preply.com
Tel +18883836917
Email: support@preply.com
Preplay is a website that matches students with Tutors. The site has helped over 80,000 students find tutors online and has more than 2,000 French tutors. To find an online Skype teacher simply click on "French tutors online" on Preply's main page. The next step is to review teacher's profiles and reviews. You'll see that the hourly rates tend to be very affordable. Once you've found a teacher you like click on "Contact Tutor". Then you'll enter your Skype login name as well as information about what you'd like to learn. Once the teacher accepts your request you can pay on Preply's online paying platform with PayPal or major credit card.
www.verbalplanet.com
Contact Form
VerbalPlanet is a website that matches online French teachers with students from all over the world. Currently there are about 80 teachers on the site offering private French lessons. Most teachers are native speakers. Lessons last 45 lessons, take place over Skype and are scheduled in advance. Some teachers offer free trial lessons while some offer trials at a discounted rates. The teachers set their rates themselves and they can vary quite a bit. What's great is that under each teacher's profile you can view how many lessons they've taught as well as students' detailed review comments and feedback scores. Verbal Planet was established in 2005 and is based in the UK.
www.chegg.com
Tel: +18554115743
Chegg Tutors is an industry leader in matching students with online French tutors. The key attractive feature to Chegg is that it offers students instant access to live tutoring. To find a tutor immediately click on the link to the left. There you'll see a complete list of tutors. Many of Chegg's teachers are students themselves or graduates from leading universities. Tutor profiles include academic credentials, teaching experience and customer reviews. To sign up for lessons simply click on "Send Message" from within a tutor's profile. The first thirty minutes of tutoring are free and after that Chegg offers additional minutes at very affordable weekly and monthly rates.
www.iboux.comIboux.com is a website that matches students with online French teachers. The site offers only certified native-speaking teachers. All lessons are one-on-one and take place on the website itself. One downside with this site is that it finds and suggests the teachers for your and doesn't let you look at teachers' profiles and customer reviews. You can buy lesson packages in quantities of 10, 20 and 30 hours with prices varying accordingly. The key advantage to iboux.com is that upon the completion of study you can take an exam and get a certificate indicating the amount of class hours you've completed as well as the level you've reached (A1 and upwards) within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
www.varsitytutors.com
Tel: +18888880446
Varsity Tutors is a company that introduces tutors to students. According to the site many of its tutors graduated from the top colleges and universities in the country including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Bases on the website (click link on the left) you'll see that there are indeed numerous highly qualified French tutors. To find out more about pricing and scheduling availability the site suggests that you either fill in the email form or contact them by telephone.
www.lingoda.com
Contact Form
Lingoda is a website that matches students with online teachers. Unlike Verbal Planet and Verbling, Lingoda tends to focus on group lessons and helps students prepare for Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) certification. These certificates, ranging from A1 through C2 can be used for visa applications as well as university applications. All teachers are native speakers and you can start lessons at any time. Lingoda offers three pricing packages for both private and group lessons. All classes are conducted from within Lingoda's website and do not take place over Skype.
www.livelingua.comLive Lingua is based in Boston, Massachusetts and has helped over 7,500 students to learn French on one-on-one lessons via Skype. The company guarantees that all teachers are native speakers and sessions last a full sixty minutes. Most importantly, Live Lingua offers training to help students prepare for the DELF and DALF exams. These exams are equivilant to the English TOEFL exam. The DELF has four levels (A1, A2, B1 & B2). After those are passed students may take the DALF exam. Note that prices for training for these exams exceed standard French lesson costs. The company sells packages of lessons with lower prices for the higher amount of lessons you purchase. All students get a free 60-minute trial lesson.

What’s my take?

Advantages To Having A Private Teacher

The key advantage to having a private French teacher or tutor is that you get to develop a personal bond. The human being naturally learns language best when it is passed from one individual to the other. After all, this is how we learned English from our parents! When you have a real live teacher he or she will be able to determine EXACTLY where you’re at with your studies and focus on the areas where you need help the most. As time goes by the teacher will be able to track your progress and further point out areas of strength and weaknesses. Another key advantage to having your own instructor is scheduling. With private lessons you’re more likely to be able to keep up your normal work and study routines while being able to schedule your classes whenever you want.

Private Lessons Versus Software

A lot of students have come to me after having attempted to learn French with software programs such as Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone and Rocket French. These software programs do indeed offer a good introduction to French language. They teach basic vocabulary and grammar and offer students the chance to “repeat after me”. However, there’s no substitute for having a real human being as a teacher. The teacher has an entire lifetime of experience with language and culture and can share his or her personal insights. Your personal teacher can see exactly where you need help and can serve as a great guide to speaking fluently in the future. Personally, I recommend using software in conjunction with a teacher but definitely not depending on software alone.

Private Versus Group Lessons

Many people ask what’s the advantage to taking private lessons versus group lessons. The key advantage to group lessons is a lower price per session. Another advantage is having a social environment where you can interact with the instructor and fellow students. However, this is where the advantages end. One big issue for a lot of students trying to learn French in a group is that you have to wait your turn to speak. Furthermore, within any group there are varying learning abilities. While some students learn very fast others learn much slower. It can be frustrating to sit in a class where peoples’ learning speeds vary a lot. Another disadvantage is that you’re bound to the teacher and schools syllabus.

The key advantage to private lessons is that the spot light is always on you, the student. You never have to share the time or wait for other students to speak first and get your teacher’s full attention 100% of the time. In a private French lessons setting you and your teacher can determine your exact pace. The teacher can speed up or slow down based on your personal abilities and level of intensity. Furthermore, with private lessons you and your teacher are bound to a set lesson plan. With my private students, for example, we do open conversation whenever we feel like it! Furthermore, the atmosphere is always fun and open whether we’re doing grammar or conversation.

Characteristics of a Good Online French Tutor

Not all online teachers are born equally. So, my biggest suggestion is to shop around a bit before making a decision. The best online tutors offer a free trial lesson so I definitely suggest taking advantage of this. Remember, that their time is precious so you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re serious about taking the lessons before signing up for a free trial lesson. The key is to find a person with whom you bond. A good online teacher is somebody who’s patient but sees to it that you’ve understood and learn the lesson material. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that they’re not scripted and just “sticking to the book” but really adding value by sharing details from his or her real life experiences.

Native Speaker Versus Non Native Speaker

A big question is whether it’s important that a private tutor should be a native speaker or not. There are several advantages to having a teacher that’s a native speaker. The key advantage is that a native speaker has perfect pronunciation. The way you’ll hear words being pronounced is exactly the way they should sound. Another advantage to having a native speaker is that he or she will probably be more familiar with French culture, society and history than a non-native speaker.

However, in my opinion and based on three years of teaching the advantages of having a non-native speaker teacher outweigh the advantages of having a native speaker. As a non-native speaker I’ve spent my entire lifetime trying to learn and master French to the point where I have little to no accent. In order to do this I’ve had to learn all sorts of tricks and tips and I’m now in a perfect position to pass these on to my students. French pronunciation can be a total nightmare and as a non-native speaker I’m in a better position to help students overcome pronunciation issues as I’ve learned to overcome them myself. I know exactly where the pitfalls in sentence structure and word usage exist and can guide students from making all the mistakes that I’ve made in my past. Lastly, I make mental associations of vocabulary words as well as verb patterns in a logical way that the native speaker wouldn’t be aware of and can also pass on this knowledge to students.

Determine Your Goals and Focus

One of the most important things you’ll want to communicate with your private online teacher from the onset is the exact nature of your personal goals. What do you want to get out of these lessons? Why are you taking them? Are you preparing to live or travel in a French speaking country? Do you want to have a solid foundation in French verbs and grammar? Are you looking to apply the French that you’ve already studied to conversation? Do you want to go back and start from the very beginning? Do you want to do conversation only? Are you struggling with pronunciation and want to do some reading lessons? These are questions that I discuss with my private students during our free trial lesson so we can set an agenda and make the best use of our time together.

Informal Conversation Versus Strict Grammar Lessons

When you approach an online language instructor to discuss lessons it’s important to discuss how you learn best. While some people require strict structure others learn easier with a loose approach. Be honest with your teacher and let them know what’s worked best for you in the past. In my lessons I prefer to spend a portion of the hour in the book going over the material in a very structured fashion and using the remainder of the time applying what we’ve leaned to open and fun discussions.

Why Teaching Experience Matters

When shopping around for your teacher pay special attention to how long he or she has been teaching. I’d suggest making sure they’ve had a least two years of experience. The advantage to having a more experienced teacher is that as time goes by they improve their teaching methods and techniques and this results in more effect training and usage of time. With more teaching experience the teacher will also be better prepared to explain difficult grammar and offer a lot more examples of words and phrases that you can use in conversation.

Lastly, with a bit more time teachers will have gained more time with students of varying abilities and can better adjust his or her teaching to meet your personal needs and learning ability. Personally, I’ve been teaching for almost three years and based on what I just said I can definitely now see how my past experience is helping with my current students.

What An Online French Teacher Can and Cannot Offer

An online French teacher or tutor is just that: online. Your instructor can offer you lots of vocabulary, verbs, grammar rules and practice sentences etc., but cannot offer the real experience and environment of a French-speaking country. For that you’ll have to get on the plane yourself and go. What an online teacher such as myself can offer is a solid education at a VERY affordable cost compared to the expensive colleges and universities. He or she will be able to offer you the chance to build a foundation that you can build on throughout your lifelong adventures learning French.

Where To Find A French Tutor Online

If you’re seriously considering taking online lessons with a private teacher you’ll find there are many websites such as the ones I’ve listed at the top of this page. I suggest to stick with the sites that offer lots of teachers. Once you’ve determined your budget try to get into contact with the tutors who appear to have a lot of experience and positive reviews. Also, when you’re messaging the potential instructors be sure to mention just how many months or years of French you’ve done in your past so he or she can get a sense of where in the course work you’ll be starting.

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  • Ben Martinez

    This was my first experience learning a foreign language, in this case French, via Skype. I have to give it “Two-thumbs up”.

    David was a great instructor, easy going, while still able to get me on track and keep my interest up. I liked the flexibity of scheduling lessons and the personal attention that the video made possible.

    I would recommend Skype lessons with him without reservation.

    • David

      Hi Ben! I really enjoyed our lessons together. Thanks so much for this kind comment!

  • Nora Segal

    I took a group lesson before and realized that this was not for me as I was more advanced than the rest of the students and felt left on the side.
    Soon after I started with David, I realized that this is the only way to go for me. An intense 1 hour French lesson geared towards my level of French with a lot of flexibility re scheduling. I would not do it any other way. And of course, David is a great and knowledgable French teacher

    • David

      Bonjour Nora! Thanks so much for your kind feedback!

  • Diana Spencer

    I have been learning French on Skype now for several months and I must say it has been one of the best ways to help me actually begin speaking french!! I have greatly improved my pronunciation, reading and speaking skills. I have flexibility to schedule lessons at the times that best suit my needs while working out of the comfort of my own home office. David does a great job at gearing lessons towards your level while creating a consistent learning environment. I would highly recommend learning French via Skype to anyone passionate about learning this beautiful language!!!!