Learning another language is a tricky thing to do. Engaging the services of a private tutor can be a great idea to support you in learning more effectively and quickly. Private tuition allows your learning to be tailored to your exact needs and requirements. It is far more intense, but suited to you much better than a textbook or video tutorials can ever be.
What affects the cost of hiring a private tutor?
Location – as expected, prices in London will be much higher than they are in other areas of the country. Different counties and cities across the country have different average prices. In London, you could pay upwards of £45 per hour whereas in Norfolk, that could be lower at around £30 per hour. Additionally, whether the tutor comes to your home or tutors from their own property will have an impact on the overall cost. Some tutors charge extra for travel, whereas others build it into their hourly rate. Some will even tutor in local public places, such as libraries and coffee shops.
Frequency – some tutors will provide a discount based on a higher number of lessons per week. It means less administrative work if you are seeing the same student for three sessions rather than three separate students. Furthermore, you may be able to reach your goals quicker this way.
Demand – when it comes to evening lessons, the demand is often higher and these can cost more as a result. Daytime lessons are often lower as fewer people require them due to many students being in full time education at this time of day.
The student’s ability – beginners’ lessons are often priced lower than advanced ones. This is due to the amount of preparation time needed. Furthermore, if someone is studying towards a GCSE in French, there will be certain specific requirements. The tutor will need to ensure that they understand the precise expectations of the examination board. It is not as straightforward as it may seem.
The tutor’s ability – if a tutor has a lot of experience, it is usually the case that their services are more sought after than a relative newcomer. They will have acquired many skills over the years and honed their success. That is not to say that an inexperienced tutor would be a bad choice. There are many newcomers to tuition who do a fantastic job. Some tutors are simply native speakers without a teaching qualification. While this would be a great option to perfect your accent and learn a mixture of formal and informal language, you need to weigh up your options thoroughly. Usually, an unqualified tutor would charge less. However, this is not always the case. Be sure to check out reviews of the tutor online. Many have Facebook pages and recommendations are often included. Alternatively, if a friend of yours has had private tuition, it would be worth asking them who they suggest.
1:1, paired or group sessions – private tuition does not necessarily have to mean you are taking part in a 1:1 lesson. Quite the opposite, in fact. Many students prefer to work on a paired or group basis, knowing that there are others in the same situation as themselves. Peer support can be useful. 1:1 instruction costs significantly more than paired or group sessions owing to the fact that the student gets far more input from the tutor if it is just the two of them. On the whole, preparation time is reduced when there are two or more students working at a similar level.
Lesson style and formality – if you simply require a tutor to practise conversational French with you, it is likely that the lessons will take a much more casual approach. This sort of lesson generally needs a lot less preparation than a formal lesson involving reading and writing. Therefore, you can expect conversational classes to be charged at a lower rate.
Independent or agency – agencies often set prices that tutors are allowed to charge and therefore can control the financial situation. However, independent tutors are free to charge their own rates and can be flexible in certain circumstances. Some agencies will take a percentage of a tutor’s hourly rate. Elsewhere, some companies choose to charge the student (or pupil’s parents) a fee to receive their details.
In addition to the above points, it is worth noting that many tutors have specific terms and conditions linked to their private tuition services. Minimum length of tuition time is often mentioned. Take into account that most private tutors will expect a certain commitment, for example, a term. However, this does depend on the demand for that individual tutor. Those busier tutors may have huge waiting lists and therefore may require you to sign agreeing to a minimum of one year. Additionally, some tutors may offer a discount for half a term or a term’s payment in advance.