You’ve heard us talk about Spanish teachers and Spanish tutors. But do you really know the difference between the two? And do you know if you should hire a teacher, a tutor or a combination of both?
Spanish teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree in languages - usually in Spanish philology - and, sometimes, additional education in teaching Spanish as a second language. They are experts with extensive information about the history and origins of the language, comprehensive studies in linguistics and grammar, and typically have a good training in literature as well.
Sometimes, teachers can be best described as language missionaries, spreading foreign speeches throughout the world. They gather classrooms around themselves and try to build a method that fits most students. Because of this, and to make sure every student understands the information, classrooms are often leveled down to the weaker students and the more advanced ones might not learn to their full potential. Additionally, the curricula must be standardized to cover common topics in a limited amount of time.
But they are perfectionists by default. They teach through text analysis and grammar rules, in a context that many may see as too artificial. As a matter of fact, new teaching methods aim to close the gap between a controlled classroom environment and the diverse mixture of accents and intonations of the real world.
On the other hand, tutors are native speakers with bachelor’s degrees, but not necessarily in languages. Their role is not to provide an academic training, but rather to help students evolve on their language acquisition and improve their skills.
That being said, they provide one-on-one tuition, focusing only in the needs of each individual pupil. They tailor each session to the student’s needs and often come up with innovative ways to make progress. In the best schools, tutors are guided by teachers to reinforce what was learnt in class or help with specific assignments. Their schedule is usually flexible and they frequently give classes outside of a school environment.
What should I choose: a teacher or a tutor?
If you are just beginning your journey of learning Spanish (welcome!), a teacher might be better suited for you (see our courses with teachers). Since teachers are prepared to explain the structure of the language, they will help you set a solid ground that will allow you to progress into more advanced levels. All and all, a traditional classroom is a pretty good environment to take the first few steps into a language of giants.
However, if you already have a conversational level of Spanish, maybe you can look for a professional tutor and explore a tailor-made curriculum that fits your goals. Even if you want to focus on very specific topics and you feel that a mixture of both is the best solution, that is possible too. Our team at Spanish Gurus is ready to meet you!
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