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    December is offline Newbie
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    Default Hiring a new English tutor.

    Hello.

    It's about hiring a new English tutor.

    I've lived in the states for 5 years. I have hired English tutors and taken some English classes.
    My tutors kept saying that my English is excellent. If there's something to be improved, it'd be my pronunciation and accent, they said. So, we have been working on them.

    But, I'm not sure that my primary problem with English is those. My English is not so good as they say. There might be other issues more urgent than the pronunciation and accent. And, they are not (officially certified) experts in English teaching. My former tutor was an elementary school teacher long time ago, and my recently hired tutor is a Ph.D student in linguistics (We're now working on the position of my tongue, my sound of consonants and vowels, and so on). But, they worked as English tutors more than 10 years.

    In the corner of my mind, I feel that they say that because the pronunciation and accent is easy to deal with (not easy to improve), or the only thing they can do. Or, maybe, I'm tired of practicing the a,e,i,o,u thing, again.

    I'm Korean. I don't think that my problem with English is much different from other Korean or Asians' though I understand that it's difficult to give an opinion without hearing my speaking.

    Do I have to hire another tutor? What if he/she repeats the same thing?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Hiring a new English tutor.

    Quote Originally Posted by December View Post
    Hello.

    It's about hiring a new English tutor.

    I've lived in the States for 5 years. I have hired English tutors and taken some English classes.
    My tutors kept saying that my English is excellent. If there's something to be improved, it'd be my pronunciation and accent, they said. So, we have been working on them.

    But (no comma required) I'm not sure that my primary problems with English are those. My English is not as good as they say. There might be other issues more urgent than the pronunciation and accent. Also, they are not (officially certified) experts in English teaching. My former tutor was an elementary school teacher a long time ago, and my recently hired tutor is a Ph.D student in linguistics (We're now working on the position of my tongue, my sound of consonants and vowels, and so on). But, they worked as English tutors more than 10 years (for more than ten years or more than ten years ago?).

    In the corner of my mind, I feel that they say that only because the pronunciation and accent are easy to deal with (not easy to improve), or the only thing they can do. Or, maybe, I'm tired of practicing the a, e, i, o, u thing (no comma required) again.

    I'm Korean. I don't think that my problem with English is much different from other Koreans' or Asians' though I understand that it's difficult to give an opinion without hearing my speaking.

    Do I have to hire another tutor? What if he/she repeats the same thing?
    Judging by the contents of this post, I'd say the standard of your English is indeed excellent. Given the very low number of amendments that I've made to it (in red), you're at a very high level. You're right that it's impossible for us to comment on your accent without hearing it though.

    As far as the fact that the people you're hiring aren't "officially certified" experts in English teaching, my personal opinion is that you are probably beyond needing "teaching" in the standard sense. It looks as if your grammar and vocabulary are at a very high level which means that what you're looking at now is trying to sound as near native as possible, both with your accent and your use of the language. Provided the tutors that you hire are native speakers, and know good English when they hear it (and use it themselves, of course), I think you're fine holding conversation classes with them. Provided they're happy to pick you up on every bit of poor pronunciation and always point out a more native, more natural way to say something, you'll still learn a lot.

    The mechanics of pronunciation are a whole different ballgame and tongue positioning etc is perhaps better taught by someone who knows what they're talking about!

    When you said "My English is not as good as they say", what did you mean? What specific problems do you think you have with the language? You didn't specify.

    I would disagree with the statement that pronunciation and accent are easy to deal with and that your tutors might be saying that's all you need because they're easier to teach. Accent is a very difficult area. Pronunciation is the easier of the two provided you are someone who can physically pronounce the words (and there are people who simply can't).

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