Episode 90

Q&A: How To Prepare For Language Lessons on Skype


May 28th, 2018

29 mins 24 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

You can find language tutors on sites like italki, in online communities, or by searching for your target language on social networks. Instagram is particularly great here.

Before Your First Lesson With A New Skype Tutor

Be clear about what you want to get out of your set of lessons, and communicate this to your teacher. Here's a list of suggested questions to ask them.

  • Decide if you want to follow a curriculum
  • Decide how you want corrections to work
  • Listen to simple texts in the language if you can, even podcasts

Before Every Lesson With Your Tutor

  • Do your homework

Homework isn't necessarily an explicit set of exercises, but sometimes it's just about reading a text or reviewing what the last lesson covered.

This is the way for you to get more for your money — interaction and contact are at a premium if you’re self-teaching, so try to stay focused. If your teacher gives you a flashcard deck, interact with it. Always review new vocab from previous lessons.

  • Research the vocabulary of what you want to talk about
    • You can use a mind map to collect vocab around your target topic

A post shared by Kerstin Cable (@kerstin_fluent) on

  • Be somewhere quiet with fast internet
  • Ask your tutor for help with what you’re stuck on

Ground Rules

No matter where you are at in your journey with language tutors, these five tips are going to make your life better and easier when you're working with a tutor.

  1. Respect your language tutor (see language exchange podcast)
  2. Be open and tell them about yourself
    • Your situation
    • Your experience
  3. Ask advice, they’re an expert!
  4. Budget for a few months, budget for your next language goal (time budget, financial budget)
  5. Decide how you want corrections to work

Final thought: TRUST THE PROCESS

  • Don’t doubt yourself too much
  • You won’t get faster just through a few tutoring sessions, but you will move forward through it
  • Don’t expect the world - you cannot buy knowledge!

Win $25 With Our Sponsor Smartcards+

This month, Smartcards+ is giving you the chance to win a $25 iTunes gift certificate when you download and try out the app. Here’s how it works:

  1. Head over to www.smartcardsplus.com/fluent and download the app onto your iPhone or iPad
  2. Create your account and start your first deck
  3. Share what you are learning! Post a screenshot with the hashtag #smartcardsplus on Instagram or Twitter
  4. Make sure you follow @appdesignplus so you can be notified by direct message if you’re a winner

Hot Tip: If you don’t know where to start, select “Import” and “Online Resources”, and you’ll be able to search the deck library at Anki and Quizlet

Thank you to Olly Richards for this episode introduction.

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