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Moving from B2 to C2

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tarvos
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 Message 17 of 177
16 February 2015 at 2:31pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Tutors are customized, not personalized. They generally work for the
money (or for an opportunity to get tuition themselves like on italki) and they don't
truly care and don't know you. Even if they become your friends, there will still
always be an unusual power dynamic about it.


There is indeed a strange power dynamic going on, but I don't think it's always fair
to say that you do not get invested in that other person. As someone who personally
tutors on iTalki, part of what has kept students the longest is the personal bond. I
have met some of the people that have studied with me and they are also my friends.
They aren't necessarily language geeks either - some of them share other interests
with me like travel. I find that taking it more into a friendly, casual direction
helps. Of course, I have to be stern when I correct someone, but that's my job
mentality. My personal mentality is very relaxed about that sort of thing and I'm
capable of switching it off when not on the job. Or at least to that extent that I am
usually a horrible pedant anyway, so there's no real difference :p


5 persons have voted this message useful



garyb
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 Message 18 of 177
16 February 2015 at 3:43pm | IP Logged 
Some of the arguments against tutoring get a bit ridiculous. If someone is giving me
good help that is making me improve at a language, I'm not really too fussed whether
they're doing it for the money or because they're a friend and they care. And while I
have quite a few Italian friends, and many of them are happy to converse with me in
their language, they have better things to spend their valuable time on than teaching
me for free. Language exchanges are another option, and I like the idea of the more
equal relationship dynamic, but finding someone reliable is extremely tough (more so
than finding a good tutor) and doing one or two sessions with each partner before they
get too busy or change their mind and you have to move onto another just isn't as
productive as working with the same person over a longer term.

I might as well pay for someone whose job it is to help people in my situation, who
sees teaching as a priority rather than a nice thing to do if they have the time to
spare, and who will consistently turn up to sessions and do a good job because if they
don't then they'll stop getting my money.

There's the mention of a strange power dynamic, but I've also found that trying to put
a friend into a teaching role can lead to a strange dynamic. Native-speaker friends
are great for practising conversation, but to me, instruction feels more natural with
an instructor.

I agree with s_allard that if you can get all the benefits of a tutor without having
one then obviously you don't need one! But a lot of us, especially those of us who
want to speak well as a priority, aren't that lucky.

Edited by garyb on 16 February 2015 at 3:47pm

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tarvos
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 Message 19 of 177
16 February 2015 at 3:46pm | IP Logged 
I like paying informal tutors especially at the beginning because I don't have to worry
about the exchange bit. They're still going to come cheap, but it's their job to make me
better and thus I pay them for that. I find that at higher levels the requirements I put
on a tutor are different (and stricter). At my Russian or French level it's not any odd
tutor that's going to help, it's going to be the ones that hold me to a high standard.
Those are hard to find, the people that have the natural ability to be very cross with
you when you make small mistakes.

People pay me to do the same thing when I teach Dutch or English, so it evens out, I can
just focus on the session.
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Serpent
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 Message 20 of 177
16 February 2015 at 4:34pm | IP Logged 
Well, if you don't care, good for you. I've had enough teachers in my life, I'm sick of that and I need a more personal bond. I didn't mean just caring about my improvement by the way, I meant honestly being interested in what I say.
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tarvos
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 21 of 177
16 February 2015 at 4:39pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Well, if you don't care, good for you. I've had enough teachers in my
life, I'm sick of that and I need a more personal bond. I didn't mean just caring about
my improvement by the way, I meant honestly being interested in what I say.


Why, in the name of all that is good and unholy, should those two be mutually exclusive?
I am genuinely interested in my students and I'm also being paid to teach them. I don't
see where the two conflict. In fact the best students I have are the ones where they
don't... I don't like machine-like teaching either, but sometimes you need bread on the
damn table.

Edited by tarvos on 16 February 2015 at 4:40pm

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Stelle
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 Message 22 of 177
16 February 2015 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Why, in the name of all that is good and unholy, should those two be mutually exclusive?
I am genuinely interested in my students and I'm also being paid to teach them. I don't
see where the two conflict. In fact the best students I have are the ones where they
don't... I don't like machine-like teaching either, but sometimes you need bread on the
damn table.


I would go so far as to say that it's impossible to be a truly effective teacher if you don't care about your students.
My first goal as a teacher is to make a personal connection with my students, since it's only then that I feel that
someone can truly learn from me - and I from them. I've taught in many different situations over the past 15 years,
ranging from kindergarten in a public school to adults on a military base, and the one thing that never, ever
changes is the importance of a personal relationship between teacher and student.

Do I get paid for my work? Yes. Do I care about my students? Absolutely.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
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Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 23 of 177
16 February 2015 at 6:47pm | IP Logged 
Stelle wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Why, in the name of all that is good and unholy,
should those two be mutually exclusive?
I am genuinely interested in my students and I'm also being paid to teach them. I
don't
see where the two conflict. In fact the best students I have are the ones where they
don't... I don't like machine-like teaching either, but sometimes you need bread on
the
damn table.


I would go so far as to say that it's impossible to be a truly effective teacher if
you don't care about your students.
My first goal as a teacher is to make a personal connection with my students, since
it's only then that I feel that
someone can truly learn from me - and I from them. I've taught in many different
situations over the past 15 years,
ranging from kindergarten in a public school to adults on a military base, and the one
thing that never, ever
changes is the importance of a personal relationship between teacher and student.

Do I get paid for my work? Yes. Do I care about my students? Absolutely.


I try to, but there's always the off chance that you just don't click with someone. In
that case you remain pro.
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James29
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 Message 24 of 177
16 February 2015 at 8:07pm | IP Logged 
I'm still very interested in the original topic of moving from B2 to C2. Any other suggestions?

How is the most efficient way of doing it for folks like me who don't have the opportunity to speak with native speakers very often?

Or, for folks (also like me) who cannot spend much more than 60 minutes a day on their language?


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