A very popular method for learning languages is to do one-on-one classes with a teacher.

Many people prefer one-on-one lessons to group lessons. The reason is that in group classes, the teacher in constantly having to divide their time between students, whereas during a one-on-one lesson, ALL the teacher’s time and attention is with you.

The important thing to remember when starting one-on-one classes in your language of study is that YOU know best what you want to achieve in the language.

For example, if you value speaking skills more than reading skills then tell your teacher you want to study colloquial language and have lots of conversations instead of doing lots of reading.

Remember, your teacher is the best resource you have, so try to get the most out of them that you can.

You can always study textbooks on your own, but you can’t have conversations with native speakers whenever you want.

Do stuff during your class that you can’t do on your own. Also, set a goal for yourself and then work with your teacher to focus on learning things that will enable you to achieve this goal.

Another piece of advice is to ask lots of questions. Every class I would ask my teacher, ‘what does this word mean?’, ‘Can you write a few sentences using this word?’, When should I say X and when should I say Y?.

When you’re not having class, try to note down things that you don’t understand or new words you haven’t learned the meaning of yet and then during your classes, bombard your teacher with questions.

When I was doing one-on-one classes, at the end of the lesson, we would have a conversation about a random topic for around ten minutes.

I would recommend this to anybody as a great way to finish a class in a relaxed way – no pens, books or flashcards, just relaxed chit-chat.

This is also a fantastic way to improve your speaking and get comfortable speaking about different topics.

You can either jot down a few topics before class or you can simply think of one during the class – for example, maybe you just learned the word for ‘environment’, so try and talk about protecting the environment!

During these talks make a conscious effort to use the new words and structures you have learned. By actually using these in conversation you’ll find it easier to remember them and before you know it you’ll be using these new words and phrases with ease, in a variety of situations.

Whether you’re already learning Chinese or thinking of starting – doing one-on-one classes is a good way to improve your skills. However, for many people, it’s not really affordable. That’s why enrolling in an online Chinese course is a great alternative.

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