Most students judge a good or bad teacher based on personalities and preferred learning styles. So what makes a good language or TOEFL teacher/tutor? Like all good recipes, the ingredients for the teacher's success are simple, easy to follow, and allow for practice and personal interpretation.
First and most important quality of good foreign language or TOEFL teacher is a balance of talk time and listening time – the student must have a chance to practice and demonstrate what they what her or she learned and not only in speaking modules, but also writing, reading and listening.
Second the good tutor helps you to realize your strengths and weaknesses, encourages and challenges you to learn through difficulties. Almost all students have one or two parts of the TOEFL where they feel weaker than others. It is important for the TOEFL teacher to identify and focus on these.
Next, the teacher is someone who uses both his head and heart in equal measure throughout lessons. Compassion that a student may be frustrated, angry or just unable to focus on the academics is very important. The stress and pressure of TOEFL can be great, and it is important for a good tutor to be able to discuss and move past this with the student.
Another important trait is the knowledge of the subject at hand. A teacher cannot truly instruct on topics they do not know well. Just knowing English or even teaching general English is not enough to be a good TOEFL teacher. The teacher need to have tried TOEFL tests and used the strategies that they teach. Of course, years of experience teaching TOEFL is an asset.
Also, methodology, the way the tutor teaches the TOEFL material is key. For example, a good teacher should be honest enough to admit being incorrect. If he or she makes a mistake or imparts false information he or she should be able to admit that the mistake or error was made.
The teacher should respect each student as an individual. Students should not be grouped by their thinking style or any other respect – good TOEFL teachers recognize the uniqueness of each student and use it to help the student maximize their learning.
In the end, you need to feel comfort, confidence, trust and improvement in what you are learning and the teacher. Given that you have these, you have got an excellent TOEFL and language teacher. One sure way to know is by looking at your TOEFL practice test scores before the teacher and with the teacher.
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