My Philippines Online Language Tutor Quest
You are not searching for just any tutor to teach you Filipino (also known as Tagalog and one of the national languages of the Philippines); you are looking for the Filipino tutor, that special individual that you can connect with on such a level that you will drastically increase your Filipino language competency. As you probably already know from your own previous searching, finding such an individual can be a rather difficult challenge. Below are a few of the tips I found helpful when trying to find the Filipino tutor that was right for me.

  • First of all, don’t be afraid to be extremely honest and assertive when it comes to finding the right online tutor for you. If halfway through the first tutoring lesson you do not feel that you are gaining anything from the experience, make sure the tutor knows. I cannot emphasize this enough. Let me draw a (possibly incorrect) metaphor with the experience of going to the doctor. Too many people, when going to the doctor, simply open the door and sit down and say “doctor, there is something wrong with me.” They then don’t speak another word the entire visit, never question the doctor’s orders, and leave as quiet as a mouse. This passive approach does not work for going to the doctor, and it also does not work for tutoring sessions. You should be constantly badgering the tutor for feedback, asking questions, and doing everything you can to make sure you are in the moment.

  • Secondly, do not be afraid to end a relationship with a tutor that is not working out. I must admit, this was a really big problem for me when I first started looking for a Filipino tutor. I was receiving tutoring lessons from a company I was in no way satisfied with, but I was concerned with breaking off the relationship. I am going to give you the same advice my friends gave me: finding a tutor is like dating. You wouldn’t stay in a relationship that wasn’t working out, right? Well, maybe you would, but you shouldn’t. Trust me when I say online tutors are usually pretty thick-skinned. From my experience, they are very used to having clients (politely) end relationships.

  • This may seem obvious, but make sure that your tutor can communicate extremely well in your native language, which in my case was English. Especially if you are a beginning Filipino Learner, not being able to initially communicate in any meaningful way with your tutor is nightmarish. Luckily, this does not seem to be a huge issue with Filipino Tutors. I’m no expert but I think the majority of Filipinos also speak English. The Philippines fortunately seems to be a very bilingual nation.

Where to Search for a Filipino Online Language Tutor

Wyzant, Mindlaunch, Growing Stars; These large online tutoring companies are numerous. I could lists them all, but I still wouldn’t do nearly as good of a job as this site did. It is one of those sites that reviews a ton of separate tutoring companies and then compares them. To get a good understanding of the overall process of finding an online tutor, check out the following list of things to know before hiring an online tutor.

I have not tried it out myself, but I have heard some good things about TutorUniverse. There is also a section of the site that specifically deals with Filipino Tutors, specifically teaching Tagalog.

Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, you should ask your friends (or your teacher, if you are in school) for tutoring recommendations. Public schools will often keep list of approved tutors. I have actually gone to public schools I was not attending to ask for such lists because they will often have them available to anyone.

Of course, I would also recommend to check out the rest of Lrngo.com. If paid online tutoring is not what you’re interested in, Lrngo.com offers the possibility of doing a free language exchange.


Photo Credit: Bar Fabella

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