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Pasig River, Manila, Philippines
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

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag English Idioms
Difficult English Idioms When Translating from Portuguese
Idioms are sayings or expressions with meanings that cannot be guessed from the words that comprise them. Idioms should not be taken literally, since they are just alternative ways to say something differently. People who are learning English as a second language may need to take a little more time to learn the meanings of these idioms. If you are traveling to the United States from Brazil, these expressions may sound odd or weird to you, but they will make sense once you understand their underlying meanings. If you speak Portuguese, here are ten translated challenging English idioms, their meanings, and examples of how they can be used in everyday conversation.

  1. A bola está do seu lado – The ball is in your court
    This saying is similar to the saying “the situation is in your hands” meaning that it is up to you to make a decision.

    Example:
    “What do you think we should do about the funds?”
    “Since you are treasurer of the committee, the ball is in your court.”

  2. Quebrar uma perna – Break a leg
    This expression should not be taken literally since it is just a common way to tell someone else good luck.

    Example:
    “I’m playing my first show tomorrow.”
    “Break a leg!”

  3. Custa um braço e uma perna – Costs an arm and a leg
    This idiom is used to say that something is very expensive.

    Example:
    “Look at the price of that.”
    “Wow that costs an arm and a leg!”

  4. Não julgue um livro pela sua capa – Don’t judge a book by its cover
    This commonly used expression means to not judge someone or something by outward appearances.

    Example:
    “He looks like a very shy person.”
    “You just have to get to know him first. Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

  5. Não deixe o gato fora do saco – Don’t let the cat out of the bag
    This strange saying is just another way of saying to keep a secret or to not tell anyone else a secret.

    Example:
    “I’m taking Mary to Brazil for our surprise honeymoon. Don’t let the cat out of the bag!”

  6. Não se preocupe ou sem sour – Don’t sweat it or no sweat
    “Don’t sweat it” is an alternative to saying “don’t worry about it.” You would use this saying if you do not want someone to be troubled by something. “No sweat” is another way of saying that something, usually a task, is easy to do.

    Example:
    “Are you sure you can finish this extra paperwork?”
    “Yeah, don’t sweat it.”

    “You are really good at your job.”
    “Thanks it’s really no sweat.”

  7. Levantar-se do lado errado da cama – Get up or woke up on the wrong side of the bed
    You would use this saying if you feel cranky or uncomfortable. People typically use this saying if they are having a bad day.

    Example:
    “You seem very irritable. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?”

    “I’m feeling awful today. I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.”

  8. Concluir apressadamente – Jump to conclusions
    This expression means to makes an assumption without first knowing all of the facts.

    Example:
    “The Brazil team is so good I think they might win the World Cup!”
    “The finals are not until next week! Don’t jump to conclusions.”

  9. Matar dois coelhos com uma cajadada só – Killing two birds with one stone
    This odd idiom is commonly used when you can accomplish two things with one effort. You would use this saying if you can use one action to finish two tasks.

    Example:
    “I’ll be killing two birds with one stone by buying my groceries while waiting for my photos to be printed at Costco.”

  10. Fala do diabo e ele aparece – Speak of the devil
    This expression is used when somebody you were speaking about shows up.

    Example:
    “Has anybody seen Erika?”
    “I’m over here! Sorry I’m late.”
    “Well, speak of the devil!”



Photo Credit: Ted Major

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Quenippenon Brook, Mississauga
On the Hunt for Spanish Lessons in Mississauga
Mississauga: originally a beautiful suburb of Toronto, now Canada’s 6th largest city. But you are not here to here learn about Mississauga (“DON’T DOUBT THE TROUT!”). You are here to solve a specific problem. What follows are my suggestions to finding good resources for your Mississauga Spanish learning needs.

General Tips

  • Before you do anything else, contact your friends and ask for suggestions. Trust me; It will save you a ton of time and worry if you are able to get referred to a highly recommended tutor.

  • Contact local public schools: John Fraser Secondary Elementary School; Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School; Lorne Park Secondary School; etc. Often times these institutions will have lists of approved tutors that will allow you to see even if you or your child does not attend these institutions.

  • I read another post on this site that recommended you become highly attuned to flyers. That’s great advice. Scour the downtown area for any and all flyers. Pay attention to the ads on your mailbox. There is a very specific reason why I recommend this. From my experience, the majority of the people who post ads around the city are just starting out as tutors. In other words, they need to advertise their services to be able to create a large enough client base. I have also found that these newer tutors generally have the most enthusiasm and passion for teaching. Of course, this is just in my experience, so it obviously won’t hold true for all cases. There is certainly something to be said for an experienced tutor who has been offering Spanish lessons for the past thirty years. All I am saying is that you should not write off the lesser known tutors just because they don’t have the same impressive credentials. I personally believe the most important thing you can do in helping your child (or yourself) become a successful Spanish speaker is become excited and enthusiastic about the subject. Bold, high minded newbies are perfect for that.

Sites to Check Out:




Photo Credit: Joe deSousa

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Esperanto Spelled Out on Tiles
Reasons to Learn Esperanto (and a few free learning resource suggestions as well)
If you have never heard of Esperanto before, it is a constructed language, an artificial language. L. L. Zamenhof, its creator, literally sat down and created it; created its rules, created its vocabulary. Instantly you will shy away from Esperanto because of this fact. However, I think there are convincing reasons to consider learning Esperanto.

Reason to Learn Esperanto

  1. To say that Esperanto is easy to learn is an understatement. Leo Tolstoy, an Esperanto advocate, once said that he learned the basics of Esperanto in four hours. Let me say that again: four hours. Whether this is true or not is debatable, but regardless you can get a firm handle on Esperanto in a far shorter amount of time than would take to learn other languages.

  2. In addition to Esperanto being ridiculously easy to learn, it also has its fair share of speakers, an estimated two million people worldwide. It is by far the most successful artificial language ever created. This may not seem like a significant number of speakers, but this is enough speakers to where you can still happen upon speakers in your travels or online. For example, if you are traveling to another country, look up the local Esperanto speakers. You can then use them as a resource to be able to navigate the country you are visiting. Because Esperanto learners must choose to learn it, they likely share a similar mindset, an open-mindedness, a willingness to communicate with strangers, etc.

  3. I have heard it said that learning Esperanto can actually help you learn other languages you are struggling to understand. The argument goes something like this. By learning Esperanto, you have familiarized yourself with the process of learning a new language and now are better equipped to learn a second foreign language. This argument is also substantiated by research. Studies have shown that students who first spent time learning Esperanto actually were able to get a handle on other languages faster than their peers who spent the same amount of time only learning other languages. This is an incredibly important find because it shows that spending a few months learning Esperanto will actually make you learn your target language must faster in the long run.

  4. Esperanto can also give you access to untranslated texts. Let me explain what I mean. Some Esperanto speakers are also active translators. Interested in reading Spanish literature? There is likely Esperanto speakers who have translated texts from Spanish into Esperanto, giving you access to these otherwise inaccessible works.


Free Esperanto Resources
  • http://en.lernu.net/ - Lernu is a fantastic resource. Available in almost any language you want, it includes a variety of comprehensive courses that will help you master the basics of Esperanto.

  • http://facila.org/ - has many different articles written in Esperanto for you to read through. This site is great for beginning speakers who already have a little Esperanto under their belt.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/forum/resources-2/esperanto/ - this comment thread has a variety of wonderful suggestions as well as short descriptions of the various sites. Definitely worth checking out. I would personally recommend Pasporta a la Tuta Mondo, which one of the users suggests. It is a show shot in Esperanto that is available on youtube. It is a great resource to use to acclimate yourself to hearing Esperanto spoken out loud.

  • http://www.learnlangs.com/esperanto/resources - another site that I checked out in detail as I was learning Esperanto. Gerda Malaperis is one of my favorites. It is an entertaining course you can really make use of once you are ready for more intermediate level material.



Photo Credit: Martin Schmitt

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Bohol Beach in the Philippines
Tutor Tagalog and Find Your Niche
Did you know that approximately 96% of the Philippine population can understand Tagalog? This makes the language an ideal one to learn for those who work, travel, or plan on moving to the Philippines, etc. Because the language is so widely used in this area, those who already know the language have an advantage and have the ability to teach newcomers the ins and outs of it.

There are interesting opportunities for a Tagalog tutor. Speaking this language well is important to the Filipino community, no matter which country they reside in. Our world has very mixed cultures due to all the immigrations that have taken and continue to take place, yet the need for national integrity, or a strong sense of one’s personal history, is still important, so when newcomers find themselves in a Filipino community, it is important that they work on their language skills to become part of the culture and community.

This opens up a spot for Tagalog tutors to work. If you feel that you have the language skills necessary to sufficiently teach Tagalog and have decided that becoming a tutor is the right move for you, there are a variety of paths you can take to fortify your place in the tutoring world and make yourself known to interested learners.

If you’re looking to work locally face-to-face with your pupils, the best place to start is by posting ads in the classifieds or on Craigslist and by talking to local schools and colleges about spreading the word of your availability or even the possibility of working with the schools themselves. Students looking to study abroad in the Philippines would likely be eager to learn Tagalog before they travel, so make them your target market when working with colleges.

You can also take a look at online tutoring sites where you can post your information, experience, and any qualifications you may have so that interested pupils can easily come to you. As you probably know, LRNGO allows you to post your information for tutoring as well as opens up the possibility of teaching an online classroom.

You can also combine your skills as a Tagalog tutor with other skills; for example, you can work as an au pair, in a community center, or at a Filipino church. Being creative with your job can lead to a unique and fulfilling career that you have created for yourself by using the Tagalog skills you already have!


Photo Credit: bengot

lrngo users in over 190 countries

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