It cannot be that difficult to find someone ready and willing to teach you a foreign language. There are many out there with a working knowledge of the Spanish language who would consider themselves to be bilingual. And, moreover, they are not wrong. But being bilingual and having an ability to communicate in two languages – does not a teacher make!
It is all very well being ready and willing to teach, after all, there is often a fee charged and a potential salary in it for the teacher, but without accreditation and the qualifications that only teachers have, it would be a bit like offering your tuition fee to an amateur rather than an accredited, qualified teacher.
You would never expect a nurse to perform a complex surgical operation, a handyman to solve a rewiring and complicated electrical job or someone who once bought a house to become a real estate agent. Likewise, you would not be doing yourself a favor by learning Spanish from someone with no accreditation or qualifications.
Using this cheaper method of learning means you’ll have vital grammatical errors thrown into your learning process – and what’s more – you won’t even know you are making classic linguistic errors until someone might pull you up on it.
Willingness, in a teacher, is simply an inadequate criteria to teach. If that “teacher” does not know how to teach, they won’t or simply cannot. It is the same reason we hire a professional driving instructor to learn to drive. Why not use mom or dad or an older sibling who has already passed a driving examination and is licensed? The reason is simple: they know how to drive, but not how to teach.
Often you find a teacher will need patience and understanding when dealing with their pupil(s). Just as a willing driving “instructor” who offers to help – despite being no more than a family member, boyfriend, girlfriend or cousin – will often exhibit impatience and bad teaching habits. It is exactly the same with a language teacher whose willingness is there to try and help you learn a language, but has no real teaching skills.
Where students travel all the way to Mexico to learn Spanish in a language school, they should expect the teacher to be fully qualified in teaching processes, habits and exert the kind of patience only a real teacher can. Willingness in teaching is not enough.
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See our list of interesting articles about learning Spanish, and language travel related topics.