Beginner courses

Since Steve asked me to put this question in the forum, here it is:
Although January promises to be a very busy month at work, I would like to publish a beginner Portuguese course in February, based on the “Eating Out” collection. I would like to hear from other tutors about their experiences with beginner courses. My main concern is about what to do during the conversations. I also was thinking about creating an introductory text in English to tell the students how to proceed with the course. This course would be sent by email when the student subscribed. What do you all think about this?

Perhaps we can collapse my thread in just one here.

I will repost my comments:

Beginners cannot say much, if anything. I have one young learner, a 14 year old home schooler from Virginia who signed up for a one month course with me in Russian. We spoke in English and I explained how to learn and how to use LingQ. He had some questions about Russian, the writing system, pronunciation etc. As a learner myself I was able to answer. I think it was useful.

My point is that we need people to offer courses for learning, say English, with the course description, questions, and even much of the on line discussion will be in Portuguese, Japanese, or French or whatever the native language of the tutor and learner is.

“English beginner for Portuguese speakers” etc. Then, once the learner has had a month or two with a person who speaks his native language, if the learner does enough listening, reading and lingquing, he is ready to move on to a native speaker.

I am taking a beginner French course with Marianne, and I love it! At my first lesson, all I could say was, “Bonjour.” I spent the rest of the time asking questions in English about the lesson I had studied for that week. Then, after studying the next chapter, I was able to say a little more in French. For example, “How are you?”…“How do you say ~ in French?” etc. Even though most of our class is in English, the class is really useful for me and motivates me to speak more French and take on other languages as well. I joined a future course in Japanese with Emma and am looking to take on an Italian one with Steve. I noticed that as a student, I have different goals for each of the languages I study. I think that Steve is right. The important thing is to offer more courses. Students will let you know what they need help with.


If you want to take an Italian course you should really take it with Mariangela who is terrific and speaks excellent English. I hope she is reading this and gets a course up.

Hi Steve,

Sounds great! I will join a course with Mariangela then. By the way, Ana, let me know when you have your Portuguese course up. You are a fabulous teacher as well, and I want to take that one too!! Many thanks to the both of you and the terrific tutors at Lingq!

I thought I was an enthusiastic learner, but you are amazing, Allison! I’ll let you know when it is published. =)

I have a young American high school student who is learning Russian with me. What I find very useful for him, as a beginner, is simply to go through each episode of Who is She and point out certain things about Russian.

I also pointed out that one of the dictionary links we have is Google Translate and it is very useful for translating phrases.

It is working well. I recommend that total beginners work with tutors who know their native language , and study in this way.