Deceiving tutor experiences

I have already signed up for several conversations with many different tutors in all the languages I am studying. If most tutors are skilled and send interesting and useful reports, there are also a few people who make themselves available for tutoring but actually cannot do it.
I have already received 2-3 conversation reports with very few remarks, or no remarks at all, about my language ability and my mistakes. The only thing that I seem to be able to do in such cases is to turn to other tutors.
However, I think people willing to be tutors should be “educated”. After all, we do pay for conversations and text corrections, unless we agree to talk for free with other members. And I am willing to give my points to good tutors, but not to people who pretend they are a tutor but don’t/can’t even correct your mistakes.
A couple of days ago, I had booked a 15-minutes conversation with a tutor. The conversation last one hour, but actually I was only able to speak 5-10 minutes, then my tutor started a long “lecture” on a complicated topic I could barely understand.
LingQ should made it more clear to tutors that they role is to LET THEIR STUDENTS SPEAK, and not to speak themselves most of the time. Of course, my language report was empty and I wasted 500 points.
I feel always awkward when I talk to a student with whom I cannot have a normal conversation and thus I have to speak a lot myself to reach the scheduled 15 minutes…
Personally, I’d like there to be some kind of test to become tutors or a monitoring system on tutors’ activity. I remember a tutor evaluation system had been suggested some time ago. It would also be a good idea.
What do you think about this? Have you had any similar experiences? What would you like to be done to solve the problem of “bad tutors”?


“LingQ should made it more clear to tutors that they role is to LET THEIR STUDENTS SPEAK.”

I agree with you on that. Have you told the tutor about it?

Steve said he would do it. I think he’s the best person to do it. I sent the tutor the link on how to tutor conversations, but I don’t know if he has understood the problem.

You do not have to be a “teacher’s pet”(Doris Day).

I would ask for a refund of points. At least you should have one free conversation with a different tutor.

Yutaka, I have never been any teacher’s pet and I don’t want to be Steve’s either.

Hans-Peter, I agree with you. I think I’ll ask for a refund.

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate’ 汝等こゝに入るもの一切の望みを棄てよ(山川丙三郎訳)

I would like to know tutors’ opinions.

I am sorry to hear about Michele’s experience. As a learner I have been quite lucky with the tutors I am using. I chose tutors I have followed on the forum and/or whose material I have read in the library.

As a new tutor I am still finding my feet, but I am delighted with my ‘students’ and I do hope that I’ve got the balance reasonably right. I actually enjoy writing up the conversation.

I would never be as teasing as dear ytk031 (would I?) and would think that a refund might be appropriate. Naturally it is up to Mark or Steve’s discretion.

Susanne, it looks like I’m the only student who has found bad tutors… :wink: My other LingQ friends haven’t had any, or at least not so many bad experiences, or anyway they can see them in a positive way. Maybe I should just speak to the tutors I have already talked to and enjoyed, rather than trying new tutors. However, this only applies to English, because for the other languages, I can hardly ever choose my tutor, since there are only one or two available.

Until now I had very positive experiences with the French tutors who corrected my writing exercises. They were very generous and explained the correction of my mistakes in much detail. Much more than I had ever expected! :slight_smile:
If they read this: Merci beaucoup!

I have also had quite good experiences with submitting text, apart from my very first text. I must say I haven’t written so much on LingQ…

Since we do not yet have a system for evaluating tutors, it is very valuable to discuss both good and not so good tutors right here on the forum. Thank you Michele.

I appreciate a good conversation report and favour tutors who provide good conversation reports. There are, however, others, who do not provide a complete conversation report, but who are excellent tutors, interesting and very helpful. I have also had tutors who kept talking all the time, and I told them to please stop doing so, since I can listen all I want to content in the library.

As learners we can choose our favourite tutors and avoid the ones we do not like. If we do not get a complete conversation report, or are not satisfied, we can go back to the tutor, explain the problem, and ask for another discussion at a mutually convenient time to make up for the unsatisfactory discussion.

This is all quite subjective, and ultimately the best solution for the time being is to avoid tutors we do not like. We do not have a refund system and do not intend to put one into place.

Michele, if your fifteen minute session lasted one hour , maybe you should have found the time to tell the tutor what he was doing wrong. I have certainly done so in the past.

In the real world, you cannot request a refund because you did not like the teacher, or because the teacher was no good.You are probably stuck with the teacher, unlike LingQ where you can avoid him or her.

I have communicated with the tutor in question.

Steve, the refund is not a problem, actually, since I’m not running out of points. I did want to tell this tutor to stop talking about that subject, but I could never reply, since he never made a pause.

I made the same experience as Michele, and I feel the same. I thought about sending an email to the tutor but then I forgot it.

We discussed long time ago that it would be nice if the students can evaluate tutors. There is no need to make the evaluation public. But the LingQ stuff should be able to see it, and if a tutor get a bunch of bad evaluation you should talk with him/her. Or your show the evaluation only if there is a minimum number of 10 evalutions, or something like that.

Good suggestions, Vera!

Michele: “LingQ should made it more clear to tutors that they role is to LET THEIR STUDENTS SPEAK.”

Yutaka: “I agree with you on that. Have you told the tutor about it?”

I also fully agree on this. A funny thing, Yutaka, is that just telling the tutor about it does not necessary help :wink: So I support the idea to MAKE IT CLEAR.

However, IMO the potential and future tutors should not be intimidated and think that it is difficult to be a tutor at LingQ.

Ilya, I agree that tutors should not be intimidated, but there should be a better system to reward good tutors and to “punish” bad ones (not in any aggressive way, of course!)
After my first conversation with this tutor, I had to write on his wall he had to fill in my report and to send it in order to get the points. He corrected two mistakes I had made, but I had certainly made more. He just hadn’t written them down while I was speaking.

I may be wrong, but I suspect that the alleged culprit is myself, since I recently held a conversation with Michele and Veral. Neither of whom contacted me about any problems.

Michele strikes me as someone who is fluent in English, but has not spent time in a Anglophone country, so as to acquire a fine-grained mastery of terminology and sayings. The complicated subject was economics, which I was led to believe he, by himself, had a good knowledge of, since he brought up the subject of the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism), which is hardly the stuff of common conversation. I simply elaborated on the general scope of fractional reserve banking and its pitfalls, sound money and the value of the gold standard, to guarantee the soundness of paper money, over time vis-à-vis the perils of government intervention in the production of and arbitrary valuation of fiat/paper money. This was followed through by me sending him URLs to the corresponding literature, in plain English, which he was able to download. Anyway, if Michele wishes, to, he only has to interrupt me, to make the conversation more fitting to his expectations, understanding and/or abilities.

Veral is also fluent per se, and had many opportunities to intervene, if she wished to. My input was pretty much limited to explaining the contrasts between how things are done in the UK, in comparison to Germany. The education system, and the accreditation of vocational lines of work. In Veral’s case, her partner is an accredited master mechanic, which a mechanic in the UK does not have to be, in order to be a mechanic, unless he/she is applying for a specific line employment. An accredited diesel fitter, for example.

In both instances, the opportunity to make a meaningful report, was very limited, due the nature of the conversation, and my impression of Michele’s and Veral’s abilities. And if I had done any less talking, there would have almost no talking, at all.

When I hold a conversation with Marianne, for my French, I prepare a piece of work, for us to go through. This focuses the topic of the conversation, and Marianne can produce a thorough report.

I hope that this clarifies matters, and gives Michele and Veral something to think about, within the learning context of LingQ, as I understand it. If not, I am always open to suggestions, from those that choose me, as their tutor.