How do I find a quality language tutor for myself in NYC?
December 9, 2012 9:39 AM   Subscribe

How do I find a quality language tutor for myself in NYC?

I'm a young adult living in Manhattan and am looking for a language (French, specifically) tutor for myself. I am totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of totally generic posts on Craigslist and sites that come up on a Google search (most of which are for Ivy grads looking to tutor Upper East Side kids for $100+, which is not what I need). I've also emailed a few college departments and not come up with much. Is there something I'm missing? Does anyone know of a good source to find quality tutors in New York City? Better yet, if anyone has recommendations for specific tutors, I'd be glad to hear that as well.

posted by lxs to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might want to check out the language classes at Idlewild Books. They do French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic and the focus is on adults learning for pleasure.

If you're looking specifically for a one on one situation, the Idlewild folks might be able to refer you to someone.
posted by Sara C. at 10:01 AM on December 9, 2012

I've only taken Japanese tutoring there, but I highly recommend ABC Language Exchange.
posted by spec80 at 10:14 AM on December 9, 2012

Why don't you post your own ad on Craigslist (in the jobs/education section)? You can specify exactly what you need/want and will most likely get 50+ responses with people offering their services from $10-$100 per hour. Then you can meet the person that seems to fit your needs the best (in a public place), pay them, try a session, stick with them if they work for you, or try someone else if you don't like them.

If you go for a place like ABC Language Exchange, someone will screen the tutor before you meet with them, it's easier to do it "on the books", and you usually get a trial lesson for free. You should know they recruit on Craigslist too, though. (Full disclosure: I happen to freelance there, different language).

You say that you are willing to pay for a tutor, but I just wanted to draw your attention to the possibility of a free "language exchange". I've personally found the website to be quite active with a wide range of non-creepy people in NYC (lots of foreign students). That said, I get 80-90% of messages from people of the opposite sex, but only meet with people of my own sex.
posted by yonglin at 12:53 PM on December 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

Instead of the colleges, have you considered the high schools closest to your work or home? And maybe phone calls would yield faster response?

Yonglin's ideas sound good, though.
posted by mahorn at 2:53 PM on December 9, 2012

If you're serious about this, please look for someone who has language teaching qualifications, not just a native speaker.

(Language exchange is also a fun thing to do, but is totally different, and tutoring by someone who doesn't know how to explain details or answer questions can be a huge waste of time and money.)
posted by wintersweet at 3:16 PM on December 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

(As a bonus, having this as a requirement will disqualify 95% of people who are posting their own ads! That will make things simpler.)
posted by wintersweet at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2012

You might want to check out the Alliance Fran├žaise in New York. They offer classes, but also private tutoring. Even if you don't go for their tutoring, their cultural activities might be of interest.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:08 PM on December 9, 2012

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