Study English By Myself Or Hire A Tutor?

study English by myself or hire a tutor
Study English by myself or hire a tutor? Photo by Sajjad Hussain M. from Burst.

You have decided that you want to work on your English language. Perhaps you are thinking, “Should I study English by myself or hire a tutor?” This blog offers some suggestions to help you in making this decision.

Be your own ESL tutor or hire a tutor?

If you decide to be your own tutor

Depending on where you are in your English learning, it is possible that you can study on your own. If you have the personality of someone who is systematic, and you already have a pretty good foundation in English, this can be a good way to go.

Let’s say you want to work on inflection, pronunciation, and word order. You can focus on each topic one at a time, or you can devote your time to each area once or twice a week so you have variety. Using commencement speeches is an excellent way to work on your inflection. YouTube and transcript of those speeches will be your textbook.

There are many online resources available. Other blogs on this website offers ideas on how to go about it. For example, Easy way to learn English inflection, How to learn sounds that do not exist in your native language, You can be your own ESL tutor, among others.

If you prefer to go at your own pace, self-study can be a good way to go. There are many articles in the website Seattle English ESL that can be a guide on this self-paced journey.

If you decide to hire an ESL tutor

If you decide to hire a tutor, the article How to choose an ESL tutor for adult English learners goes into detail on the topic. It goes beyond the obvious of determining the skills you want to master, price, etc. etc. The article covers aspects that are often overlooked.

When you are interviewing tutors, ask them if they would give you a demo lesson. If they do, look for qualities in them that make learning relaxing and enjoyable to you. These are in addition to knowing the English skills you want to learn. Actually, these intangible qualities are as important when it comes to learning effectively and quickly.

You are most able to learn when you are relaxed. Just think of all the times when you burn the midnight oil to study for an exam the next day. Do you remember anything you read a month after the exam? Of course not! You weren’t studying in a relaxed state. In a study of students who learn a foreign language in a fun and relaxed state, they remember 80% of what they learn after summer vacation versus the 20% that students remember who learn a foreign language in a conventional classroom. That is how important feeling relaxed is when you are learning.

The article How to choose an ESL tutor for adult English learners also goes into two other qualities that students may not realize are important in their learning process. You can read about them here.

If you find this blog helpful, here is one on How to improve your English grammar.

Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking.    To schedule a session with her, please email

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