How should I incorporate a tutor into my language learning?

We recommend that you begin with English and then gradually shift your tutoring lessons more and more towards the target language. For example: the first session may be 100% in English with you asking utility questions such as “Can you repeat that?” or “What’s the word for ‘__’ in Spanish”? or ‘What’s the opposite of __”?

Spend the next week learning those sentences, and then use them. That will shift your next tutoring session to ~90-95% in English, 5-10% in simple Spanish. During that lesson, get some sentences for words in your 625 list, but also ask more utility questions as soon as you think of anything you want to be able to say. Don't be afraid to ask for repetition or clarification, or for your tutor to slow down enough for you to really understand them.

After a month or so, the lessons should be about 60% English as you gradually pick up the ability to say basic stuff. The goal is obviously to achieve 0% English as quickly as possible, but continue discussing words on your list. Those words function as an ongoing source of conversation topics that are inherently varied, and if you make sure to create personalized sentences with your tutor, then you're going to bounce across all sorts of old memories/hopes/dreams/etc about yourself that will lead to new topics to discuss, and new vocabulary and grammar to investigate with your tutor.


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