Native v Non-native tutors: Pros & Cons

At Viva Language Services we have both native and non-native language tutors available. Some people prefer to learn with a native tutor whereas other learners prefer to have lessons with a non-native tutor. It all depends on your learning objectives and how you, as an individual, learn best. Here are some tips on what you will gain from learning with either a native and non-native language tutor:

Advantages of learning with a native tutor:

• You will learn to speak with an authentic accent and your pronunciation may be better.
• You have more opportunity to learn about the country of the language you are learning; its culture, history, society etc.
• You will learn typical expressions used every day by native speakers which you may not be able to find in dictionaries or grammar books.
• A native tutor has the natural ability to know what sounds exactly right in the language and which words go best together.


Even though they speak the language as a native, this does not necessarily mean that they can teach it well or have the gift of teaching.

Advantages of learning with a non-native tutor:

• A non-native tutor can explain tricky grammar rules more simply.
• They have already learnt the language that they are teaching, so have been in the same situation as learners, therefore they fully understand the confusing areas of the language and can concentrate on making these easier to understand.
• They have a clear grasp of the grammar and rules of the language from a foreigner’s point of view. They can clearly see how it differs from English.
• As they have already learned the language, they understand how much work needs to go in to mastering it and how much repetition is needed for it to stick.
• Although they are not native speakers of the language, they can still use material in the native language in the lessons – such as listening exercises, spoken by natives, articles from newspapers/magazines, video clips,  books, etc.


Any good teacher, whether they are a native or non-native speaker, as well as knowing the language well, they need to have a natural gift of teaching. They must be passionate and enthusiastic about helping other people learn the language as well as having the experience and training to teach languages.

At VLS, all tutors are carefully selected so that we continue to offer the best tuition service available today. If you would like to book a native or non-native tutor in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese or Mandarin Chinese contact us here, or call Fiona on 07870 699404.

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