San Pedro, based in the heart of Los Angeles, is also known as 'Little Portugal', for it is home to a large community of those that speak fluent Portuguese.

With a range of deli's and supermarkets specializing in Portuguese and Brazilian products, a notable section of the city's population is those that traveled from Portuguese speaking countries.

The American Community Survey recently partook in a study which set out to identify the areas across the United States that are home to those originally from Portugal, and the greater Los Angeles area sits at number five on the list, with over 50,000 native speakers that call Long Beach home.

Compared to other cities like Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, Los Angeles is home to a larger concentration of bilingual and multilingual speakers.

With such a high concentration of residents that are fluent in Portuguese, there are ample opportunities for those that are looking to gain a stronger understanding of what is often considered the most attractively spoken language.

Those with a good understanding of the language offer their services to help aspiring students gain a firm grasp of the fundamental learnings of Portuguese.

Language tutoring, considered to be one of the most effective ways to master an additional language, is a common and much-used approach across California. And there are a number of reasons why hiring a personal tutor is such a popular approach across not only LA but the United States.

Language Tutors: What are the Benefits?

A Portuguese flag in the wind.
There is a range of benefits associated with learning a new language. (Source: Visualhunt)

Tutoring can allow students to learn at a quicker rate, and this is especially applicable to those that are already in some form of language learning structure i.e. a formal educational course.

There is a range of benefits to hiring a personal tutor. Some of these include: 

Developing a more in-depth range of vocabulary. Relying effectively on a student's ability to memorize, enhancing the sheer amount of words you can understand, and use in a structured sentence is imperative in the learning process.

A Portuguese tutor will allow you to do this.

Receiving advice and tuition from someone with a strong basis of understanding of the language will incite new words that may not have been exposed if you were simply learning alone.

From synonym lists to vocabulary suggestions, tutors will usually provide their students with unique words that reflect their current level of speaking proficiency. 

Also, there will be certain keywords you should be expected to learn, and these can be grouped in accordance with where they belong from a grammatical perspective; gaining a strong understanding of grammar is an effective way to develop a more secure level of fluency. 

Have you ever learned a new language before?

Well, it often comes to some as a shock when comparing English grammar to that of other languages. This is because the structure of sentences and the way in which an adjective or verb may go in a sentence can often be different.

You will often find that in the Portuguese language, the adjective and verb placement is different compared to English, with this in mind, it may take you a little longer to identify. 

This can often create confusion when writing and reading, and therefore, a Portuguese Tutor will help you to identify such differences, whilst linking them to further learning so you can develop a stronger understanding moving forward.

This is especially important for those who wish to use the Portuguese language is more of an academic sense, in which literature in the Portuguese language can be more effectively understood.

Pronunciation. This is especially important for those that are looking to enhance their speaking and listening skills in Portuguese.

Maybe you're learning the language because a close friend speaks Portuguese? Or, are you looking to visit Brazil or travel to Europe in the summer?

Sometimes, travel books won't alone suffice, and to endorse and engross yourself in a new culture means you have to put in the extra effort: in doing so, your traveling experience will prove more fulfilling.

A tutor, especially one that has a strong grasp and experience in the language, will support their students in developing this.

The Portuguese alphabet consists of 23 letters, excluding the K, W, and Y which would be found in the English alphabet. 

As well as this, there are additional letters with diacritics including â, ê & ô.

Due to this difference, it can often create confusion, especially for beginners, when attempting to pronounce words with such diacritics included within the spelling. 

Therefore, having someone to support you in mastering the pronunciation of the words which contain such letters will help to prevent inaccurate pronunciation.

Finding the Right Portuguese Tutor For You

A tutor supports a student.
Most language tutors on the Superprof website offer their first lesson for free. (Source: Visualhunt)

Across the States, from New York to Houston, specialist language tutors are available.

An experienced tutor will understand that we all learn in different ways, and they will be able to tailor their teaching styles to best fit the individual. 

However, some of us may have unique preferences to best support us in our learning, and the more tutors you get into contact with, the higher chance you have of finding a tutor most aligned to your preferences. 

Reading through testimonials is a great way to generate a sense of how a tutor’s ex-students have rated their overall teaching experience. 

This is an effective way to identify tutors with the best track record when it comes to language teaching. 

Also, a quick look on Superprof's website will show you a range of Portuguese teachers across Los Angeles. 

Each tutor includes relevant information on their profile. This helps to reflect their overall experience, including any specializations and relatable qualifications

Are you looking for a tutor to travel to your home, or are you instead willing to commute?

This can often influence the hourly rate, so establishing a price range as well as general availability is a must. 

The Top Attributes of a Language Tutor

Knowledge: an apple rests above textbooks.
Knowledge is one of many characteristics a tutor must possess. (Source: Visualhunt)

There are a number of considerations to make when on the lookout for a Portuguese tutor. 

Firstly, it is important that both student and tutor have a schedule that can align, so regular sessions can be performed. 

It is important to be consistent when learning a new language, so to ensure progression does not plateau or regress, weekly sessions of at least one hour should ideally take place. 

What is also important is ensuring that your tutor has a competent level of understanding of both the English and the Portuguese language, as well as an experience of employing teaching strategies and techniques that make the learning process exciting for the student. 

We can all relate to a class we once had with a teacher that made the learning areas a little dull. 

Learning a language should be fun!

Therefore, the content which is covered must evoke a sense of interest and engagement. 

Each lesson should also be reflective of your proficiency level and each learning principle must be sequential. There is no point in covering complex vocabulary when the basics haven’t yet been mastered.

Therefore, your tutor must keep a record of your developments throughout the course of each week, and this must be closely monitored so short term and long term goals can be tracked to ensure the student is on course with their learning objectives.

As well as engaging and fun, you would expect a decent tutor to instill a sense of optimism and hopefulness going forwards.

This will enhance motivation and ensure a desire to continue learning remains. 

Many experienced educators will often use mistakes as an opportunity to grow. Multiple studies have shown that active student engagement elicits faster and more attainable results in one’s learning. 

Therefore, tutors must expect regular and active engagement from their students. 

There are also separate development stages when it comes to language learning. These must be closely monitored by your tutor to ensure such developments are being made.

Another factor to consider is that your tutor is sharing their assessments with you, for this ensures you are both aware of learning goals going forwards, thus enhancing motivation to succeed. 

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