Written by: Olivera Tolimir
If you stumbled upon this blog post, it means you’ve decided to either start learning Serbian or improve your competence. Either way, a dilemma occurs: should you opt for a class with a Serbian teacher or a self-paced online course? Both decisions can prove themselves great, and both can be not-so-good for you.
We’ll help you choose the right one for your needs and wishes! But first, let’s make this a trilemma: if you decide a Serbian teacher is a way to go, there are two options: working 1:1 with your tutor or learning Serbian in small groups. The third one is, of course, an online Serbian course.
We’ll go through all three options to help you choose the right one for you. So, let’s start with working in small groups with a Serbian tutor.
Serbian Teacher + Small Group = Fun Way to Go
You maybe wonder why there isn’t another option: learning Serbian in a big group. Or you don’t understand why being so specific about the size of a group. The truth is – learning any language in a big group is pointless.
If you’ve ever been learning a foreign language in school (and you probably have), you must remember only a few active students got to participate. The rest were passive learners (if they were learners at all).
Trying to practice communication becomes extremely difficult when there are a bunch of people with different levels of knowledge in the same classroom. That’s why the only way to learn in a group guided by a Serbian teacher is in a small group that doesn’t go beyond five students.
So, what are the benefits of a Serbian tutor teaching you in a small group? Here they are:
- Practicing with other students – sometimes it’s convenient to practice talking Serbian with fellow students instead of your Serbian teacher only. It’s because this way you can help each other. And we all know that the best way to master something is to explain it to someone else.
- Fun environment – as much as we love a personalized 1:1 experience, it’s usually more fun to meet other students and share experiences with them!
- Quickly overcoming the fear of speaking Serbian – it sounds counterintuitive. But as soon as you hear other students making mistakes and laughing it off, you’ll realize there’s nothing to be afraid of when speaking Serbian. Mistakes are a part of a learning process!
Individual Classes – Personalized Experience
If you’re an employed adult looking to attend Serbian classes a few times a week, individual classes can be your suitable option.
The advantages of having individual classes are:
- Flexibility – working 1:1 is easily squeezed into a busy schedule. When there’s only your Serbian tutor to adapt to, you can agree about your class times without complications. Usually, it’s not problematic to e-mail your teacher a few days in advance and ask for a reschedule. Of course, you shouldn’t take advantage of this possibility.
- Motivation – the most significant advantage of tutoring vs. an online course is motivation. If you’re easily demotivated without someone to check on you, go with a Serbian teacher. A quality of an online course won’t matter if you stop going through lessons in a few days. Tutors can significantly impact students’ motivation by rooting for them, answering their questions in real-time, and correcting their mistakes.
- Customization – when you work with a Serbian tutor, (s)he can tailor the lessons to your needs. For example, if you experience difficulties with the Serbian past tense but find the future tense a piece of cake, your tutor will focus on your weaknesses. So, you’ll have many exercises concerning perfekat and not so many about futur. Also, if you’re taking Serbian classes to better communicate with your in-laws, a good tutor will skip lessons about the names of all countries and nationalities in Serbian. You won’t need that knowledge in everyday communication with them.
Serbian Online Course – For the Independent Ones
A Serbian online course has a completely different concept than a class with a teacher. First of all, you’ll learn alone. So, you might reconsider this option if you like having someone to follow you through the process. Also, if you can’t imagine learning a language without talking to someone directly and asking questions as soon as they pop into your mind, a Serbian online course might not be the best choice for you.
You should consider taking a Serbian online course if you like:
- THE flexibility – yes, 1:1 classes allow you flexibility since you don’t have a strict schedule every week. But if something happens and you cancel the class right before the beginning, you’ll feel bad. You might even lose your money if you let the tutor know at the last minute. On the other hand, having a Serbian online course available 24/7 gives you absolute freedom. You choose when, where, and for how long you’ll learn.
- Price – online courses usually cost less than individual classes. So, it’s a perfect choice if you want to invest in your knowledge, but also want to know exactly how much it’ll cost you in the long run. When you start attending individual classes, you might not be sure how much it’ll cost you to achieve the A1.2 level. But with an online Serbian course, you’ll know it exactly.
- Different learning mediums – during your classes, a Serbian tutor will use different kinds of media, such as audio, video, and pictures. It’s an excellent way of practicing the language, but the disadvantage is that you probably won’t get those videos and audio tapes with you. So, you’ll see them one time. With a Serban online course, you can access all the media in a package. This way, you can rewatch and relisten to them as much as you want!
So, what did we conclude? Like with most things in life – it’s all a personal preference.
Whether you choose group classes, individual ones, or an online Serbian course, you won’t make a mistake. As long as you keep in mind the type of person you are and your stage of life.
If you’re a curious type who likes to have someone to motivate them, answer their questions instantly, and tailor to their needs, you should choose individual classes.
If you’re a communicative person who likes to have fun while learning and is looking to meet new people, group classes are your dream-come-true.
If you’re a driven person with a hectic schedule, who likes to learn alone while living by your rules, an online course is the way to go!
P. S. Did you know that we offer:
- individual classes held by a professional Serbian as a foreign language teacher
- group courses (2-5 students + a professional Serbian as a foreign language teacher)
- self-paced online Serbian courses?
Whatever group you fit into; you can find something for yourself! But if you are not sure what to choose, write to us at [email protected].