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How to choose the right English language school

You’ve decided that you want to learn English in London. Your choice of city is ideal: London is vibrant, fun, and an excellent place to immerse yourself in the English language. But there are so many schools offering first-rate English classes for all purposes. How do you choose the right one?

Online Research

Visiting the websites for the different schools is a good first step. Select a few with a website that has a clean and attractive design and content that is both informative and relevant. A good website will give you an idea of the school size, types of facilities, teaching methods, and tuition fees. Then check their accreditation.
London’s best English-language schools undergo regular inspections by accrediting organisations that confirm the quality of their administration, management, and teaching staff. They ensure that students will get the level of education as well as the classes they have paid for. Check the school’s website for its listed accreditations and then do an online search to verify what the accreditations mean.

Recognised and trustworthy accreditations include:

  • The British Council : The first accreditation scheme for English schools in the UK
  • Quality English: An international organisation that invites English schools to join once they have been recommended by former students and educational professionals
  • IALC: The International Association of Language Centres has a membership that includes English schools in the UK, German schools in Germany, and French schools in France
  • The English Network: A group of independent English schools based in the UK, who are all members of Quality English and/or IALC

Plan of Study

What English language programme do you want to pursue in London? Do you want an intensive (also known as a ‘crash’) course that packs a lot of learning into the classes, or would you rather study in a more relaxed setting, with special emphasis on planned outings and conversation practice sessions?
You also need to decide how you plan to use your English language skills. If it’s for your work, you’ll want to select a school that offers classes appropriate to your career, such as Business English, or a course applicable to certain industries, such as finance, law, and medicine.

The Next Step

Another factor in choosing a school is deciding what you are going to do once you’ve completed your English language studies. If you’d like to enrol at a UK university, find a school that has an agreement with universities that interest you.

What is Your Budget?

How much are you able to spend on classes, accommodation, and living expenses? You will need to select an English language school with courses you want and a price you can afford. Many schools include travel arrangements and accommodation in a special student package, which will make it easier to decide how much your English language education will ultimately cost.

Class Length

How many hours a day do you want to spend in class? If you want to get a part-time job in London to support your studies, or would like more free time to socialise and appreciate London culture, find a school that has flexible class times and lesson plans.

Class Sizes

Class size should be a consideration when you decide on a school. Would you prefer bigger classes, or smaller groups that provide more opportunity to practice your English? You should also think about whether you’d like to be in a class consisting of people who speak your native language, or a mixed group that lets you meet people from different backgrounds.

Social Activities

Social activities are a great way to learn a new language. Does the school have planned outings and social events that will allow you to spend informal time with your classmates and practice your English? If it does, mark it on the ‘potential’ list.

Making a Decision

Once you know the answers to all of these questions, it will be easier to choose your English language school. If you are not comfortable making a final decision, agents can be a source of good information. If cost is a consideration, bear in mind that some of them will only recommend expensive London schools. But if you do use a reputable agent, you are practically guaranteed a good quality school.
Whatever you decide, the management and staff at English Minds wishes you every success in your journey toward English proficiency.

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