Questions to Ask When Choosing a Language School
Choosing a school for a language course is a very difficult decision. It becomes more problematic when searching for a school. The Internet is loaded with schools making one claim or another, promoting one teaching style over another. Don’t be overwhelmed. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when choosing a language school.
First and foremost, do not allow yourself to be pressured into signing any contract immediately. Always think and analyze every situation before making a decision. If you believe that you are being pressured, simply walk away and find another school. There are many language schools that would love to have you as a student.
Next, you should ask your family, friends or colleagues who have studied or are studying about their various experiences. Ask them if they can recommend their school. Talk to them about their experiences.
Visit more than two institutes, even better if you can visit more. Talk with some current students – who you choose – about the institute. Ask them what they think of their courses. Ask for their honest opinion on topics that interest you, for example, what are the classes like, have they fulfilled their promises, are the teachers native speakers, etc.
Other important questions to ask include, what is the minimum and what is maximum of students allowed in each class. Think about this number when you imagine having speaking practice. Will the teacher be able to give you individual feedback?
Ask about the duration of the classes: if the hours are chronological (90 minutes) or teaching (45 minutes). There is a difference between having X hours of a ninety-minute class to having X hours of a forty five- minute class. Obviously, from a pedagogical perspective, X number of ninety-minute classes is much better.
Are the class on a fixed or flexible schedule. A fixed schedule usually means you have to go to class on the days and times already established. You can not change the schedule throughout the course.
Flexible usually means that you can change both the day and time as you need to. With a flexible schedule, students normally have a certain number of hours allocated for a certain length of time. Ask how long you have until the hours expire.
Find out if the English Institute offers online support 24 hours a day and, if so, whether it’s free.
Find out if the institute gives you the opportunity to visit the school before making a commitment. It is also a good way to know what the regular students think.
You must remember that many representatives are there to earn commissions. Be very careful. They are likely to offer you the world and say everything possible to earn your trust and ‘catch’ a new student. If they take longer than 15 minutes to explain everything, watch out! Remember, only believe what the school has put in writing.
Beware of the difference in prices and discounts that “are valid for TODAY and only today.” Ask the representative to put the price in writing. If you they give you the option of paying in installments, ask how much interest they charge and what bank is providing the financing. You will also want to know what are the penalties for missing a payment or paying late. Are refunds available?
By asking these questions, you will get answers that you can use when you decide where to study. Again, take you time to find a school that meets your needs. After all, you are the customer.