English is the most widely spoken second language in the world, with more than 350 million speakers across the globe. It’s no surprise therefore that English has become the international language of all kinds of professions, including business and aviation. As such, many people now choose to learn English in order to further their careers, and where better to do it than in London?
The UK’s capital is the perfect place to learn or improve your English skills, while also immersing yourself in everything that this vibrant city has to offer. Of course, the fact that London is the perfect place to learn English has led to a real explosion in the number of language schools in the city. Because there are so many language schools in London, it can be difficult to know how to start choosing the right one for you.
Here are some questions you should ask of any London language school before you commit to learning English there:
1. How do I know the teaching standard is of a high quality?
The most important thing is to find out that your preferred London language school uses qualified, skilled and experienced teachers. Check with the school or college to find out what qualifications they expect their teachers to have. Also check for accreditations from the British Council, EAQUALS and ISI, as these will show you that the school’s teaching meets set standards. You can also ask to see recent inspection reports.
2. Where is the school and where can I stay?
There are language schools in every part of London. However, some may be central and offer accommodation on the doorstep, while others may be in a suburb and don’t give you any assistance with finding a place to stay. Do some research into the different areas of London to decide whether you’d like to study in a central location, and whether you’d prefer to live nearby or in a suburb where you can experience normal British family life. If you want to stay further afield, be sure to find out whether you can easily get to your classes via public transport. Your London language school’s accommodation office may be able to arrange your accommodation, for example in a dedicated student residence owned by the college, or setting up a homestay with a British family.
3. How much will it cost?
Learning English in London represents a significant investment. You’ll have to pay for your travel to the UK, accommodation in London, living costs while you’re here, and of course your London language school course fees. The costs can soon mount up, which may tempt you to choose a cheaper course in order to keep costs down. However, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve in your English studies and what would represent value for money to you. For example, a cheaper course might be run by less experienced teachers and in a large class, meaning you may not learn as much or as quickly as if you’d chosen a more expensive English course with well qualified and experienced teachers, and small class sizes. It’s important to weigh up what’s important to you, so you can make the right decision.
Ask your London language school these questions, and the answers should help you to quickly narrow down your options so you can make the correct decision for you.