How do I find the right English course for me?
22 Jul 2021
There are numerous ways to study English today, but what is the best method for you? Here is some advice about choosing the right system to learn English.
What is the best course for my level?
People often think a course for beginners needs to be all about grammar and vocabulary, while a course for advanced learners is only conversation. But that’s not really true. As a beginner you need to listen and speak, and by listening and speaking you will learn some grammar and vocabulary naturally, as children do. And as an advanced learner you should continue to do the same, listening and speaking and learning new grammar and vocabulary. To understand at which point you need to start, do a level test. This will help you understand what point you are at now and what objective you want to reach. It’s ideal to identify your level as precisely as possible because otherwise you risk having lessons that are either too difficult or too easy. Find a course with the appropriate number of levels that enables you to start at exactly the right point in your learning, whether you are a complete beginner or almost fluent.
How can I study and have fun?
The most effective way to learn is to take an active role in your lessons and have fun. If your lessons are boring and you have a totally passive role, you will either stop quite quickly or simply forget most of what you heard. I think the most fun way to learn is to use a blended method of interactive lessons, plenty of speaking time and entertaining social activities with other students. By doing a mix of interesting activities with the focus on the most fundamental skills of listening and speaking, you can learn quickly and efficiently and can immediately put into practice what you have learnt.
What kind of course will help improve my spoken English?
I often hear students say, “I know all the English grammar, I just need to do conversation”. In reality this probably means that these students have studied a lot of grammar rules and done exercises about them too, but have never actually used the language in a real conversation. If you want to improve your spoken English, you need to follow the natural logic of listening to language used in context, copying it and becoming confident in saying it, and then reproducing it yourself in conversation. This system of natural acquisition of language is valid at every level, from beginners to advanced learners. It is the way everyone in the world learns their own native language. So make sure you look for a course that follows a structured program, introducing and reviewing new language all the time, and not just lessons of grammar or only lessons of conversation.
Is it better to do an individual or group course?
There are advantages to both individual courses and group courses. Doing an individual course enables you to go at your own rhythm, slowing down when necessary and speeding up when possible. And when you have a busy period you can simply interrupt your studies. On the other hand, doing a group course is fun from a social point of view and is also useful in helping you learn from others. So ideally, you want to find a course that lets you go at your own velocity, adapting to your needs, and at the same time offers the chance to study with others.
How can I be sure the course method works?
With the large number of courses now available online and in your cities and towns, it’s hard to know which courses really work and can guarantee success. So in order to be sure you can trust a school, I recommend you focus on an international organization with considerable experience in language learning. You can also check out testimonials they have available on their website to get an idea of what students say about the course. A good school will also have high-quality teachers, a well-structured course that follows international guidelines, and material that is modern, effective and fun.