Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What to consider when choosing an English course

It can sometimes be confusing when trying to choose an English course that is suitable for you as a student and equally, you as an employer. With English being the spoken language of many multinational companies, it is important that the provision of a language course addresses the needs of the participants and is effective in improving the level of spoken English.

Most private language schools offer English courses that follow set programmes accompanied by set textbooks. While this type of English course gives a structure to the student's lessons, the disadvantage of such an English course is the inflexibility. Every student has differing needs and it may be that not all of the units in the set textbook are relevant to the student’s needs or relevant to their work or daily life. Another disadvantage is that many of the language schools have rigid level charts. After assessing a student's level, they are put on a course appropriate for their level and are put up a level after a certain number of lessons even if they have not yet reached that next level. This means that the higher level English course could be too difficult for them, leading to a loss of confidence and de-motivation.

At the start of an English course, it is important that every student sets some objectives so that they have a focus and can measure their progress. These course objectives need to be realistic and measurable. For example, 'By the end of this English course, I will be able to give a fluent business presentation with confidence.'

For busy city professionals, perhaps the most convenient and efficient way of having English lessons is to have a personal teacher providing lessons at home or the workplace. The teacher and student can agree on the most suitable schedule for the English course and the student does not have to travel to get a flexible, tailored course.