Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know my level?
- How do I know how many lessons I need?
- What qualifications do your teachers have?
- Can I have 3 or more people in the class?
- What is the maximum class size?
- Why do I have to take a package (20, 30, 50, 100 hours)?
- If I need to finish my course early, can I get a refund?
- Can I just pay for the first lesson and see if I like it?
- What happens if I don't like the trainer?
- Are the courses certified? Will I receive a certificate?
- Do I have to add VAT to your prices?
- Can I pay monthly or do I have to pay for the whole course in advance?
- Can I take classes during the summer or are all your teachers on holiday?
- I may need to move location during a course. Can I continue with my classes in the new location?
- Will I always have the same trainer throughout the course?
- What happens if I need to reschedule classes?
- What happens if I need to cancel my course?
- Can I switch my face-to-face course to an online course?
- Any Other Questions
1How do I know my level?
For major languages, you can take our online multiple choice language tests. For other languages, please contact us for an assessment. In any case, your trainer will provide a thorough initial assessment at the beginning of your course where you will agree on your goals and likely outcomes for the course based on your current level and the time you are able to put into the course. Complete Beginners do not need to take any initial tests.
2 How do I know how many lessons I need?
This depends on which language you would like to learn and how much you want to know. We suggest fifteen 2-hour sessions for a beginner to reach Survival level. Your tutor will offer more specific advice depending on your goal.
3 What qualifications do your teachers have?
Our teachers are native speakers and hold either a specific qualification in teaching their language as a foreign language (similar to the TEFL qualifications for English teachers) and/or hold a university degree in the language.
4 Can I have 3 or more people in the class?
Yes - please contact us for pricing regarding this. Generally, the pricing will be £5 more per hour per participant up to 4 participants and then £2.50 more per hour per participant after that. All participants must have the same level and be available to study at the same time and in the same place each week. However, classes cannot be cancelled unless all participants are unable to attend a particular session and sufficient notice is given (usually 2 working days).
5 What is the maximum class size?
This is entirely your decision, as we can appreciate that the more people there are in the class, the lower the cost for each person. However, it's important to note that the more people there are in each session, the more it hampers each person's progress, as the teacher's time will be spread between more people during class. We do not recommend more than 12 people per class. Additionally, each student should be approximately the same level of expertise in the language, and classes can only be cancelled or rescheduled if all students are unable to be there.
6 Why do I have to take a package (20, 30, 50, 100 hours)?
We find that our clients learn better and are more likely to achieve their language goals if they make a significant time (at least 20 or 30 hours) and financial commitment. They tend to take their course more seriously and are far less likely to drop out. For many people, it's like paying for an annual gym membership and having a personal trainer. Since they have paid upfront, they are more likely to go through with the training, even on those occasions when they might otherwise be distracted by another activity or feel that today they just simply cannot be bothered. It is also much easier to find a highly qualified and motivated trainer who is willing to take on a student if the trainer knows the student is committed to learning and is actually going to achieve something.
7 If I need to finish my course early, can I get a refund?
Yes, we will refund all monies paid minus the cost of your coursebook (if you have already received it), the cost of any lessons (and late cancellations) taken and a £350 cancellation fee, charged to cover our administration and recruitment costs. Note that for intensive courses with a duration of only one-two weeks, the cancellation fee may be higher.
8 Can I just pay for the first lesson and see if I like it?
Generally no since it is very difficult to assess success in just one lesson. In special circumstances however, it may be possible to arrange: get in touch with us if you feel it is absolutely necessary for you or your company.
9 What happens if I don't like the trainer?
This is a very rare situation, but we acknowledge and appreciate that it can happen. If you dislike your teacher or their teaching style, you should get in contact with us after the initial session and we can arrange another teacher for you and you will not be billed for the first session. Where a suitable replacement is unavailable, you will receive a full refund.
10 Are the courses certified? Will I receive a certificate?
Yes. All participants receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course detailing the language studied, the number of hours, and the level achieved. While our courses are not accredited by any university or similar institution, we can help you prepare for accredited exams if need be.
11 Do I have to add VAT to your prices?
We do not charge VAT for English courses in the UK (the UK government has made English courses exempt from VAT). For other languages in the UK, we have to charge VAT @ 20%. In Ireland you do not need to add VAT for any language.
12 Can I pay monthly or do I have to pay for the whole course in advance?
Upon booking a course, you make a commitment for the entirety of the programme but we do not require the full amount up front. We will send an invoice for the total amount but we need only a a deposit of £350 (payable by Sterling cheque, BACS or credit card) or in Ireland, 450 euros (payable by bank transfer or credit card) to get things moving. As soon as this is received the course can start - we then invoice you for the remainder of the lessons which must be settled within 2 weeks of the course start date. We do not currently accept monthly payments except in special circumstances.
13 Can I take classes during the summer or are all your teachers on holiday?
As our trainers are all native speakers, that means many of them come from places like France, Italy, Spain, Russia, etc and have families and friends there. While all are based permanently in the UK, some of them generally return home each summer for 2 to 4 weeks, usually in July or August. During that time, we can either put your classes on hold or try to arrange a suitable replacement if you don't want to take a break. We usually know well in advance regarding our trainers' holidays so this should not cause any problems. It is also helpful for us to know if you are planning a long holiday (2 or more weeks) during the period of your course.
14 I may need to move location during a course. Can I continue with my classes in the new location?
This is something that is not usually a problem but ideally, you should discuss this at the time of booking the course. If you are moving to the country where the language you are studying is the main language of that country, or you are studying English, we will nearly always find a suitable replacement trainer in the new location who is fully up-to-speed on what you have covered so far. For other languages, as long as you are moving to a major city, we can usually accommodate your needs as well. Relocation changes are subject to a small administration fee of £200.
15 Will I always have the same trainer throughout the course?
Except where a student specifically requests to have 2 or more trainers, we will do our utmost to ensure that you have the same trainer for the duration of your course. Naturally, trainers are people like everyone else and occasionally illness or a change in personal circumstances means that we need to replace a trainer in the middle of your course. We do however find that this happens extremely rarely.
16What happens if I need to reschedule classes?
If you need to change the day or time of your class, you can do this directly with the trainer. We only ask you to give 2 or more business days’ notice (e.g. to change a class on a Thursday, let the teacher know on the Tuesday before).
17What happens if I need to cancel my course?
If you are unable to continue your course, you will receive a full refund minus the hourly cost of any classes already taken (including late cancellations); the cost of any course books already purchased on your behalf; a cancellation fee of £399 or €450.
18Can I switch my face-to-face course to an online course?
There is no issue to have your classes online with the same teacher on occasion. This is useful if you don’t want to miss a lesson during exceptional circumstances when you might otherwise have to postpone the class. We recommend using Skype, WhatsApp or similar software.
However, if you want to switch from face-to-face to online lessons permanently, you must contact us to organise new measures and agreements. You should note that you may be assigned a new teacher, including one who is not located in the same place as you.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: As a result of the 2020 pandemic, we want to assure all existing customers that they can change their face-to-face classes to online ones AT NO EXTRA COST. Our Academic Department will ensure a smooth transition to remote study, including providing learning materials via email, helping you to set up the necessary tools and equipment and finding you a replacement trainer if your existing one cannot teach online.
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