With seemingly endless choices out there, it can often be confusing trying to choose a language school that is right for you. Of course, first you need to consider your reasons for learning as they will impact on what school you choose. For example, are you hoping to progress your career or do you simply need some phrases for a holiday?

Once you’ve done that, here are some further questions to consider, which I have grouped into general categories to make reading easier:

Location and environment

  • Is the school close to where I am living and working?
  • Are the teachers suitably qualified?
  • What setting will I be learning in?
  • Classes

  • Do the class times and length suit me?
  • Do they offer my current language level (e.g. beginner, intermediate)?
  • How much homework will there be? Can I keep up with the homework?
  • How many people are in the class?
  • What is the teacher to student ratio?
  • How much individual attention will I get?
  • What is the teaching methodology and does it match me? (For example, are there a range of activities? Or is it lecture based?)
  • General

  • Can I afford the cost of the course?
  • Does the school offer the chance to progress to the next level?
  • Can I attend a ‘taster’ session to see if I like the class and the language?
  • What happens if I cannot attend a class?
  • Does the class lead to a qualification?
  • Can I chat with former students or see testimonials from them?
  • If you are planning to study abroad, it is worth checking if the school is accredited, especially when learning English. In the UK, English schools are accredited by the British Council, and overseas you should look at IALC and EAQUALS.

    Finally, this is an interesting article from a writer who has personal experience of choosing a language school overseas.