10 things to consider when selecting a language school in London

Choosing the right language school isn’t easy! London in particular has a wide range of language schools. At times, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are our top 10 things to consider when choosing your next course.

1. Full hour or “academic hour”?
Many schools advertise their courses using the words “academic hours” or “lessons”, which are only 45 minutes long. Each of our lessons is a full 60 minutes long. When looking for the best value, it’s important to understand the difference. 

Here is an example of difference in actual hours:
22 hours of lessons = 22 hours of lessons each week
22 academic hours or lessons =16.5 hours of lessons each week

2. Accreditations
To help you find the best school for you, there are a number of accrediting bodies and inspecting bodies who regularly visit language schools to make sure that they are up to scratch. The reports from visits by the British Council and ISI are readily available on the internet and give a good indication of the quality of a school. The London School of English regularly exceed expectations in these inspections. 

3. Quality of teachers
Most quality schools will require their trainers to hold at least the CELTA qualification, the minimum qualification expected by The British Council. All of our contracted trainers hold the DELTA qualification, which is a more advanced qualification than the CELTA.
There are also a number of awards for trainers such as the EBET award for excellence in business English training and development which The London School of English has won two years in a row!

4. Student feedback
This one is simple; one of the most accurate ways of assessing the quality of a school is to look at the feedback from its students. If course participants give good feedback, attend their lessons and return for further courses once they’ve finished, then the school is probably doing a good job. You can hear from some of our students in our video testimonials.

5. Location
Some schools are right in the centre of London, and some are located outside the busy centre. This is completely your preference. We have deliberately chosen to be in Holland Park and Stamford Brook (both in zone 2) which are quiet and relaxing environments within quick and easy access to the centre of London. If you choose to be outside of central London, you may also be able to save some travel time and money on your transport, food and accommodation.

6. History
New schools pop up all the time in London. Whilst this is great, we think it’s best to choose a school with some history to be sure that they are providing a really good service. We often point out to our clients that we have been teaching English for 102 years. It’s safe to say that if we were not really good at it, we wouldn’t have survived this long!

7. Flexibility
You may find that your circumstances change while you are here in London. You may realise that the course you have chosen is not the right one for your needs. Pick a school with a variety of courses, so that if you need to change, you can do so.

8. Support
Studying English can be challenging. Living in a foreign city can be even harder at times. For some schools, their commitment to you starts and ends in the classroom but all our staff are always here to help and support you, whether you need some help finding accommodation or just want to have a chat about your progress. We also have our specialist student support staff, such as our University Relations Manager and our Long Stay Student Advisor, who are always here to help our students. 

9. Facilities
This is a no-brainer! You want to choose a school which has the best facilities available to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Whether this is state-of-the-art classroom technology or a good cup of coffee, you should expect the best. We also have online learning, Wi-Fi and restaurant quality lunches all for free. You can see some example of our fantastic food here.

10. Social Programme
Of course one of the main attractions of studying in London is the city itself. Most schools will organise social events for their students, but it’s worth checking that these activities are accompanied by a member of staff to maximise the amount of contact that you have in English. Our staff are very knowledgeable and very entertaining! Some schools may offer some free activities as part of the course whilst others may ask you to pay extra for all activities. We offer a free welcome drinks reception on your first day as part of your course.

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