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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 so it might be difficult to know where to start! Here are our top 10 things to consider when choosing your next course, and why The London School of English ticks all the right boxes.

1. Full hour or ‘academic hour’?

Many schools advertise their courses using the words ‘academic hours’ or ‘lessons’, ranging from 45 minutes long to 55 minutes. At The London School of English, each of our lessons is a full hour, or 60 minutes, in length. When looking for the best value for money, it’s important to understand the difference. 

Here is an example of the difference in this makes: 22 hours = 22 x 60 minutes of lessons each week 22 ‘academic hours’ = 22 x 45 minutes of lessons each week

2. Accreditations

There are a number of accrediting bodies and inspecting bodies who regularly visit language schools to make sure that they provide high quality teaching. The London School of English regularly scores very highly in these inspections, and in fact, we have also won awards for our courses!

3. Quality of teachers

Most good quality schools will require their trainers to hold at least the CELTA qualification, the minimum qualification expected by The British Council.

All our trainers have the Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (CELTA), or equivalent, as a minimum.  Most of our permanent training staff have the Cambridge ESOL Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (DELTA) as well. Some  of our trainers also have an Masters in Teaching English as a Foreign Language or Applied Linguistics.

In addition to a qualification in English Language Teaching, several of our trainers hold a qualification in other professional fields such as finance and law. This background can be very valuable for clients when working on Individual Tuition and Specialised programmes.

4. Student feedback

One of the best ways of assessing the quality of a school is to look at the feedback from its students. When course participants give good feedback and return for further courses once they’ve finished, then the school is probably doing a good job. The London School of English is the best rated language school in the world on Trustpilot, and our students regularly give us a 5-star rating, with many returning to us year after year.

5. Location

Our location in Holland Park (zone 2) was deliberately chosen for its quiet and relaxing environment, with quick and easy access to the centre of London. If you choose to be outside central London, you may find that you are able to save travel time and money on your transport, food and accommodation.

6. History

New schools pop up all the time in London. While this is great for the local economy, 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 more than 100 years. It’s safe to say that we have survived this long because we combine experience with innovation!

7. Flexibility

If once you start your course you realise it is not the right one for you, or your circumstances change, you may want to change it. Pick a school with a variety of courses, so that if you need to change, you can do so. We offer a wide range of courses for all levels and specific focus, and with a choice of timetables.

8. Support

Living in a foreign city is fun, but you may find it a little bit daunting at the start. For some schools, their commitment to you starts and ends in the classroom, but at The London School of English 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. Our specialist student support staff are always here to help our students. 

9. Facilities

Our facilities are among the best you can find in London. Whether this is state-of-the-art classroom technology or a good cup of coffee, you should expect the best. We have online e-learning support, wifi and restaurant-quality lunches. You can see some examples of our fantastic food here.

10. Social Programme 

One of the main attractions of studying in London is the city itself. Most schools will organise social events for their students; 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 can tell you a lot about British culture and traditions.


Accrediting bodies: an organisations that checks quality standards

Assessing: to work out the value of something

Deliberately: on purpose, with intent

Pop up: to appear suddenly

Daunting: difficult or intimidating

State-of-the-art: using the most modern technology and design

This blog has been written at level B2. Practise your reading and listening by reading the blogs below.

About The London School of English

The London School of English has over 100 years of history teaching English and communication skills to adult learners. It is the joint #1 English language school in the UK according to the British Council inspections, the highest rated English language school in the world on Trustpilot, and the best value for money school according The English Language Gazette. 

Our practical, individualised approach enables our clients to learn effectively and make rapid progress. Courses include General English, Individual English training, Legal English, Business and Professional English, IELTS preparation and Academic English. We also offer bespoke business solutions for staff training and assessment. 

You can learn English with our expert trainers in our London centre at 15 Holland Park Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or you can choose to study English online in groups or in individual classes. 

Contact us online or via phone +44 (0) 207 605 4142.

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