You might have taken some English lessons in your native country, but it might be a bit different to the one spoken in the UK. In the schools from Europe, children learn to speak British English but are more exposed to the American one. Things get confusing and, with the necessity to know words related to your work field, you might end up on a low-skilled job. How to smash the language barriers? Obviously, some English classes will solve the problem. But what to choose? They are too many types. Here are some criteria to organise them.
Types of English lessons based on the delivery way:
Offline English classes
This supposes that you will regularly attend a place, in the agreed days and hours. They are the most expensive type purely because the costs are higher. But, if you’re on benefits, you might be able to attend them for free, at the local college. Also, they require a high level of commitment and last at least one semester. The advantage is that you can make new friends among classmates and might even learn some words in other languages.
I attended some offline classes for Greek language, with native speakers teachers. Part of them couldn’t speak English either. The classmates where from Romania, Moldova, Georgia, France, Italy, Syria, Maroc, Germany and Spain, most of them speaking other foreign languages too, but not necessarily Greek or English. So, when a word was not known by anyone, the teacher was explaining it in Greek. If, for example, the student from Syria understood it, she was translating in Arabic, for the student from Maroc, which was saying it in English for whoever spoke the language. Then, the Syrian student was saying it in French for the students from France, Italy and Spain. The Italian student was saying it in Italian for the Romanian and Moldavian one. The Moldavian was saying it in Russian for the students from Georgia. Also, the Spanish student was translating it into German. We all gladly discovered how many words from our native languages were similar to other languages and even learnt some new words.
Although it sounds like fun, this method can take a bit of time. Yes, you can make lots of friends, but if you are rushed to make money and raise some children too, this approach might not be very efficient.
English Classes on Skype
They are a good fit if you still want a personal connection with the teacher, but don’t have the budget to call it at home. In order to take the most out of it, you need a good internet connection and a quiet place where you can listen and talk with it. In case you live into a crowded accommodation, these conditions might be difficult to achieve. Plus, you can’t really schedule the lessons at any hour and day of the week, without having a variation in price. The advantage is that you don’t have to limit yourself to the teachers that live in your area.
Excellent for very busy people, as they offer unlimited flexibility. You can study at any time, from any device, in any place with an internet connection. Many of them offer access to a Facebook group and/or virtual classes. There, you can meet new people and even share experiences about complimentary topics. Even more, in case you don’t understand a word, there’s no need to make a big, group translation. Instead, since you’re online anyway, you can look on Google Translate for that word. The biggest advantage is that it requires a low level of commitment and short term learning.
I remember when I secured a job in the UK, as Electrical Engineer. On that time, I was living in Poland and was having a very busy schedule. So, I enrolled into a specialised online English course about engineering. At some point, I met the phrase “electrocuted”. It was impossible for me to remember it and asked for advise from other mates. One of them sent me the photo below. Since then, I always remember it.
Types of English lessons based on your goals
I would recommend them when you just start learning the English language. You need some general English classes before starting to build on more specialised fields. They will help you accomplish basic tasks like asking for directions. If you are on a more advanced level, they will help you making connections among locals. Believe it or not, they are an excellent resource of information, tips and tricks on how to solve various, typical British problems.
In case you worked on a higher position in your country and want to do the same in the UK, these courses are the solution. There you learn exactly the necessary words to get a job in your field. As long as your qualifications can be recognised in the Great Britain, it’s a pity to not take full advantage of the specialised English lessons. For the moment, we have one for engineers, mechanics and technicians. Soon, we will have a course for HR, too.
Types of English lessons based on teacher’s nationality
The advantage is that the teacher will pronounce the words very well. But, will it be able to deeply understand your needs? In case you keep rescheduling the classes, will it understand that you’re trying to sort out some documents? Are you sure it won’t have misconceptions about your origins? Or that it won’t discourage you from living in this country? How will help you remember difficult words if can’t see what’s so difficult? It’s very important that you and the teacher are on the same wavelength.
Here you have higher chances to be understood. Once upon a time, this teacher struggled with learning English in the same way you do it now. It will have funny stories about how confused certain words, which will help you memorize them. And might even give you tips and tricks about how to improve your life in the UK. With a bit of luck, speaks the same language as you, in which case is much easier to learn. The disadvantage is that might make slightly more mistakes and mispronunciation than a native British. Still, I learnt English in my native country. This didn’t stop me to speak an understandable English.
If the team is made a British and an immigrant, it’s the best thing you can find. The immigrant will understand your needs and will be able to help you memorize. Meanwhile, the British will take care that all the information you learn is correct and you have good examples of pronunciation.
Types of English lessons based on your level of english
This criteria is the most important. Do not enroll into a higher level of English lessons than you can speak. It will be too difficult for you to understand them and will demoralise you. Enrolling into a lower level of English lessons than you can speak is again a bad idea. You already know most of the information from that course, it will only bore you.
What are the English levels?
Teachers use different scales to assess it. The most common scale is beginner, intermediate and advanced level. European Union uses a different one on assessing the pupils: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. The A1 means total beginner, without speaking a word of English. C2 is a very advanced level of English.
What type of English lessons do you prefer?