How Do I Choose the Best Foreign Language School?
When choosing a foreign language school, there are many important factors to consider. Your schedule, age, level of education, and budget can and should influence your choice. First, take time to consider the level of commitment you are able to make, then begin to investigate the many foreign language schools that are compatible with your interests. If you have the time and ability to travel, a school abroad is an excellent and efficient way to learn a language.
Look for a school that emphasizes small class sizes taught by native speakers. You may be able to save some money per classroom hour by entering a school with large classes or non-native teachers, but your learning in these classes may proceed at a slower pace. If you are serious about learning another language, it is extremely important to have as much direct contact with native speakers as possible.
Finding a foreign language school with classes that fit your schedule should be easy, but make sure your schedule is compatible with learning. It is advisable to attend a class that meets at least two or three times a week. A foreign language school that offers shorter classes five days a week may help the learning process even more.
When choosing a foreign language school, look for a school that has a solid reputation and that has been established for more than just a year or two. Ask people in the area if they have heard of the school and what their opinion of it is. Established schools will typically have the best teachers and instructional methods that have been developed and adjusted over time to ensure maximum learning.
A good language teacher is able to engage all students and have an understanding of their personal skill level. The best teachers do this by achieving large amounts of personal contact in the language of instruction with each student. Look for a foreign language school whose teachers focus on one-on-one interaction. Language institutes that offer class sizes of no more than five students will usually have teachers that are easy to interact with, since they are accustomed to interaction in their classrooms. Classes larger than 10 students is too many for most teachers to achieve sufficient personal contact.
If you have the time and the budget, studying at a foreign language school in the country where the language is spoken is absolutely the best way to learn a language fast and with seemingly little effort. Medium and large cities in most countries have small, independent language schools which typically offer small classes that are taught by native speakers. The price for instruction and housing in many countries can be quite reasonable in comparison with prices in your home country.
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