Online Courses – FAQs

Where are your teachers based?

Most of our teachers are originally from the UK, but many are currently living and working overseas.  We have teachers working across the world in many different time zones.

Are your teachers native English speakers?

All of our teachers are either native speakers of English or are bilingual (or multilingual!) and completely proficient in English.  You can look at our teacher profiles to see which teachers speak other languages as well as English.

What qualifications do your teachers have?

Our teachers all have a degree and an initial qualification in teaching English.  Several also have further qualifications such as Masters and post-graduate diplomas.  You can look at our teacher profiles for full details of their qualifications.

What previous experience do your teachers have?

All our online tutors have previously worked for us on our summer school programmes and all are teachers we know and trust.  Across our teaching staff the average is 10 years previous English language teaching experience.

Can I study with my summer school teacher?

Many of the teachers who work for us over the summer also tutor for us online.  Have a look at the teacher profiles to see if you can find the teacher who taught you over the summer.

How long are our courses?

We have the following study programmes:

  • 20 lessons with 4 months self-study online campus access
  • 10 lessons with 3 months self-study online campus access
  • 5 lessons with 2 months self-study online campus access
  • 2 x Trial lessons with 1 month self-study online campus access

Can I take more than one course?

You can take as many courses as you want to.

What will I study in my course?

Our teachers will speak to you in your first lesson to find out why you are studying and will assess your language to see what your strengths and weaknesses are.  They will then design a study programme that is based around your individual language needs.

Can your courses help me prepare for an English exam?

Yes, our teachers can help you prepare for IELTS, Cambridge or other international English language exams.  Our online campus includes exam preparation materials and in your classes you can work on exam techniques and improving the skills you need to succeed in your exam.  On your application form you can request to focus on exam preparation.

Can your courses help me improve my pronunciation?

Yes.  This is a focus of our summer school programmes so our teachers specialise in helping students improve their pronunciation.  Our approach is to teach pronunciation as a physical activity.  Your teacher will focus on sounds that are particularly difficult for speakers of your language, showing you the correct mouth and tongue position to make each sound. They will also teach you how to use stress and intonation in English and how sounds and words link together to create a flow of speech.  There are additionally self-study exercises on pronunciation in our online campus.

Can your courses help me improve my writing?

Yes.  Your teacher will set you writing assignments for homework and use the lesson time to review your work and teach you the language you need to improve your writing.

How many lessons do I take each week?

Most of our students chose to study one lesson a week, but you can book courses with two or three lessons per week.  If you would like to study more intensively (for example, taking a lesson each day over the Christmas holidays) we can often arrange this.  There is an option for requesting a bespoke course on the booking form.

Will I be given homework?

You can agree with your teacher at the start of your course how much homework you want to do.

What if I need to postpone a lesson?

Re-arranging and postponing lessons is fine as long as you let your teacher know 48 hours in advance of the lesson. In a twenty-lesson course you can re-arrange up to 3 lessons per course, ten-lesson course up to 2 lessons and a five-lesson course up to 1 lesson per course.

How long are our lessons?

Lessons are 45 minute long. They can be booked as single 45-minute-long lessons or double 90 minutes long.

Can I take longer lessons?

It is possible to book double lessons of 90 minutes. You can tell us how many lessons you want each week, on which days and whether single or double lessons on the booking form. When we confirm your lessons with you, we will check if you would like to study for 90 minutes without a break or if you would like to have two 45-minute lessons with a short break in the middle.

How soon can I start my course?

We normally need at least ten working days to get everything set up for you.

Do I need to download any software?

Our campus is web-based, you will need to download an app to use our online classroom. It is very quick and does not take much space. You will receive full instructions on confirmation of your course. We recommend only using a desktop or laptop during the lesson and not a phone or tablet e.g. ipad.

Do I need an internet connection?

Yes. We recommend that you use a broadband internet connection and make sure that there are no other devices using the network when you are having your classes as this could affect your connection speed.

What happens if I miss a lesson?

Without prior notice (48 hours) to re-arrange the lesson the missed lesson will be forfeited and lost. If you cannot attend a lesson due to illness; 1 lesson per course may be re-scheduled if less than 48 hours is provided and agreed by HSSC.