How to get the most out of online English lessons

Online learning

The chances are that any trips you had planned to the UK have been cancelled. So does that mean you’ve continued with your English language studies, or have they been put on hold?

It’s pretty clear now that ‘normal’ life and international travel won’t be resuming for at best several months. Which leaves you with a decision to make – is it best to wait until things get back to normal or to take the plunge and start learning online? With new technology and a great teacher, we think learning online can be as effective as face to face learning.

Recognise your strengths and weaknesses

Before you decide whether to enrol in live classes or a self-study course, ask yourself some serious questions. Do you need external motivation? Do you like to have structure in your life and see results? The fact is, if you’re the sort of person who runs 5km and does 50 push-ups before breakfast, you may be disciplined enough to self-study. If not, think about getting a private teacher, the language equivalent of a personal trainer.

Greenwich half marathon
Do you need a ‘personal trainer’ to reach your goals?

Set goals

You also need to think carefully about what you want to achieve. Are you learning English to help you in your career or studies? Or perhaps you recently retired and now have more time on your hands. Whatever your reasons, it’s important to think about your ultimate goal and to decide how much time you want to spend studying.

Ask for feedback

A big advantage to live lessons is that you can regularly check how you’re getting on by asking for feedback. You may have concerns that you’re not progressing fast enough, or that you need to focus more on your conversation skills. Either way, by talking it through, you can continually assess your progress and adjust your programme if necessary.

Interests and themes

It’s not just children who learn best when they’re absorbed in what they’re doing! Whether you love food or fashion, let your teacher know about your interests so they can theme lessons and make them more meaningful – and memorable – for you.

Tate Modern
Tate Modern exhibit

British culture and current affairs

Language and culture are deeply connected. However, even if you’re not in the UK, you can still explore its culture. And if you can’t get to London, we’ll bring the city to you!  Certainly read articles and podcasts in your own time, but your lessons could be the key to unlocking the British sense of humour!

Should I take individual or group lessons?

Just as in a classroom environment, if there are 12 of you in your online class, learning will be slower. If you’re ambitious and want to learn fast, you’ll progress faster with intensive individual lessons. For a start, you’ll get far more chances to speak. Group lessons are a great option if you want to keep costs down or like the idea of studying with others, but for best results, we’d recommend a maximum group size of 4 or 5 students, all of a similar level.

Do your homework

If you really want to see get the most out of learning English online, be sure to practise between lessons, even if just for 10 minutes a day.

Last but most important …

Have fun!