How to choose an ESL school

Here are some things to consider in an ESL school:

Class size:  Enough classmates for healthy interaction and practice, but not so many that the teacher doesn’t notice me.

Levels offered:  The more levels offered, the more I can be sure that the instruction is the correct difficulty and pace for my needs.

Class structure:  Are several levels mixed in one class?  Is the instruction self-led (I listen to a tape or work on my own in a book) or are there lessons and activities led by a teacher?

Variety of students:  Are all the students from one or two first languages?  The more diversity, the more I will be encouraged to use English as the one language everyone understands.

Teacher qualifications:  Do the instructors have educational background in Education, Linguistics, and English?  How many years of classroom experience do they have?  Do they do ongoing professional development?

Flexibility of instruction:  Do I have any options to tailor instruction or courses to my interests and needs?

Atmosphere:  Is this a place where I feel safe and happy?  If I am relaxed, I will learn better.

Hours of instruction: Are there enough hours of instruction each week for me to make progress?  Does the class schedule fit well with my life?

Price:  Does the price fit my budget?  Are there scholarships or financial aid available?

Outcomes:  What is their student success rate?  How do they define success?

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