Students rarely put goals in their mind when they want to choose a language school. Student wants should be a substitute for
someone else's wants when it comes to planning objectives. Whether you want to learn to speak Spanish or Chinese, course flexibility to achieve yours
goals equals success or failure.
Any student should ask themselves what are
the goals they would like to achieve. What outcomes will their studies secure, are they to pass an examination or to have oral skills to
negotiate in business? Do they need the language to talk to new friends from a non-English-speaking country or are they intending to
travel independently in a particular region or country? Will the school really help them secure their ambitions? The old saying make your
own plans or you will fit into someone else's plan, is the most relevant when it comes to language learning goals.
Review and recall are the issues that should be
associated with how long the course is. If a student is thinking of taking a course that is fewer than three months, I would
describe that as an intensive course. A course that does not allow a review of material beyond three months is a course that is at risk of
letting a student forget much of what is learnt. The physical course materials that she or he takes away from the course after it
has finished are especially important if the course lasted fewer than three months.
What's the magic about three months I hear you ask?
Well no magic because according to language specialists like Dr Pimsleur, we need to review what we have learnt over gradually longer and
longer periods of time if we are going to avoid forgetting what we have learnt. Students may not get the maximum value from two weeks of hard
work and full-time study because the necessary reviews have not been built into such a short course. A means to constantly practice and review
what has been learned, several months after the event is the only way of making certain of maximum benefit.
Talking is the key to fluency, not endless lists of
verbs. Fluency only comes with social contact with other warm-blooded human beings. There is an electric and strength with the use of language
when we exchange it with one another that no form of self-study can give you. That is why a language course in a classroom wins compared with
any other language study choices. The student companions in a class can be more important than the material studied. Will the other students
in the class be at the same learning level as you? Encourage to converse with one another in the class is an opportunity of the greatest
value towards fluency.
Language learning is best nurtured by enjoying human
contact with teachers and companions students speaking the target language. The opportunities that a study group would have to go out into the
real world together, talking with native speakers is a special confidence nurturing experience. Most bedroom experiences people have with
language leaving schools can involve one-way participation with a teacher and little talking between students. Contacting the school
and asking about the ways a class is conductives gives a clear idea of student participation.
Learning on location in the country of the relevant
language can be an exciting and worthwhile experience. The experience can and should be a full experience of travel using the language.
You can easily turn the whole learning experience into an adventure, from the time you arrive at the boarder or the airport. Taking the bus
rather than a taxi and having to ask which bus gets you where, can be a nerve-racking experience if you have never conversed with a native
speaker before. If safety allows then this is by far a better learning experience rather than traveling in a large escorted
Students should be willing and able to socialize in the
evenings. The school should offer helpful advice about security and where to go to practice the language skills gained during the day. These
are the basics of using a language school in a country different from you own. If circumstances do not allow foreign language school travel,
the main advantage of language school study will not be lost. Language is brought to life when
people communicate with one another where ever they are.