Skype English lessons are convenient, economical, and can be extremely effective. The effectiveness of the classes is, of course, dependent upon the quality of your teacher, the professionalism of the school and the structure of the course.
Choosing a teacher for your Skype English lessons
Skype English lessons are no different to lessons at your local academy in terms of what you should expect from your teacher. Firstly, you should check your teacher’s qualifications. There are basically two internationally recognised qualifications for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language and your English teacher should have one of them. They are:
- Cambridge CELTA – A certificate awarded by Cambridge University, the same organisation that administers the FCE, CAE and CPE exams.
- Trinity Tesol – A certificate offered by Trinity College London, the same organisation that administers the Trinity GESE exams for English learners.
It is unusual for a teacher to have both the above qualifications as they are similar.
Besides qualifications, you should find out about your teacher’s experience. Many teachers of English leave the profession after a couple of years because they see it purely as a way to travel. Teaching English is a way for young people from English speaking countries to live abroad and get experience of working in other countries before they begin their long-term career. However, students of English can pay a lot of money for native-speaker teachers so you should demand that the teacher giving your Skype English lessons is an expert in English. Career teachers usually have at least 5 years of experience. It’s wrong to think that any native speaker can teach English. Teaching is a true skill that improves with experience. Make sure that your teacher has it!
Next, make sure that your teacher has experience of Skype English lessons. Teaching online is different to teaching in a classroom. Your teacher needs special skills to ensure your Skype English lessons are effective. These skills come with experience and training so don’t be afraid to ask how much experience your teacher has of delivering quality classes by Skype.
Choosing a school for your Skype English lessons
As I’m sure you have found, there are many online schools offering Skype English lessons. You should definitely shop around. Quality schools will only employ qualified, experienced teachers and will always offer structured Skype English lessons with clear objectives.
Read the school’s blog. Many schools maintain blogs, where their teachers contribute articles on English grammar, vocabulary, resources or other things relevant to English students. Reading the blog is a great way to get get to know the types of people who work for the school, their areas of expertise and a little bit about their personalities. Also, the quality of the information in the blog posts is a good indication of the quality of the teachers delivering the schools’ Skype English lessons.
Avoid schools offering only “conversation classes”. A “conversation” is not a “class”. Research shows that conversation is only useful to language learning when accompanied by guided study. Teachers do not do “conversation classes”. They teach!
Make your choice on value, not price. The hourly rate of the class is not the only factor to consider when choosing a school. Good Skype English lessons are designed and structured to maximise the time spent in class. £20 per hour of class may be 20 % cheaper than £25 but, if the school charging £25 is 25% more effective at helping you learn English, it’s better value.
Skype English Lessons with Desktop English
Desktop English’s students have a 95% pass rate in all Cambridge and IELTS exams. All our teachers are native speakers with recognised qualifications and a minimum of 5 years of experience teaching English and at least 2 years experience of delivering Skype English lessons.
You may want to find out more about how we can help you by enquiring about our hugely successful online classes and workshops.