1. Teaching method
The basic element we should look at is the language teaching method used by a given language school. Will you have contact with the "living" language from the very beginning? Will the classes be conducted in Polish, so as to motivate and encourage you to use the language from the very first lesson? It is very important to be "forced" to use the language you want to learn. The teacher's role should be to create as many opportunities for speaking and communicating as possible. Numerous discussions during lessons, dialogues and the use of authentic materials greatly improve communication in the new language in everyday situations. Of course, communicative language teaching method should not neglect the other skills: listening, grammatical correctness, reading and writing. They are an integral part of learning and affect the fluency and efficiency of the conversation.
2. The presence of a methodologist
After checking the method of teaching in a particular school, it is worth noting whether there is a person responsible for the quality of transmission of knowledge, namely the methodologist. The methodologist not only prepares a detailed curriculum, but also ensures its enforcement. This is very important because the curriculum is the basic element establishing the framework in which the teacher should conduct the classes. Every student has the right to inspect such a document and can familiarize himself with it before starting their studies.
3. Experience, or how long the school has been on the market
As the saying goes, experience is the best teacher, because it shows you what works and what you can do without. This principle also applies to language schools, so it is worth choosing a school which is already "an old hand" at teaching. The longer the school is on the market, the more reliable it becomes, proving that tough times are not threatening, because quality will always defend itself. Long-term students themselves are also a great showcase of the school. That's why it's worth checking their opinions about the place.
Closely related to experience is the specialization of the school. Whether a school focuses on teaching a small number of languages or collects as many as possible, can significantly affect the quality of services offered. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a school that specializes in one language and strives for perfection in teaching it.
5. Contact with the school’s office
The school's secretary's office is also its “business card”. It is often the first, and perhaps the only, way to contact the school. Well-qualified staff will help us go through the entire process of selection and recruitment to the school painlessly. They will guide us in the selection of a particular type of course or learning method, as well as provide support in unexpected situations. It is good to check the functioning of the school office, paying particular attention to the quality of contact with people working there. Do they respond efficiently to our questions and emails? Are they willing to help and look for unusual solutions in exceptional cases? Do they have a friendly and individual approach to the student?
6. Location of the school
The location of the school, especially in larger cities, is extremely important. In order not to waste a lot of time and energy commuting, it is a good idea to find a school that is "just around the corner". The most convenient location would therefore be the city centre, where most of the city's cultural and social life is concentrated. This is where we are likely to spend most of our time, especially when we are just getting to know the place. So why not take advantage of the convenient location of the school, from which we can go with friends to a cafe or a movie right after classes?
7. Additional activities
A school that is located in the city centre has more opportunities to organize additional activities for its students. It is worth asking about them already at the recruitment stage. Can you expect additional workshops or meetings? Does the school offer courses, which have an integral part in the cultural programme? Does the school engage in organizing events, where all students and teachers can integrate and have fun together? Perhaps additional attractions are just the icing on the cake when choosing a school, but isn't it true that the devil is in the details?
Choosing a language school is often a multi-step process. We hope, however, that the suggestions above will make it as pleasant and simple as possible. After all, learning doesn't have to be boring and choosing a school doesn't have to be difficult. Good luck!