Today I visited one of our students taking a Business English course. Olga is from Barcelona in Spain, and is joining Homelingua for a one week (6 nights) course + additional night (19th January until 26th January). Although there is lots of opportunity during and after the course for the teacher and student to give feedback to Homelingua, I try to get out of the office at least once a month to meet teachers and students. My colleagues in the office try to do the same. This means that we are keep in touch with our teachers and students and listen out for anything we can do better.
Olga is an upper intermediate speaker of English and several years ago lived in London for 1 and a half years, working part-time and attending an English language school.
I began by asking Olga for feedback on the Homelingua booking process. Like many clients who join a Homelingua Learn English Homestay, Olga has a busy professional life and could only book her course a week or so before departure.
The first thing that Olga pointed out was that we had not given her the best infiormation about which airport to use when coming to the UK. Our information explained that Luton was the nearest airport to her teacher. Well, Luton is the nearest airport, but it was not the easiest airport that Olga could have used. Olga was using public transport to get to the teacher’s home and it would have been easier for Olga to have travelled to the teacher’s home (near Oxford) if she had flown to Heathrow airport.
We have already started amending our website to give more accurate information about the best airport to use for each teacher.
I was also interested to hear from Olga the difference between a home tuition course and an English course in a language school, and why she chose a home tuition course. Olga explained that she wanted to improve her speaking and listening skills, and the home tuition course was providing a “total immersion English learning experience”. Although Olga’s English is excellent, the hometuition course was an opportunity to build up confidence in listening and speaking English, and to activate a lot of her ‘passive’ vocabulary.
It was a lovely opportunity to meet Olga and to learn about her home tuition experience.