english classes

The Ultimate Guide to English Classes: Top Tips from an ESL Teacher

Taking an English class opens many new opportunities for English learners.

An English class is a way to meet new friends. It’s a place to communicate with other learners.

And of course, an English class is also an incredible way to improve your English—a fulfilling goal that’ll have real benefits in the future.

In short, taking an English class is a way to learn and have fun at the same time!

But before you sign up for a class, or walk through that classroom door to meet your new classmates, you need to have a clear idea about what exactly you want to achieve.

Because of this, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about English classes.

Class is in session!

Why Sign Up for an English Class?

It’s the 21st century. There are an infinite number of online resources, YouTube channels and endless opportunities to connect globally online. You might be wondering why you should sign up for an English class at all.

Is it even worth it?

These are all excellent questions. We’re going to look at some of the reasons why you might sign up for an English class.

  • Classes are a great way to learn English. Of course, the most obvious reason to sign up for an English class is to learn English. It goes without saying that English is an international language that dominates business and pop culture. It’s an important language for the future.

    If you’re learning in a classroom setting, you’ll more than likely be learning from an English native speaker. This means you’ll learn a correct form of English.

  • Classes help you improve your English communication. If you’re a language learner, then you know that there’s something different about practicing a language face-to-face. Real-time interaction, body language and facial expressions all contribute to better comprehension.

    This is why an in-person English class is one of the best methods to improve your English communication skills.

  • Classes keep you motivated and on track. There are many barriers to language learning that we may come across. In fact, many of these barriers we place there ourselves! If you feel like you can’t learn English then a class is the perfect environment for you. Why?

    Well, classes are designed to improve your English skills in all areas. Everybody’s moving toward the same goal and there’s no embarrassment or shame. Your teacher and fellow classmates want to see you do well. In this way, you can slowly build your English confidence and stay on track.

Depending on the English class, there may be additional benefits, too. These might include social events, movie nights, coffee meetings and day trips.

Of course, an English class can also be an excellent way to work toward some form of accreditation such as an English exam or a title.

Is an English class right for me?

An English class is for anybody looking to study their English skills in a social environment.

Here are a few quick points to help you decide if it’s the right decision for you.

  • Am I a social person? You’ll be grouped with other language learners looking to improve their English skills as well. Because of that, an English class will suit a social person who’s comfortable talking to new people. If you’re not a very social person, you can also think of an English class as a way to build your English comfort level.
  • Do I like structure? An English class will follow some form of structure. Many English classes follow a coursebook. You may also work with lesson plans that are organized by your teacher. This means you might not be able to choose the coursework that most interests you.
  • Do I want to learn English grammar? Traditionally, English classes tend to focus on grammar and will provide a solid base in it. In this way, classes can be an excellent place for a beginner.
  • Do I have a flexible schedule? You’ll be required to attend a certain number of classes per week. Ask yourself if you have time to commit to a class.

How to Make the Most of an English Class

There’s an expression in English that states you only get out what you put in.

This means that you need to take advantage of opportunities and invest time and effort into them to see results.

If you simply sit passively in the English classroom, you might have a bad experience. You have to be engaged and ask questions.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to make the most of an English class.

Participate as much as possible

This is an obvious yet sometimes forgotten step.

english classes

Take part in as many opportunities as possible. This will allow you to gain more exposure. You have to answer questions and do your homework. You should be looking for optional classes, conversation days, local meetups, film clubs and any other opportunities that arise.

If there’s nothing like that available, consider starting your own club or organizing to meet your fellow students.

Maximize your speaking time

It’s very important that you get as much speaking time as possible in the classroom. This is because you’re in an environment where you can receive feedback from your teacher immediately.

Especially if you’re in a country or region where you can’t immerse yourself in English, it’s very important to make the most of your class time.

Supplement your classes with FluentU

english classes

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

It’s important to note that class time is just one piece of your language learning puzzle. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that attending class is enough. Of course, this isn’t the case. We need to be learning from real-world sources that provide cultural insights, contemporary content and a diverse library of thousands of clips.

By supplementing your classes with FluentU videos, you’ll be able to maintain practice between classes. FluentU allows you to review vocabulary and strengthen listening comprehension skills.

Talk to your teacher

Your English teachers are there to help you. They want to see you succeed and be the best English speaker you can be. At the end of the day, it’s their job!

That’s why it’s important to make time to speak with your teacher regarding any doubts you may have or questions that have been causing you trouble. You’ll find that they’re more than happy to answer all questions you may have.

How to Succeed in an English Class

Here are some top tips for getting a great grade in your English class!

Set a goal for yourself

Dream big! Goals are everything. When broken down into smaller steps, they form the basis for our success.

english classes

When taking an English class, be sure to set a goal for yourself. Maybe you want to travel, work in an English speaking country or even sit an accredited English exam.

Perhaps you’re taking an English class at school or university and are preparing an oral presentation in English. Whatever it is, you need to set a target that you hope to achieve.

Continually remind yourself of this goal. You can create a diary with daily goals or write your goals on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Check your progress regularly

To reach our end goal, we should be aiming for smaller checkpoints. Because of this, it’s important to find ways to measure your progress.

You can sit sample exams, take tests online and check with your teacher to make sure you’re improving.

Before you sign up for an English class, look at how you’ll be graded and if there are frequent progress checks.

Pay attention to your teacher’s feedback

You should ask for lots of feedback on your speaking and writing skills. If your English school allows you to, you should submit papers for review every week.

You can also encourage fellow students to provide feedback on all parts of your speaking capabilities.

Of course, once your teacher gives you their feedback, take care to listen and try to remember it for the future.

If you ask for feedback along the way, you’ll know you’re on track to get a good grade.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

If you want to succeed in English class, one of the key steps is to increase your vocabulary.

english classes

The classroom can be a great place to try out new vocabulary. You can get immediate feedback from your teacher and the other students, so you’ll know if you’re using the word correctly and if your pronunciation is good.

Trying new things can be scary, but your teacher will appreciate your effort and confidence.

Work on your writing skills

If you want to succeed in your English class, I recommend spending some time learning the basics of academic English writing. Focus on the most important areas of writing: grammar, spelling and punctuation.

If you struggle with writing, you can look for a tutor to help you improve your English writing.

Writing can be hard. But don’t worry! Check out this great resource about how to overcome academic English obstacles.

Come prepared for class

Before class starts, make sure that you’ve completed any assigned homework. Also, come to class with a list of questions that you want to ask your teacher.

If possible, you should come to class with an idea of what you’ll be learning that day.

This way, you’ll feel confident and happy every time you go to class!

Attend every class

This one may seem obvious, but I have to say it!

english classes

It’s amazing how quickly your English level declines if you neglect your studies. That’s why you must aim to attend every class on the calendar.

Classes follow a strict schedule. If you miss some classes, you’ll find yourself falling behind. You might also miss key details and new information.

How to Choose an English Class

With the above information in mind, we need to consider how best to choose an English class.

This will include a number of factors that depend on your own personal timetable, lifestyle and educational needs.

Here are some factors to think about when choosing a class:

  • Location: Is the school close to you? If not, how far are you willing to travel?
  • Times/schedules: How will the class fit into your daily schedule? Consider other factors such as when you feel most motivated throughout the day. Are you better off attending a class in the morning or at night?
  • What does the class offer?: You’ll find that some English classes may specialize in different areas of study. For example, some classes focus on exam preparation, while others focus on business English or conversational English.
  • Cost: You need to consider what you’re willing to spend on an English class. Think about additional benefits such as materials, classes and social events.

Where to Find Your Perfect English Class

english classes

You may now be thinking: An English class sounds great! But where exactly can I find one?

Well, there are many different options available! You just have to find the perfect one for your needs.

Here are some places to start.

Course listings at nearby universities

A great starting point is to check the webpages of local universities.

More often than not you’ll be able to find short courses, seasonal courses and intensive courses aimed at different levels of English speakers.

This is a great step if you want to follow a set syllabus. There may be a possible option for night courses.

Take a look at the following tips on how to find the ultimate intermediate English course for your specific requirements.

Online courses

Of course, it’s also possible to attend online English courses.

This is an excellent option for those who are unable to reach in-person classes or a nearby academy. It can also be a great substitute for your normal English classes.

Local English academies, community centers and schools

Make sure to check if there are English academies in your community.

You can check online blogs, forums and Reddit pages. Or, you can start with a quick Google search.

You might also find English class opportunities at local libraries or cultural centers.

When looking for an academy, always read reviews and online stories of experiences at these academies to find the right one for you!

Intensive programs

If you’ve attended an English class before or are looking for a chance to increase your English level in a short amount of time, you may want to consider an intensive English course.

These are generally immersion programs that offer a lot of exposure to English in a short period of time. They usually cover all aspects of English learning: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Often, these courses are taught during the summer.

International study programs

Since we’re talking about where to find the perfect English class, well, why not look in an English speaking country?

This is the ultimate in English immersion. It can also be a fantastic end goal for a language learner.

Take a look at some great options below.

  • United States of America: There are many opportunities available for English learners to study in the United States. While the United States doesn’t have an official language, English is the most commonly spoken language there! Start with these great summer camp options for ESL learners. You can also find opportunities for longer-term English learning in the United States.
  • Canada: There are many study options in Canada. With a great standard of living, friendly people and stunning scenery, it’s the perfect place to practice English. Review these 14 options for learning English in Canada to get you started.
  • England: There are countless options for English learners to ‘level up’ their language skills in England. After all, it’s the home of the English language! You’ll be “speaking the Queen’s,” which means speaking formal English, in no time at all. Take a look at the steps you can take towards learning English in England.

English Classes for Kids

We’ve included a separate section here about English for kids. This is because kids need specific types of English classes that keep them both engaged and entertained.

It’s very important that children learn English as early as possible to soak up all the input and language.

Because of this, choosing the right English course for kids is different than choosing a class for adults.


Taking an English class is one of the best things you can do for your English language learning.

Yes, there are many free resources available online. But English classes are more important than ever. With lots of passion and some research, you can find the perfect class to suit your needs no matter what stage you’re at in your English learning journey.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.

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