Frequently Asked Questions
I have never studied a foreign language via Skype, so I am not sure how this method works, and I am a bit concerned about starting. I would, however, like to give it a go. What do I do?
Maybe the mistrust of Skype lessons comes from fear, or maybe in the past you have not been lucky with teachers and have had teachers who were unprofessional and didn’t know how to work by Skype, and so the lesson turned into a most unpleasant experience? You don’t need to worry! During a lesson by Skype, the teacher sees and hears the student; there is rarely a problem with the connection. The most important thing in individual lessons is that the student and the teacher have a personal communication and that they understand each other. Lessons by Skype are no exception, and now you have a unique opportunity to have a lesson with a native speaker and learn a lot about the culture and the reality of the country, and also exchange opinions with the teacher. But don’t forget that teaching is not merely about making contact; today’s technology means that lessons offer the whole suite of language learning: speaking, grammar, reading, listening, and writing. Why not just try it out? Your first lesson is absolutely free and does not obligate you in any way.
Can you guarantee that money paid out for a lesson would not be money wasted?
Our school has been open now for about half a year, and we have not received that complaint. The payment plan is very simple: you transfer money in roubles to the school’s account, and we then pay the teachers. In addition, payment is made only after the lesson is completed, which guarantees the integrity of payments and keeps your finances safe. At your request, we can also issue you with the paperwork that shows the transfer of your money to our account.
How can you guarantee that I will get the teacher I have selected? Can I make my own private arrangements with a teacher?
The first thing you do is fill out an application form for the language you want to learn. We than give you all the necessary information about the lessons, along with the contact information of the teacher. You then make contact with the teacher yourself. After each lesson, you contact us to make a payment. It does sometimes happen that private arrangements are made between teacher and student, without going through management at the school; you make such arrangements with the teacher yourself regarding when you have the lessons, payment for the lessons, materials, and any other questions.
Is learning a language by Skype a passive way of learning a language?
Having a language lesson via Skype is almost the same as having a “real” lesson at home or in the classroom. This is because the teacher and the student can see each other and speak to each other using the microphone, headphones, and web camera. If you want to learn through online lessons, you will have to install the program Skype. If you have a fast enough internet connection, and if there are no technical problems with the computer, you can clearly see and hear the teacher, so these lessons can in no way be considered a passive method of studying a language!
Are language lessons via Skype just to do with speaking?
It would be a mistake to think that lessons via Skpye are all about the speaking skill. The latest textbook materials, which we use in our lessons, are scanned and sent to you by email and so, in this way, both the teacher and the student can use the materials at the same time. Written exercises are completed and sent as an email or as a Word document. If a student prefers to write out the exercises by hand, this is also possible: just scan your work and send it to the teacher that way. Lessons also have a listening exercise component using podcasts, videos, YouTube, and exercises from textbooks. Of course we also give the student reading homework; this is an important part of our course. For students at the beginner level, we send them especially adapted books for reading. For students at the intermediate or advanced levels, we look for interesting texts on the Internet. We therefore have as our main goal to include in our courses all the components of a language (grammar, vocabulary, communication, reading, speaking, writing and listening) and to use the communicative approach to learning.
What kind of materials are used in the lessons?
In our lessons, we use the latest language-learning materials from the country where the language is being studied. These materials are sent to the student at no cost.
What other forms of technology do you use in the lessons?
The virtual whiteboard is one of our basic pieces of equipment. During the lesson, you and your teacher create a communal electronic document, using the material worked on in the lesson, which can then be gone over again at any time. In this way, the electronic whiteboard helps the student master and repeat new material, and this makes the lessons active and interesting!
What does the school Language Life do? How long has it been in business?
As a school of foreign languages, Language Life was created to teach foreign languages via Skype. The basic goal of the school is to offer all those interested in learning a foreign language a quality and accessible course of study via Skype using highly qualified, native language teachers.
Language Life is not a new school! The school has been in business since the autumn of 2012, but the site itself has only been created recently.
Who are your teachers?
All the teachers in our school are experienced, native-language professionals with their own area of specialization. Altogether, they have many years’ experience teaching a good number of languages.
The teachers go through a tough selection process by the school’s director, which includes an interview, and a trial lesson given by the teacher to the director of the school. It should be noted that the director of Language Life herself teaches Russian as a foreign language as well as teaching several other languages.
You can take a look here at the resumes of our teachers. We can show you our teachers’ original educational certificates and give you an overview of their work experience.
Who runs the school?
Yulia Amlinskaya is head of the school, and she also coordinates all the school’s activities. Yulia has many years’ experience teaching Russian as a foreign language, and other languages via Skype. Yulia also created Russificate, an international, online school for teaching Russian to foreigners. You can have a look at Yulia’s resume here
What courses do you offer?
We offer a wide range of language courses, from general courses to specialized courses, such as business courses or courses geared to sitting one of the international language exams. But certainly, the most popular courses are the general and conversational courses. Our instructors have sufficient levels of preparation to be able to offer you the whole spectrum of lessons available. But you can also choose an individualized course, or a combination of any of the programs.
What is the price structure and how does it work?
Language Life School has a flexible and efficient payment structure. The cost of a course depends on the number of lessons and the type of program you choose. Courses are divided into two groups: general and specialized. There is a discount offered to long-term clients. The first lesson (45 minutes) is a trial lesson and is free. The student may prefer to make a payment after each lesson.
Your prices seem a bit high to me. Why is that?
We think our prices are quite moderate. When you compare our prices with those of other language schools, you should consider several important factors:
All our teachers:
- are educated at least to degree level;
- are native speakers of the language they are teaching;
- speak fluent Russian.
Can we believe the testimonials of your students?
Yes, of course! We are happy to provide you with the contact details of our students, so that they can tell you in more detail about their experience of having lessons with our teachers.