Should I Take Private Classes or Join the Community?

Written by
Tony Kaizen

|

After a year of focusing solely on content creation, I've decided to start giving private English classes again. Here's everything you need to know about the classes, and how this option is different from the Life in English Community Membership.

All about the classes

Private English classes are a great way for you to practice your communication skills and get all of your questions answered. Although they’re usually more expensive than group classes or community memberships, they still tend to be a better investment. And they’re certainly more effective than overpriced ‘English fluency’ courses that are usually just a playlist of videos about English and they don’t help you to speak at all.

I would suggest private classes to people who have specific goals they need to reach in a relatively short amount of time (6-12 months.) Keep reading to learn more about my classes and determine whether they’re the right solution for you or not.

What’s the price of classes?

Class prices vary depending on what type of class you need and how many classes you take per month. For current class prices, please visit the private english classes page.

How long are the classes?

The standard class is 60 minutes. However, 30-minute classes are available upon request (you just have to ask for them.)

What’s the structure/format?

When you apply for private classes, I will get some information from you to learn about your specific goals and learning methods. Then I will prepare some lessons based on your needs before we have our first class. 

Once we arrive in class, we will focus at least 90% of the time on making conversation and correcting grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary mistakes. We will focus on helping you sound more natural and confident when you speak.

Will I have homework assignments?

Most of the people I teach are busy professionals or university students with limited free time. So I typically do not create homework assignments for my students because I know there’s a low chance that they actually complete them. However, if you feel that you need the extra assignments outside of class, I’m more than happy to help you find some good resources for studying and improving in your free time.

Can I schedule any time?

You can schedule your class during any of my available time periods (if my calendar shows availability, you may schedule your class at that time.) However, you must pay for the entire month of classes before being able to see the calendar and schedule your lessons.

What about cancellations?

You will receive a 100% refund if you request it at least 24 hours before the first class of the month. After you have taken your first class, you won’t be able to receive a refund. You are also expected to arrive at class on time. If you arrive late, extra time will not be added to the class.

How will this help me improve my English?

Spoken language is learned through conversation. So when you take classes with me, you will be doing the most effective thing you can possibly do to learn how to speak English: having conversations. I’m patient, easy-going, and I insist on creating a relaxed environment in which you feel comfortable to express yourself and have your mistakes corrected. 

Most English learners spend the majority of their time consuming content in English: music, movies, series, books, etc. However, many of them still struggle to maintain a conversation with real people… because they never talk to real people. So during our classes, you’ll be taking all of the information about English you’ve been consuming and you’re gonna put it into practice.

All about the community

The Life in English Community is for people who want to improve their English in a more casual and less structured way. All community members get access to transcripts, vocabulary guides, and other learning materials for every podcast episode. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary and get exposed to interesting stories and ideas. Community members also get access to our Discord server where we practice our written and spoken English every day. We talk via voice and text, and we share things like music, videos, movies, articles, etc.

I would suggest community membership to people who want to learn English with content that exposes them to real English. The community is also good for people who don’t have any particular timeline for learning English, but instead just want to connect with real people from around the world and make casual conversation. Keep reading to learn more about the Life in English Community and the benefits of joining.

What’s the price of community membership?

At the time of writing this article, the current membership price is $14.99 USD per month or $107.88 USD per year ($8.99/month.) However, this price is subject to change at any time. Whatever price you agree to when you sign up for membership is the price you will pay forever (even if the price increases in the future, your monthly payment will not.)

What’s the structure/format?

Community membership has a self-guided study format. You can listen to the podcast, read the transcripts, do the writing exercises, and enter the Discord server whenever you want. I release new podcast episodes every week, so you’ll always have something new to listen to while you’re at work, school, the gym, or home washing dishes. The interactive website features make it easy to learn real English casually and practically.

On Discord we talk about a bunch of different subjects like philosophy, culture, sports, education, food, etc. Imagine talking with your friends on a Friday night. You're eating snacks, drinking wine, and talking about life. That's what our Discord server is like. The purpose of this community is to give people a place where they can find cool people who really wanna learn and grow together on their journey to fluency in English. And I'm happy to say that on our Discord server, you can practice your English every day with real people and you'll actually see an improvement. We talk via video, voice, and text. I also do livestreams, and we're constantly sharing different videos, articles, and music with each other.

What level of English is this for?

The Life in English Community and Podcast are meant for intermediate & advanced learners. If you can read and understand most of the text on this website, you should be able to understand the podcast episodes. Every episode comes with a transcript and vocabulary and grammar guide. This will help you to follow what I'm saying even if you don't understand every word. The community has people of all levels from beginner to advanced, and we all help each other to practice and improve.

How will this help me improve my English?

Podcasts are by far one of the best ways to improve your English comprehension and increase your active vocabulary. By producing podcast episodes that expose you to real spoken English and a variety of interesting stories and ideas, you will naturally find yourself learning new words and expressions every time you listen to the podcast. Reading the transcript and vocabulary guide will guarantee that you understand every single word and how they’re used in real situations.

The community on Discord will give you a chance to exchange information and make connections with other English learners from around the world, as well as chat with me and get all of your questions about English answered. Learning a difficult skill is much easier (and more fun) when you have friends to do it with; and having direct access to an English teacher who can clear up your doubts is priceless. With the Life in English Podcast, community, and video lessons, you’ll have all the content and support you need to learn English in a more interesting and natural way.

Which one is for you?

If you’re still not sure which option is right for you, let me summarize by showing you the pros and cons of each one.

Pros of private classes

  • You get 60 minutes of undivided attention from your teacher 1-2 times a week
  • You get help with creating a study plan and focusing only on what you need to know
  • Classes become part of your weekly routine (increased chance of staying committed to your studies)

Cons of private classes

  • Larger financial investment required
  • It could take longer to find the teacher that's right for you
  • Your conversations in English are longer, but less frequent

Pros of community membership

  • Learn a bunch of real English with lots of content and bonus learning materials
  • Make connections with people from around the world and exchange information
  • Unlimited access to your teacher and language exchange partners
  • Casual learning environment, come and go as you like.
  • There are no fixed time/schedule requirements

Cons of community membership

  • 1-on-1 conversations with your teacher are less frequent
  • You're responsible for making time for studying with the podcast and interacting in the community
  • Less structured learning process
  • You're not always guaranteed to practice with a native speaker

Conclusion

Honestly, neither options is 'better' than the other; but there might be on that's better for YOU. So take some time to consider your goals, your learning style, how much time you can dedicate to studying, etc. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve and how prefer to do things will help you decide whether you should take private classes with me, or join the Life in English Community.

If you have any questions about the classes or membership, don't hesitate to email me at tony@lifeinenglish.net

I look forward to learning with you.

Life in English Newsletter