Updated 30/6/21

Here are answers to common questions about joining adult group classes. Please contact us if you have any other enquiries. We will be pleased to help.

Covid-19 precautions

Regardless of the teaching format, our approach and ethos remains the same. We aim to help students gain a practical grasp of the language in an informal and relaxed way.

Due to Covid, Hitchin Language Centre moved entirely to online classes for the 2020/21 academic year.

Starting in September 2021 we plan to resume some 'in person' teaching for small group classes with Covid precautions in place. All students for 'in person classes' are required to follow precautions set out in the HLC Covid Advice to Students.

Online classes are mostly via Zoom (with a few by Skype). We appreciate that some students may find the idea of participating online daunting but rest assured that tutors will do their best to put you at your ease just as they would if you were face to face in a classroom environment. Before the start of the course your tutor will send you the relevant directions for joining the class online and if you request it will test the connection with you before the first lesson. If you do have any difficulty with acclimatising to learning online, please do let your tutor know and they will do their best to offer you help and advice.

How are classes structured?

The emphasis of the teaching at Hitchin Language Centre is on practical usage, so that students can put into practice very quickly what they have learnt. Classes are small (normally 8 is normally the maximum number of students) allowing plenty of speaking and listening practice in the target language. Generally, classes at beginner and intermediate level will use a textbook that will be supplemented by additional material when necessary.

How long do classes last?

All classes starting in September are designed to be ongoing, so you can stay in the same group and progress. However, fees are paid on a half-termly basis so that students can decide for themselves how long they want to study for.

How much do classes cost? 

The basic rate is £9 per hour (where there are five or more students in the class). Where classes are 90 minutes long, the cost is £13.50  per class. The cost for classes with fewer than 5 students is determined according to a sliding scale. For more details click here.

How often do I pay?

Fees are payable in half-termly blocks (half terms are generally five to seven weeks long) and in advance. So depending on the length of the half term, a typical payment would be roughly between £45 and £63 for a 1 hour class or between £67.50 and £95.40 for a 90 minute class. Click here for term dates.

Do I have to commit myself to a whole year?

No! We do appreciate that for one reason or another it may be necessary to stop your studies at short notice, so all we ask is that you commit yourself to a half-term. If you wish to stop attending a class, you only need to inform the tutor before the beginning of the next half-term, in order to avoid being charged. 

What methods of payment are acceptable?

We ask that payments are made electronically. If you prefer to pay by cheque please let us know.

What if I miss classes?

If you have to miss a class for any reason please inform the Centre as soon as possible, so that your tutor can inform you of what has been covered in that lesson. Unfortunately we are unable to make refunds for any classes missed, as class prices are calculated on the numbers enrolling for each half-term.

How do I decide on the right level of class?

At Hitchin Language Centre we offer courses in 7 levels: Beginners, Post Beginners, Pre-Intermediate, Lower Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Lower Advanced and Upper Advanced. Which level is appropriate for you will depend on your previous experience.

We aim to find a class to match your needs as closely as possible. People sometimes under-estimate how much they already know or how much they will remember from studies many years ago. Refer to the Guide to Your Level. If you are still in doubt, please email us explaining your experience and reasons for learning. We will suggest a suitable class.