Frequently Asked Questions
- What languages do you offer?
- Do you have a tutor in my area?
- Where will the tuition take place?
- When will the tuition take place?
- How flexible is the tuition?
- How quickly can I have a first lesson?
- What happens if I need to re-schedule or cancel a lesson?
- How much will my tuition cost?
- Do I have to book a number of lessons in advance?
- Are there discounts for large bookings?
- Do you offer group tuition?
- What are the advantages of private tuition?
- How do you select your tutors?
- Does my tutor have to be a native speaker?
- How will you assess my level?
- Will I need books?
Which language would you like to learn? French, Spanish, Farsi, Amharic, Malay? No matter the language, we can invariably find you a teacher! We recruit new teachers daily and have a network of contacts with embassies, international communities, local government associations, charities as well as education institutions nationwide to help us find tutors local to you.
We even offer tuition in ancient languages such as Latin, ancient Greek, Akkadian and Sanskrit.
Our tutors are based all over the UK and Ireland. When you contact us, we will do an initial search to confirm whether we already have a tutor in your area and if not, we will then source one, keeping you informed of our progress.
Call Conversation Piece now to find out if we have a tutor in your area already!
Where will the tuition take place?
Your tutor will come to your preferred venue, usually your home or office. If you are unable to have your tuition at your home or office, we will search for a tutor who offers tuition at their home instead. We can also offer the choice of our centre in Earlsfield, Wandsworth.
When will the tuition take place?
We endeavour to choose a tutor who is available on your preferred days and times; lessons usually take place between:
- 9am and 8pm on weekdays
- 9am and 4pm on Saturdays
Teachers usually recommend mornings as an ideal time for learning and always suggest that you allow for a break between leaving work and starting your language lesson.
How flexible is the tuition?
We aim to offer a flexible language tuition service that fits in with your timetable. After the first lesson has taken place, you can arrange the times and days of future lessons directly with your tutor.
How quickly can I have a first lesson?
When we receive your booking form with all your requirements, we do a quick search for tutors in your area. If we have someone already registered, lessons can usually commence within one week of receiving your request. In the event that we do not yet have a tutor registered in your area, we will let you know how long we estimate it will take to source a suitable teacher and register them with our Company and we will keep you informed of our progress.
What happens if I need to re-schedule or cancel a lesson?
Conversation Piece Tutors try their best to accommodate changes in your timetable. If you do have to re-schedule a lesson, please ensure you let the teacher know as early as possible, giving at least 24 hours notice (see cancellation policy below).
We understand that your timetable may vary so our tutors endeavour to be flexible and offer you a choice of days and times to suit your schedule.
We have a simple cancellation policy:
(a) If a lesson is scheduled for a time within our Office hours (9.00 am to 5.00 pm Mon to Thurs; 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Fri), 24 hours notice must be given.
(b) If the lesson is outside our working hours, e.g. 7.00 pm on a Tuesday, the Office must be notified on the preceding Monday between 9.00am and 5.00 pm.
(c) If a lesson scheduled for a Monday is cancelled, notice must be given on the preceding Friday between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm.
(d) If these conditions are met, no charge for the cancellation will result; if not, the cancelled lesson must be paid for in full.
How much will my tuition cost?
The tuition cost is based on an hourly rate that varies depending on the language and the number of students taking part in the lessons.
- One-to-one French lesson: the cost will be £35 per hour + VAT or £52.50 + VAT for a 1.5-hour lesson
- One-to-one Russian lesson: the cost will be £40 per hour + VAT or £60 + VAT for a 1.5-hour lesson
We endeavour to source tutors who live or work close to where you wish the tuition to take place; however, in the event that we are unable to find a local tutor, a travel charge may be incurred. We will always discuss this with you beforehand.
All bookings are payable in advance. We send you an invoice by email or by post and you can pay by bank transfer or cheque. All payment options are detailed on the invoice.
Do I have to book a number of lessons in advance?
The minimum booking is 4 lessons, payable in advance.
After the initial lesson, we contact you for feedback to ensure that you are happy with your teacher and the way that the lesson went. Please note that there are discounts available for bookings of 20 or 30 hours. If, after your first booking, you would like to avail yourself of these discounts, you may do so at any time.
Are there discounts for large bookings?
Yes, we may offer a discount on larger bookings. Please contact us for more information.
Do you offer group tuition?
Learning a language with your partner, friends or colleagues can be a great way of splitting costs; it also gives you people to practise your new skills with! An ideal group size is 2 to 5 students and we usually recommend that group sessions be at least 1.5 or 2 hours long so that everyone has a chance to participate and practise.
What are the advantages of private tuition?
Imagine you have signed up for a group course: you are in a class of 10 people whose levels and abilities may vary. The teacher has to cater for the group and they have to ensure that everyone participates, meaning that you have to wait your turn.
While group courses may be a cheaper option, it is rarely the best or the quickest way to improve your language skills!
With private tuition, a teacher travels to your home and dedicates his or her time entirely to your level, ability and specific needs so no time is wasted travelling to another venue, you have the tutor’s undivided attention and they will ensure that your course content is tailored to your exact requirements: holidays, business, conversational, grammar-oriented, etc.
How do we select your teacher?
Our language teachers are our most important asset. The success of our Company is dependent on our teacher's professionalism and expertise. We therefore take great care in choosing them:
Checks and references:
- We ask for copies of our language teachers’ professional qualifications
- We ensure that all our trainers have extensive language teaching experience
- We require a current Police Check Certificate
- We ensure that our language teachers are either native speakers or of native standard
- We request three up to date references of a personal and professional nature, each of which is followed up
Will my teacher be a native speaker?
We prefer to work with native speakers for their cultural knowledge as much as for their linguistic skills; nevertheless we also work with British tutors who are bilingual and have extensive knowledge of their chosen language and the country’s culture. We will always provide you with the tutor of your choice.
Our imperative is that you get along well with your tutor and this is a question of personality rather than native language!
How will you assess my level?
When you complete our client form, we ask you to write a short self-assessment and to describe the purpose of the tuition. If we need more information, we will then call you to do a basic telephone assessment. We then pass on this information to your tutor who will call you before the first lesson to discuss your tuition and will, if necessary, conduct a more in-depth assessment.
The first lesson allows the teacher the opportunity to confirm your level in all four skills and to tailor future lessons to your exact needs.
Will I need books?
During your first lesson, your tutor will assess your level and determine with you what you wish to achieve. Based on this, he or she may recommend learning materials that we encourage you to purchase as it will serve as a reference point for the duration of your course.
Conversation Piece can order the books and audio material on your behalf and have them sent to your home or office.