FAQs - Foreign Languages

We want to help you as best we can to decide on the most suitable course for you and give you all the information you need. Below are some of your FAQs answered to make life easier for you.

Yes, we do!

Face-to-face Foreign Language classes take at our school located near Covent Garden in London.

We also run online courses via Zoom in all of our 12 Foreign Languages.

To get the most from this course you will need:

  • A reliable internet connection
  • A desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • A web camera on or attached to the device you are using
  • An integrated microphone in the device you are using or an attached headset.
  • The day before your course, you will be sent via email all the details you need to connect to the IH London Zoom classroom.

There are several ways to find out what your level is. Firstly, we would advise you to take one of our online language tests when available. These can be found on the corresponding home language page – this will help you to determine the best type of course for you. The idea is to work through the questions as far as you can and then submit. Your results will give you an indication of your banding (beginners/elementary/pre-intermediate etc).

After you receive your results, we then recommend students look at the sample course descriptions for each course within that banding – this should help you to select the best option for you, based on your current knowledge and previous studies. The course description outlines the linguistic and communicative aims of the classes as well as the content that will be covered. Another useful tip is to look at the corresponding language level guide that you can also find on the specific language page as this will give you a rough guideline in relation to the suggested hours of previous study and the international standards.

If after starting your course, you find the level too easy or challenging, then you can be changed onto a more suitable course if available. You must let us know after the first lesson. You cannot be changed onto a different course after your second lesson.

Our online classes are held via Zoom. Before your first class, you will be sent instructions on how to use and access Zoom as well as a link which will take you to the live virtual class.

Our face-to-face classes take place at our school near Covent Garden.

The times and dates of the classes are all displayed on the course pages, however our weekday courses are normally in the evenings between 6.30-8.30pm and from 6-7.30pm on a Friday. We also have courses at the weekend, usually in the mornings, as well as some early morning and lunchtime weekday classes.

Online classes will have a maximum of 12 students, and face-to-face classes a maximum of 14.

Beginner courses tend to be at capacity and fill up quickly.

For certain levels of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Greek, you are required to purchase a course book from the second lesson of the course. You can find more information and instructions on the respective course page.

For all other languages, you do not need to buy any materials before the course – you will be provided with all of this and it is included in the course package. All you need to bring is a pen.

Our lower levels of Portuguese/Spanish/French all focus on a general, standardised version of the language but do incorporate elements of all dialects in order to ensure students can understand all of the varieties. Our teachers come from a variety of different countries. At more advanced levels, students can choose to specialise in one version or another, for example we can offer specific dialect focused conversation classes or bespoke one-to-one courses.

In terms of our Arabic courses, we teach the Modern Standard variety.

Our fully-qualified teachers are native-level and come from all over the world.

Although we try to ensure that teachers progress through the levels with the same groups, we cannot always guarantee that you will have the same teacher for the following level as sometimes their personal availability changes.

The easiest way to sign up to a class is by booking online, however you could also enroll and pay over the phone or at reception.

You cannot pay for your classes in installments – you have to pay the full price of the course upfront.

If you miss a lesson, you can catch up with what you missed by accessing the resources and homework on our online platform, SharePoint. If you need support, you can contact us via email at languages@ihlondon.com.

Cancellations 14 or more days before course commencement date: full refund

Cancellations between 14 and 7 days before course commencement date: full refund minus £50 of cancellation fee

Cancellations made within 7 days of course commencement date: no refund

Postponements made 7 or more days prior to course commencement date: Permitted  

Postponements within 7 days of the course commencement date: Not permitted 

Postponements on or after the course commencement date: Not permitted 

SharePoint is an online platform where our teachers upload all of their class notes for students to catch up or revise the content covered. You will be sent your login details before your first lesson.

Once your classes end you will no longer have access, so we therefore suggest students download the class materials before the end of the course.

Send an email to languages@ihlondon.com and we will help you.

Yes – our one-to-one classes are bespoke, and can be booked in blocks of 15 or 30 hours. We try our best to schedule the classes at a time that is convenient for the student. Classes can take place at our school, the student’s place of work, or at another suitable public place. Our teachers tailor the course to their student’s specific needs in order help them achieve their learning objectives.

If this options appeals, we would appreciate it if you contacted us at languages@ihlondon.com and completed our Needs Analysis form to tell us about your requirements.

We are able to offer private or in-company courses from beginners to advanced levels, tailored to clients’ specific needs and/or industry specific language. Our team can deliver bespoke language training at our school, your place of work or another suitable public place. If this options appeals, we would appreciate it if you contacted us at languages@ihlondon.com and completed our Needs Analysis form to tell us about your requirements.

Our part-time foreign language courses are not generally accepted for VISA applications as they are only for 1.5-4 hours a week. Most of our students who are here with study VISAs are generally studying a minimum of 15 hours a week of English classes and often add on a foreign language course as an extra.

We can provide you with a digital Certificate of Attendance once you finish your course. Send an email to languages@ihlondon.com and we can make one for you.

The 10-week Introduction courses are less intensive than the 6-week Level 1 courses. The Introduction lessons are 1.5 hours long and on a Friday from 18.00-19.30, whereas the Level 1 lessons are 2 hours long and on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday evening between 18.30-20.30. The course content is exactly the same in both the Introduction and Level 1 class. On completion of either course, students can join the Level 2 class.

Coursebook costs will not be refunded in the event of a cancellation. We recommend students purchase the coursebook after their first lesson and once the course is confirmed to go ahead.

The language of study (target language) is used as much as possible during lessons, from the first session of complete beginners onward. In this way, students will get used to the sounds of the language and it will help them to enhance their learning. A particular  importance is placed on the spoken language, but all aspects are covered in our courses – listening, reading, writing and speaking, together with grammar and vocabulary.

Harassment Policy

At International House London we believe that everyone should be treated equally, fairly and with respect. Bullying and harassment of any kind is unacceptable. Both students and staff have the right to work in a safe environment.

Bullying and harassment can be difficult to recognise and may not be obvious to other people around you.


What is bullying?

Bullies can be men or women and bullying can happen in many different ways:

  • It can be physical
  • It can be verbal
  • It can be psychological

Bullying can happen face to face, through e-mails, networking sites and text messages.


What is harassment?

Harassment comes in many different forms and can affect men and women. It is unwanted actions of someone and can be:

  • Racial – insulting where someone is from and/or their culture
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact – unwelcome touching, standing too close
  • Religious – insulting someone’s religious beliefs
  • Disability – insulting someone on their disability

Harassment can happen face to face, through e-mails, networking sites and text messages.


What to do if you are being bullied or harassed?

If you have a problem and feel you have been bullied or harassed you can:

  • Contact a Welfare Officer, at welfare.officer@ihlondon.com
  • Speak to your teacher
  • Speak to an Academic Manager

At International House we expect our students to…  

take some responsibility for their learning  

show respect for other students, their teachers, and the school  

participate actively and enthusiastically in class  

respond in a positive way to the challenges of language learning – this is important so that there is a positive and friendly atmosphere in the lessons at all times


You can do this by:  

  • attending your classes  
  • if online, participating in the class with your video and audio on (unless you have asked for permission from the teacher)  
  • arriving punctually for all classes and returning from breaks on time  
  • using the target language in the classroom  
  • showing respect for, and being polite to, other students – understanding that everyone comes from different backgrounds and different cultures, and will often have different needs from you  
  • working in a cooperative way with all other students  
  • respecting your teacher’s professional judgment regarding your level and your progress, and following your teacher’s advice so that you can improve faster 
  • listening to other students, and to your teacher, without interrupting  
  • speaking to your teacher first if you have a problem with your class or your learning 
  • following all requests made to you by International House London staff 

Online lessons are only recorded on demand. Therefore, if you miss a lesson and would like it to be recorded, please ask your teacher in advance. However, both your teacher and other students must give their consent before being recorded. Therefore, should either not agree with that, the lesson can’t be recorded. Face-to-face lessons cannot be recorded.


We are always happy to help you find the perfect class. Contact our team who can answer your questions here.