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» Accreditations


Cactus is a member of the world's leading International Youth Organisation

» Frequently Asked Questions

Bookings & Availabilty

1. How do I book? 2. What is the profile of the students on Cactus courses? 3. How soon do I have to enrol? 4. Can I join a class in the second week? 5. How do I know there is space on a course? 6. What is the minimum number of students? 7. Can you issue a letter of invitation in order for me to get / extend a visa to study with Cactus?

Course Information

1. When do the next courses start? 2. Why learn a language? 3. How much will I learn during my course? 4. How do you choose your teachers? 5. Do teachers speak English during the lessons? 6. Do I receive a qualification or certificate? 7. How much homework is typically involved? 8. When will I receive my coursebook? 9. What should I do if my class is too easy / difficult for me? 10. Will I get a copy of the CD / listening materials that are used in the class? 11. What do I do if I am going to miss a lesson during the course? 12. What do I do if I am going to miss the first lesson? 13. What if my teacher is ill during the course? 14. How big are the classes?

Languages

1. How do I know what level I am? 2. Where can I study the language I want to learn?

Payment & Refunds

1. Language Courses UK Refund Policy 2. Am I allowed a discount if I book two courses? 3. Can I get an NUS discount? 4. Can I pay a deposit and then pay the rest later?

Repeat students 1. I am already doing an evening course with Cactus, can I get a discount for my next course? 2. I like my teacher and classmates, can I continue with them next term?

Cactus School Info & Procedures

1. Can I talk to a real person about the course I am taking? 2. How can I find out the exact address of the school?

» Booking & Availability

1. How do I book?

Book Course: Follow this link to book securely online

Payment: full payment is required at the time of confirming your course. We do not take deposits for language courses in the UK.

Confirmation: we will send you a confirmation email to confirm payment and later with the course details by email.

Online Level Test: if you like we can send you an online level test to complete, so that we can determine your exact language level before you start the course.

Pre-course Pack: prior to your course you will be sent a pre-course information email, containing all school and course information.

Course: time to learn!

Feedback: towards the end of your course you will be sent a short online questionnaire which we will hope you will take the trouble to fill out.

Course Materials: If the course book is included in the course fees, you will receive it during your second lesson at the school.

2. What is the profile of the students on Cactus courses?

Our evening courses are for adults of all ages (min 16 years old) and nationalities and, where offered, for all levels from beginners upwards. For most courses, the average age range will be mid 20s to mid 40s. However many younger and older students also take these courses.

3. How soon do I have to enrol?

The earlier the better to ensure that we have the numbers correctly. If we don’t receive enough bookings for courses, we will cancel them and the course you wanted may disappear off the site.

4. Can I join a class in the second week?

Yes, if there is space in the classes we can take bookings for students to join the class in the second week, although there will be no discount to the price. You will need to call us to check availability. After the second week we do not allow any students to join the course as this is too disruptive to the learning program.

5. How do I know there is space on a course?

A date will show next to the course or the course will not show at all on the language/ location page. All courses with dates have space on the course.

6. What is the minimum number of students?

The minimum class size refers to the number of students required to run a group course. This number varies depending on the course and location. The vast majority of our courses meet this requirement, but on occasion some course variations don’t. In these instances it is up to Cactus’ discretion whether the course will run. We always aim to run all courses as advertised, but cannot guarantee that this will be possible where the minimum class size is not met.

What happens if the minimum class size is not met?

Should your course be affected, we will contact you directly to discuss your options, which may include:

  • Moving onto an equivalent course in a different location.
  • Reconfiguring your original course to an intensive course, taught in a smaller group. The course duration in this instance is likely to be reduced, due to the significantly intensified learning experience and progress achieved in such small groups, which will mean that you will cover the course material in a much shorter amount of time.
  • Deferring a term and starting your course at a later date of your choice, for which you will be given priority.
  • Converting your course fee to a Cactus credit, which can be used as full or part payment for any of our products worldwide.
  • A refund of your course fee in line with our general refund policy.

7. Can you issue a letter of invitation in order for me to get / extend a Visa to study with Cactus?

No, we cannot offer such letters as all our courses are part time and are not eligible for this process.

If you have further questions regarding Booking & Availability please email us.

» Course Information

1. When do the next courses start?

Please visit our dates and times page.

2. Why learn a language?

People learn languages for a number of reasons: some for work or business, some for education or to put on their CVs, and some merely for the pleasure of being able to communicate with different people and cultures. Any trip abroad is greatly enhanced if you can say a few words, let alone if you can actually have a conversation with the locals!

3. How much will I learn during my course?

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus part-time group courses and include themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only and our teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

What progress will I have made by the end of the level?

Our 'Can Do' Statements provide a guide to what you can expect to achieve at each level and also shows what progress you can expect to make if you stick with it and carry on studying subsequent levels. These are guides only and other factors will affect your rate of progress, e.g. your prior language skills and base level, how proficient you are at picking up new languages, your level of participation in class and revision (and homework) outside of class. It will partially also depend on how difficult (or dissimilar) the language you are learning is (from your native language).

4. How do you choose your teachers?

All our teachers are native speakers or have native-speaker fluency in the language they teach. They have specialist qualifications and experience in Teaching a Foreign Language to Adults.

5. Do teachers speak English during the lessons?

Very rarely, because the most effective way to learn or improve your language skills is through complete immersion in the language. However, the occasional explanation or vocabulary term may be explained in English, and teachers are very used to teaching - and making themselves understood by - students who may have little or no prior knowledge of the language.

6. Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation, sent to you by email. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems, so you have a universally accepted reference for your studies. Read more

Important - Please note that you must complete the online end of course questionnaire sent to you in order to get your certificate! This will also be sent to you by email at the end of your course.

7. How much homework is typically involved?

Your teacher will give you approximately one hour's worth of formal homework per week but we would recommend you do ten minutes per day of self study in order to assimilate and retain the information you are learning.

8. When will I receive my course book?

If a book is included with your course, you will receive the book on the second day of your course. Your teacher will hand them out during the 2nd lesson.

Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you continue, you will not receive a new book, but will continue to use the book you were originally given. We factor this into the course price, so you don’t pay twice for the same content and we can offer you affordable courses.

The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class and offers the most communicative approach.

Holiday Survival and Refresher Weekend courses do not follow a course book, but you will be provided with learning materials suitable for the level of the class.

9. What should I do if my class is too easy / difficult for me?

If you have just completed your first lesson and are feeling a little overwhelmed, then don't worry. Cactus language courses are taught in the target language, as full immersion is widely recognised as the most effective way to learn a language. You may find this a little daunting at first, especially if you have previously been used to bi-lingual tuition. Read "Help, I don't understand my teacher!" a first-hand account of full immersion.

However, if you are attending a 5-week or a 10-week course, and find that you are really struggling to keep up, or finding the course content too easy, you can switch classes up until your 3rd lesson. Please speak to your teacher and contact us. We will assess the situation and look to move you to a class more suited to your ability (subject to availability). If this is not possible, there are other options, including deferring a term. Otherwise our general refund policy will apply.

10. Will I get a copy of the CD / listening materials that are used in the class?

No, our coursebook CDs are designed to be used in class and with a teacher, they are not designed for self study. However, if you would like to buy a copy of the listening material that goes with your coursebook, you can either order online or at the shop in London www.europeanbookshop.com. You will get a 10% discount on books and dictionaries if you mention that you are a Cactus student!

11. What do I do if I am going to miss a lesson during the course?

We recommend that you tell your teacher as soon as you know that you are going to miss a class. Your teacher can then email you with an outline of what was covered in the class you missed, along with any homework set and what part of the textbook was used. In the interests of course continuity, please note you will not be able to take an alternative lesson with another class at another centre.

12. What do I do if I am going to miss the first lesson?

Please do let us know so that we can pass a message on to your teacher.

13. What if my teacher is ill during the course?

If your teacher is ill during the term we will organise a cover teacher to take your lesson. If no cover teacher is available we will either reschedule the lesson to take place on a different day or give you a refund for the class (depending on the circumstances).

14. How big are the classes?

To ensure optimal course quality and enjoyment, our maximum class size is 15 students per class.

Note: Cactus cannot offer any lessons on a trial basis.

» Languages

1. How do I know what level I am?

If you are unsure where to start or progress to, take our online level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

2. Where can I study the language I want to learn?

Visit our location page to see the language you want to learn operates in your area.

» Payment & Refunds

1. Language Courses UK Refund Policy

For full information on cancellations and refunds, please refer to our Terms and Conditions.

2. Am I allowed a discount if I book two courses?

No we do not offer a discount for bookings for two people / courses but you will both be eligible to £10 off* when you book your next group foreign language course with Cactus, if you book at least 15 days before the start date.

*Applies to evening & part-time group courses in the UK only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer.

3. Can I get an NUS discount?

No we do not offer any NUS discount.

4. Can I pay a deposit and then pay the rest later?

No, you must pay the entire amount by card at time of booking.

» Repeat students

1. I am already doing an evening course with Cactus, can I get a discount for my next course?

As an existing Cactus students you get a £10 loyalty discount* when you book another language course with us. This is only available when booking more than 15 days prior to the course start date. To claim your discount simply book online using the same email address as before.

*Applies to evening & part-time group courses in the UK only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer.

2. I like my teacher and classmates, can I continue with them next term?

Please do tell your teacher if you would like to continue with them in the next term and we’ll do our best to assign them to your next level. We can’t guarantee that your teacher will be available though, as it does depend on their availability

» Cactus School Info & Procedures

1. Can I talk to a real person about the course I am taking?

We do try and include all relevant information on the website. However, if you cannot find the information you are looking for please call +44 (0)1273 725200 or email info@languagecoursesuk.co.uk for a response within 24 hours.

2. How can I find out the exact address of the school?

When you book your course online you will receive all of the course details by email, including the school address.

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