FAQ Online Courses

Booking & Availability

Book Course: Follow this link to book securely online.
Payment: Full payment is required at the time of booking your course. We do not take deposits for online language courses.
Confirmation: We will send you an email to confirm receipt of payment for your course at the point of payment. At least one week before your course start date we will send you a courses confirmation email with the course details. Course details can also be checked on MyCactus, our student online platform.
Course Materials: The course confirmation email will include information about your course book and your purchase options. Find out more here.
Online Level Test: In order to decide which level you should join please take our free online level test.
Student Confirmation: Prior to your course start date you will be sent a confirmation email which will contain the information about your teacher, course materials and how to join the course online.

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

The earlier the better, in order to guarantee your place on the course. Course places are limited and many courses are full before the start date.
Yes, if there is space in the class we allow you to join the class in the second week, although there will be no discount to the price. After the second week we do not allow any students to join the course as this presents disruption to the learning programme.
All courses appearing on our website have spaces left. When a course is full it is removed from the booking platform and will no longer appear on the website. This is why it is important to book your course as soon as you are sure you want to attend.

The minimum class size refers to the number of students required to run a group course. The minimum class size is usually 4 students. When there are 3 students in a group the course will usually run for 8 weeks. The vast majority of our courses meet this requirement, but on occasions the minimum numbers are not met. In these instances, it is at Cactus’ discretion whether the course will run. We always aim to run all courses as advertised and offer alternatives when 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:

  • Re-configuring your original course into an intensive course, taught in a smaller group. The course duration in this instance will be reduced. Due to the significantly intensified learning experience and rapid progress achieved in small groups, you will cover same the course material in a shorter amount of time. If there are 3 students in a group the course will run for 8 weeks.
  • Deferring your course start date to the following intake. We offer 10 weeks courses in January, April, July and October. We offer 5 week courses in January, February, April, May, July, August, October and November.
  • Converting your course fee to a Cactus credit, which can be used as full or part payment for any of our language courses across the world, including private tuition and immersion language holidays.
  • A refund of your course fee in line with our general refund policy.

Course Information

Please visit our booking page to see all courses, prices and start dates.
People learn languages for a number of reasons: some for work or business, some for education or to improve their CV’s, and some 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 in another language, or even have a conversation with the locals!

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus group courses, including our online courses and show the topics, grammar points and vocabulary areas you can expect to cover. These are intended as a guide 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 CEFR ‘Can Do’ Statements provide a guide as to what you can expect to achieve at each level and also show what progress you can expect to make if you 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.

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 and go through a rigorous recruitment process which involves checking their teaching skills and techniques as well as their language awareness and knowledge.
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.
At the end of your course you will receive a certificate of participation, sent to you by email. This confirms the language and level of the course you have taken. Our course levels are based on the Common European Framework which is an internationally recognised systems, so you have a universally accepted reference for your studies. Read more about our levels. (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.)
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 have covered in classtime.
You will need to purchase a course book to accompany your course. Course books are not included in the course fees, and we therefore ask that you purchase your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this, with a discount.
Please note that most course books often cover three 10 weeks courses (eg Beginner 1, Beginner 2 and Beginner 3). So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach. See course materials information here.

Your teacher will also supplement the course book activities with their own activities and games, quizzes, and exercises from a variety of sources.

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.

However, if you are attending 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).

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 European Bookshop in London www.europeanbookshop.com. You will get a 10% discount on books and dictionaries if you mention that you are a Cactus student!
If you are unable to attend a lesson, please send a direct message to your tutor through MyCactus (our online platform for language students) so they are aware you are unable to attend. By accessing MyCactus, you will also be able to check your teacher’s notes regarding the missed lesson and any homework set. In the interests of course continuity, please note you will not be able to take an alternative lesson with another class at another centre.
Please do let us know so that we can pass a message on to your teacher. You will be able to follow the course content from the first lesson via MyCactus.
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).

To ensure optimal course quality and enjoyment, our maximum class size is 10 students per class for our online classes. Note: Cactus cannot offer any lessons on a trial basis.


Languages

If you are unsure of your level take our online level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.
You can see all the online language courses we offer here. You can then click on your preferred language to see courses that are running.

Payments & Refunds

For full information on cancellations and refunds, please refer to our Terms and Conditions.
We do not offer a discount for bookings for two people / courses but we do offer regular discounts on our courses throughout the year. Please see our Discounts page for current offers.
No we do not offer any NUS discount.
No, you must pay the entire amount by card at time of booking.

Repeat Students

We offer regular discounts on our courses throughout the year. Please see our Discounts page for current offers.
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 try to keep students and teachers together for as long as possible wherever possible.

Cactus Online Courses & Procedures

We do try and include all relevant information on the website. However, we are always happy to talk to our customers and discuss their language learning goals. For a chat with one of our language course experts please call +44 (0)1273 830 960 or contact us for a response within 48 hours.
Technical requirements:
– a strong internet connection;
– a device (such as laptop) with integrated camera and mic;
– headphones;
– install the free online learning platform – Zoom.
Zoom is very simple both to set up and use. To download it, please click here. You can watch this video to help you set up. We suggest doing this well in advance of your first session to avoid problems. Find more Zoom tutorials here.
Organisations can offer our online courses to their members, tailored to their needs. Online lessons are ideal for companies as they can be anywhere at anytime. Lessons are customised to focus on work/business language. Prices are very reasonable and we can offer discounts. If you are interested or think this could be a good option for your organisation please visit our private tuition and corporate language training division.

Further Information

Cactus is the leading provider of language courses and language holidays in the UK and abroad. Since 1998 we have helped more than 15,000 people every year learn a language. We’re still as passionate as ever about languages and committed to making learning enjoyable and easy for everyone.Over the years we have become experts in delivering high quality language training solutions, both off-the-shelf and tailor-made, to individuals and businesses in over 30 languages, 60 countries and 500 destinations worldwide.

Choice

Our comprehensive range of courses underpins our recognition of the diverse needs of our clients, reflected in our company motto “Learn a language your way!”

  • Online Language Courses
  • Evening and part-time courses across the UK
  • Language courses and holidays abroad
  • Private Tuition Courses
  • Remote tuition: Online, Skype & Phone
  • In-company language & cultural training
  • English as a Foreign Language: Evening & Part-time and English Courses Worldwide
  • TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses & preparation
  • Foreign Language Teacher Training
  • Course types and levels to suit you

With thousands of courses all in one place, at Cactus, you really can learn a language your way.

Ease

We run evening & part-time courses in 11 locations across the UK, putting over 20 languages on your doorstep. Via our international network of partner schools and organisations we can offer language courses & holidays in over 30 countries worldwide, covering some 200 destinations. Easy online booking puts thousands of courses at your fingertips and with a range of options you can customise your course to suit you.

Quality

At Cactus, we strive to provide value for money. That means not only competitive prices, but courses we are happy to put our name to.

Our schools are personally checked by Cactus staff or affiliates and subject to ongoing quality checks and school visits.

Our teachers

Reviews – we ask our students for feedback at various stages throughout their course to ensure we are meeting their expectations and the course is tailored to their needs a much as possible.

View latest customer feedback Read what our students have said about our courses, our teachers and our customer service.

Leave us your feedback» If you have a comment to add about your experience with Cactus, please drop us an email at info@languagecoursesuk.co.uk

What is covered by your course fees?

All prices include VAT and school registration fees. Students should purchase their own course book prior to their course and Cactus will advise on this.

To start new conversations

With friends and colleagues, while travelling, with the in-laws

To enhance your career

Build your CV, look for overseas opportunities, travel more

To exercise your brain

Expand your mind, take on new ideas, set yourself new challenges

To open cultural doors

Discover new places, new experiences, new tastes

To make fabulous new friends

Meet like-minded people in a communicative, participative and fun environment

 

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