How to Choose English Courses? | List of Recommendations of English Courses


Types of English Courses in Hong Kong

Oral English Courses

English oral is certainly one of the essential skills when learning English, yet it is also one of the hardest things to practice and master. Oral is imperative for studying, work, as well as communicating with others. A common phenomenon of English learners is that they are unconfident and fear of speaking English, especially with foreigners. Attending oral classes would provide attendees an opportunity to practice often and improve their accent, and thus building up their confidence in speaking English. They can also learn specific skills, like presentation and oral exam skills.

Business English Courses

The purpose of business English courses is to polish your English skills when you are about to or already entered the work force. The importance of business English depends on the types of industry as different industries demand different level of English. These courses will equip you with the necessary English skills that you will come across at work. For instance, presentation, job interview skill, business negotiation, and email and business document writing skills. Idioms and business situational exercises may also be incorporated into some courses. No matter it is meeting with clients or writing report, you would definitely accomplish them smoothly with the help of business English courses.

Exam Preparation Courses

Courses that help candidates to have sufficient preparation and learn some crucial test-taking skills before taking the exam. There are several standardized English tests that are recognized by most universities, schools and workplace. Here are some brief descriptions of several more common and preferred English exams:

  • IELTS – designed to assess one’s all-round English abilities (reading, listening, speaking and writing); usually required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.
  • TOEFL – particularly preferred in the U.S. and Canada; measures all four English-language skills – reading, listening, speaking and writing.
  • TOEIC – questions are based on real-life work settings in an international environment; two separate tests and can take either one or both, in which one on receptive English skills (reading and listening) and the other one on productive English skills (speaking and writing).

Teaching Structures/Formats of English Courses

Features of Offline & Online Courses



Flexible location, basically anywhere as long as you have a device and access to the Internet

Regular lesson time and fixed location of lessons

Flexible lesson time; particularly suitable for people who have a busy schedule, like students and working population

More systematic learning style and making sure your learning progress is on track

Relatively cheaper than face-to-face courses

Printed learning notes and textbooks are the predominant learning materials

More interesting and interactive as online courses usually use multimedia content as learning materials

Have chances to interact with other classmates and would be more motivated to learn

Personalized courses based on personal preferences

Can discuss with lecturer face-to-face

More chances on practicing English speaking


Pros & Cons of Different Class Sizes





Large class

  • Systematic and well-planned course structure
  • Useful and extensive learning materials
  • Monotonous lesson routine
  • Lack of personalization in course content
  • Lack of student engagement, thus students pay less attention

Small class

  • More individualized attention on students
  • More interaction between both teacher and classmates
  • Ease at setting up different paired or group work, e.g. role play and debate
  • May result in increased student anxiety due to frequent involvement in class
  • Constrained level of personalization of course structure

1-on-1 class

  • Provide individualized learning support
  • High level of personalization on course structure
  • Flexible time and location of class
  • Build strong and positive student-teacher relationship
  • Costly
  • Potential of being boring
  • Limited options of activities
  • Difficult to gage a student’s progress

How to choose a suitable English course?

There are heaps of English courses options to choose from, different purposes, different formats, different sizes… So how do we judge which one is the most suitable for ourselves? Let’s look at the five most important criteria:

Course Structure

Check and review carefully on the objectives and outline of the course if it fits with your requirements. Be mindful of the scale of the institutions and class size as they would have considerable impacts on one’s performance and pace of learning. Besides, the effects may vary on different people. You should clearly notice the differences of various teaching formats, as discussed above, and choose one that matches well with your learning style.

Learning Environment

The classroom atmosphere reflects the quality of learning. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that there is a pleasant learning environment. For instance, warm lighting, comfortable seats, and a well-lit, spacious room. It is worth paying a visit to the place or looking at pictures to inspect the environment.

Qualifications of Tutors/Teachers

Teachers play an important role in one’s learning. Hence, you should go through the qualifications and teaching experience of teachers to make sure you could receive high quality teaching and maximize your learning. In fact, teacher with high qualifications is not necessarily a good teacher, and thus, we should also consider his/her teaching experience.


The most reliable source of information is certainly feedback and opinions from anyone who have taken the course before. You can do some research both online and offline to understand more about the institution before applying for its courses. Make use of the abundance of information in the Internet to look for relevant information, such as reviews and advices on discussion forums and blogs. You may even sign up for trial lessons.

Personal Preferences

Apart from the four factors mentioned just now, your personal preferences in learning style is after all your ultimate determining factor.

Recommendations of English courses in Hong Kong


British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They work with over 100 countries across the work and have been in Hong Kong for more than 70 years

Their language centres in Hong Kong are experts in teaching English, offering experienced, internationally qualified teachers and using a curriculum developed from more than 35 years of teaching experience in Hong Kong in order to maximize each session and make real progress.

All our lessons are 100% face-to-face and classroom-based, giving you the confidence to interact with English speakers from all over the world.

Some recommended courses are:

  • Business Skills Modulars – Design for the Hong Kong market; help improve personal performance and communication skills (both written and interpersonal) in specific areas of business.
  • myClass – flexible and personalized; covers a wide range of topics including workplace and everyday communication; chance to take an active role in every lesson; receive feedback on your writing by using the new Writing Marking Service; free access to myClub, an active extra-curricular programme.
  • IELTS Course – expert’s advice and tips on how to best approach the test questions; focus on practising writing, speaking and vocabulary skilfully so that you can score well in the exam!

There are 8 language centres, scattering in different areas in Hong Kong.

In general, excellent teachers and learning environment are guaranteed, yet it is quite pricey.

Join-In Education

Established in 2004 and have qualified tutors that have taught over thousands of students. They have been holding on to their principle – “small-class teaching” and “No reciting”.

There are always only 4-6 students in each class on average. Classes will be conduct in Q&A style in order to encourage more interaction in class. They focus on teaching students how to think and answer.

Join-In offers a variety of English courses with different aims, targeting both primary and secondary school students. Besides, there are face 1-on-1 private tutoring for all age range, even adults can apply for it.


  1. Unit 1009-10, Workingbond Commercial Centre, 162 Prince Edward Road West, Mongkok, Kowloon
  2. Shop 104B, Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


HKU SPACE has designed and offered a wide range of English course options for General English, Business English, Literature in English and English for the Professionals. The course structure varies a lot, ranging from 30 hours to 90 hours, and covers a broad spectrum of levels.

There are a total of 10 learning and enrolment centres in Hong Kong.


EF English Live

Founded in 1996, EF English Live is recognized by learning experts for its exceptional investment in innovation, learner-centric approach and delivery of clear and measurable impact for client organizations. They teach English and have live teachers and online lessons 24/7.

Backed by a world-class team of academic and technical experts, plus two thousand certified online English teachers, have driven years of research in collaboration with the world’s leading linguists and top universities to advance the science of faster English language learning.

They offer two types of courses – tailored and specialized. Specialized courses include:

  • General English
  • Business English
  • TOEFL Preparation
  • TOEIC Preparation
  • Travel English
  • Job-Specific English

You may also choose tailored courses where you can personalize the entire course, like setting your own goals and level.

In general, EF English Live is lacking consistency in its quality of teaching and transparency in pricing.


AmazingTalker is an online language learning platform, offering 1-on-1 learning with native teachers. Classes are completely designed to cater your needs as tutors can customized the class based on your requirements. The large extent of flexibility – learn anytime, anywhere and pay as you go, makes the platform appealing.

Each lesson lasts for either 25 or 50 minutes. Some popular English courses are:

  • English Oral
  • Business English
  • Travel English
  • Exam Preparation

The price of each lesson is determined by the tutor and is shown clearly on the website.