Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to questions that students often ask us. If you’re currently taking lessons and you need information on using the booking system, you may want to check out our Student Guide.

Lessons

Can you tell me more about the lessons?

All lessons are taught 1-on-1 with a dedicated tutor. This ensures that you receive your tutor’s full attention & can make fast progress. Each lesson lasts 55 minutes and is taught via video call, allowing you to communicate with your tutor & share learning materials as if you were in the same room.

Normally, the tutor will first assess your level and discuss your goals with you. Then they’ll aim to tailor the lessons to your individual needs.

Many students choose to take 1-on-1 lessons to improve their speaking skills. However, tutors can also help with other skills such as grammar & listening, as well as specific challenges such as using the language at work & passing exams. Whatever your background and motivation, sign up for a trial session and see if online lessons are the right choice for you!

Who are the lessons suitable for?

Most of the tutors on our site can teach students with any level and with all sorts of different needs (work, travel, integration etc.). That said, certain tutors are not suitable for complete beginners or students wanting help with passing a specific exam. And not all tutors are able to teach children and teenagers. When choosing a tutor, you’ll be able to check their profile to determine whether they’re likely to be suitable for you.

When can I take lessons?

You can learn at a pace that you’re comfortable with – it’s completely up to you when and how often you take lessons. When we give you access to book your trial session, just make sure that the tutor you pick has booking times that fit your schedule. If your weekly availability is very limited, our support team can instead match you with an appropriate tutor. You can also change your tutor later on if required.

How long are the lessons?

Each lesson lasts for 55 minutes. This suits most people as it allows for a lot to be covered whilst also being short enough to squeeze into busy lives! If you really want to take longer lessons, you can simply book two lessons back to back, meaning you will have just under 2 hours with a 5 minute break in the middle.

What video calling software tool is used for the lessons?

Skype is the default technology used but most tutors are also open to teaching via Zoom if you prefer this. If a tutor only teaches via Skype, this will be stated on their profile. When you book with a new tutor, they’ll be waiting for you on Skype unless you ask to use Zoom instead at least 24h before the start time. You can do this by replying to your booking confirmation email. Both Skype and Zoom are free and perfect for language learning. They allow you to do everything you would do in a classroom: read, write, speak, listen and share learning materials.

I'm new to Skype and Zoom – which is better and are they easy to set up?

Skype and Zoom are very similar and both have all the required features for effective online lessons. Both are simple to set up and use. When you have your first session with a new tutor, Skype will be used unless you ask your tutor if they can use Zoom at least 24h before the session. Note, some tutors only give lessons by Skype and this will be stated on their profile. Whichever tool you opt for, we recommend downloading it well in advance of the session. For Skype, you’d need to sign up and contact your tutor. With Zoom, you would not need an account and your tutor would give you an access link to use instead.

Download links:

Skype

Zoom

Is video used or just audio?

The vast majority of the time tutors use both video and audio. Tutors may very occasionally suggest turning the camera off and just using audio in order to focus the mind on the language or improve the connection.

Will I need to buy any materials?

No you won’t need to – your tutor will share materials with you online.

What do I need to have in order to take lessons?

To take lessons, all you’ll need is the following:

1) A good internet connection.

2) A free Skype account (if you are not using Zoom instead).

3) A laptop, tablet or smartphone. Most people will find that the speakers and microphone on their device are sufficient. However, occasionally students choose to use a headset or headphones with a microphone in order to enhance the sound quality.

You won’t have to buy any books whatsoever!

Are tutors able to teach two people instead of one?

As long as you and your learning partner both have the same level and are in the same room, tutors will usually be fine with teaching you together (and the cost will be the same). When you book and fill in your details, just make it clear that there are two of you, then the tutor will let you know if there are any issues.

Are the lessons suitable for teenagers?

Teenagers sometimes learn with a tutor in order to support their school/college studies. Often, the student shares their school materials with their tutor via email and the lessons either follow these materials or cover related topics. If you are a parent, please check the tutor profiles carefully as only some of the tutors are suitable for students who are under 18. We always require permission to be given by parents, who should also give their child’s age and describe their needs when booking the trial session.

If my tutor is a native speaker and I’m a complete beginner, how are we going to communicate?

All of the tutors speak English, so there won’t be any communication problems. We believe it’s best to start speaking the language from day one – there’s nothing stopping you!

I’ve already been studying the language for a while. How will the tutor evaluate my current level?

Your tutor will assess your language level and discuss your specific learning goals during the trial session. They will then customise the lessons based on this.

How does it work for businesses and other organisations?

Organisations often use our site to help their employees improve their language skills. Online lessons are ideal for busy employees as they can learn from their home or office at times that suit them. The lessons can be customised to focus on work/business language. Prices are very reasonable and we can sometimes offer bulk discounts. If you are interested, please contact us at support@lingoci.com.

Free Trial

Can you tell me more about the free trial?

During the 30 minute trial session, you’ll be able to practice your target language and get a feel for what it would be like to learn via 1-on-1, online lessons. Your tutor will assess your level and try to understand your needs and interests. This will allow them to customise any lessons you decide to take. You will be encouraged to speak in your target language as much as possible, but of course you can speak in English too!

You can go to this page to request your trial session. You’ll then be able to pick your ideal tutor and book with them.

How do I schedule a free trial session?

First, request the trial session here. You’ll then be able to browse profiles and book with a tutor that fits your needs and availability.

Alternatively, you can provide some information here so that we can match you with a tutor. If you choose this option, we will email you within 24 hours so that you can book.

Do I need to do anything after my trial session is scheduled?

After booking, you’ll be asked to contact your tutor on Skype – unless you have requested to instead learn via Zoom, in which case your tutor will email you an access link before the session. You’ll also need to make sure you have Skype/Zoom downloaded on your device.

Can I take a second trial session with a different tutor?

Our policy is one trial session per new student, however if for some reason you feel that your tutor isn’t suitable, please email support@lingoci.com explaining why the match isn’t quite right. If there is another tutor who could better meet your needs, we’ll allow you to book a session with them.

Booking, Rescheduling & Viewing Lessons

How do I reschedule or cancel a lesson?

Your options for rescheduling or cancelling a lesson depend on whether you logged in when booking. Using an account and logging in are optional – many students decide to skip this and simply apply their credits by entering their email address.

If you did not log in when you booked the relevant lesson, you have a couple of options for rescheduling/cancelling:
1) Go to the confirmation email you received after booking your lesson(s) (search ‘Lingoci confirmation’ in your email program to find the email). Then, click on the View, Reschedule or Cancel button within the email and you’ll be taken to the rescheduling/cancellation page.
2) If you used the ‘Add to calendar’ option after booking your lesson, you can go to the lesson in your Google/Outlook/iCal calendar. Click on it and open the link in your browser to access the rescheduling/cancellation page.

Alternatively, if you registered an account and were logged in when you booked the relevant lesson, you can log in on the right of the booking page (found under ‘book lessons’ in the navigation menu). After logging in you’ll see your upcoming lessons and you’ll be able to reschedule or cancel in a few clicks.

Important: If you forgot to log in when booking, you will not be able to see all of your upcoming lessons in your account – you will instead need to reschedule via options 1 or 2 above, or ask support to attach the lessons to your account.

If you can’t work out how to reschedule/cancel by one of the methods mentioned above, you can try contacting your tutor to request the change. However, note that doing so is not recommended as the message may not be seen in time to allow your request.

If less than 24 hours are remaining before your lesson, you will not be able to reschedule or cancel the lesson. This rule exists to respect tutors’ time and working conditions. For example, if a student were able to cancel on the day of a lesson, the tutor would be unable to teach another student and regain the lost income.

How does booking work?

Our unique booking system makes scheduling and managing lessons simple. After making a purchase, you will be given credits that you can apply by entering your email address on the booking page. We’ll show your tutor’s availability in your time zone and all you’ll have to do is select a time and confirm.

If you have a Google, iCal or Outlook Calendar, you’ll have the option of directly adding your lesson to your calendar. An email reminder will be sent to you so that you don’t forget to turn up. You’ll also receive an SMS reminder if when booking you added your mobile number with the country code included.

Tutors need just 24 hours’ notice for bookings. You can reschedule up to 24 hours before your lesson using the booking system (see below for more on this). You can also create an account so that you can save your lesson times for future viewing, however this is completely optional!

When booking, why am I being taken to a payment page even though I've already bought credits?

When you’re on the booking page, you will see there is a button at the top: ‘Click here to apply your lesson credits’. You need to click this and enter the email you used when purchasing. After you have done this, you will not be asked for payment after selecting a booking slot.

How do I access the booking system?

You can access it either via the ‘Book Lessons’ tab on the navigation menu, or via the links in your confirmation emails.

How do I book and pay for a single lesson?

Most students prefer to buy multiple lesson credits at once because it works out a lot cheaper. However, if you prefer to have the flexibility of paying for lessons one by one, you can still do this. Simply go to the booking page and schedule a lesson without clicking the button for applying your lesson credits. After confirming, you’ll be able to make the payment securely.

Do I need to do anything after I book a lesson?

If you haven’t already added your lesson(s) to your calendar, we would suggest doing so via the link in your confirmation email. This will help ensure you don’t forget to turn up. If you haven’t taken a lesson with the tutor before, it’ll be your responsibility to find them on Skype using the ID provided. Alternatively, if you wish to use Zoom instead, you’ll need to reply to your confirmation email in order to ask the tutor if they can teach you on Zoom. This would need to be done at least 24h before the start time and note that certain tutors only teach via Skype (in which case this will be stated on their profile).

Should I log in before booking, and where can I view my upcoming lessons?

It’s completely up to you whether you register an account and log in before booking. The main advantage of doing so is that you can then view your upcoming lessons by going directly to the website and logging in on the booking page. However, many students prefer to skip logging in because it makes booking faster. They can still view and change their upcoming lessons via their confirmation emails.

If you registered an account but cannot see all of your upcoming lessons after logging in, it is likely because you did not log in when you booked. You’ll need to reschedule via the link in your booking confirmation email, or contact support@lingoci.com and ask us to attach the lessons to your account.

How do I log in / reset my password?

The login button can be found on the booking pages, which are accessible via the navigation menu. Most of the time when students have trouble logging in, it turns out that they had not previously been logging in to book lessons. When booking, creating an account & logging in are optional steps.

If you are sure that you have created an account and want to use it, you can reset your password via this link.

If you have not been logging in and are happy to continue booking without doing so, simply enter your email to apply your credits on the booking page.

(You may be wondering, what is the advantage of creating an account and logging in? Well, this is required if you want to view, reschedule or cancel lessons by going directly to the booking page. If you don’t log in when booking lessons, you can still reschedule/cancel them via the links in your booking emails (search ‘Lingoci confirmation’ in your email program to find these emails).

Pricing, Payment & Policies

How much do lessons cost and where can I purchase them?

Click here to view prices, or click here to purchase lesson credits.

How can I pay?

You can pay securely by debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) on our website. You can choose to pay in US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds*. (*Currently lesson credits for Dutch can only be purchased using Euros. If you purchase using a currency different to your bank account’s, your bank will simply convert the amount to your currency.)

Do I have to complete my lessons within a certain time period?

We understand that sometimes things get in the way of learning a language, so we give you a full 12 months to use your lesson credits. Make sure you use them within 12 months as we are unable to extend expiry dates.

Why can't I reschedule or cancel my lesson?

You can reschedule or cancel a lesson up to 24 hours before the lesson is due to begin. If rescheduling were permitted right before a lesson it would not be fair to tutors as it would prevent them from teaching and earning a living. The 24 hour policy is highlighted in numerous places on the website and in emails.

What happens if I don't turn up to a lesson?

If you book a lesson but don’t turn up to it, your tutor will lose time when they could have been teaching someone else and therefore they still need to be paid. So, unfortunately if you miss your lesson you will lose your lesson credit. If you think you may not be able to attend a lesson, you can reschedule up to 24 hours before your lesson via the View, Reschedule or Cancel button within your booking confirmation email.

What is your refunds policy?

You can get a refund to the value of your remaining lessons if you contact us to request this within 28 days of your initial purchase.

Tutors

Can you tell me more about the tutors?

We have a rigorous application process to maintain high standards. The tutors have an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on an independent review site. They all speak English well & will make you feel comfortable, even if you’re a beginner. You’ll be able to see tutor profiles (including videos) when you go to book a trial session. Alternatively, go to ‘Languages’ in the menu and select the language you’re learning.

Will my lessons always be with the same tutor?

We recommend sticking with the same tutor because it helps to develop a long-term relationship. They can get to know you, your interests and what you need to improve. That said, you can change tutor if you wish (see the below Q for more on this). Also, very occasionally students may need to change to a new tutor due to a lack of availability.

Can I switch to another tutor?

Usually we don’t recommend changing tutor. This is because over several lessons your tutor will have developed a good understanding of your goals, weaknesses and preferred learning style.

That said, sometimes a change helps to freshen things up. Students learning intensively sometimes like to have a couple of tutors so they can fit in as many lessons as possible. A change can also very occasionally be necessary if your tutor is no longer available at the times you need.

If you want to book with a new tutor, you can either go ahead and book straight away, or you can email us and ask to be matched with someone suitable. You’ll need to make sure you contact your tutor on Skype using the ID provided – if you don’t, the tutor may not be able to get in touch with you and you may miss the lesson. Alternatively, if you wish to use Zoom, you’ll need to reply to your confirmation email to ask your tutor whether they can use it. The request needs to be made at least 24h before the lesson time. Please note, there is no guarantee that the tutor will be able to use Zoom – if a tutor only teaches via Skype, this will be stated on their profile.

Where do I find out about applying to teach?

You can find all the information here.