If there’s one good thing to come out of this year, it’s that learning a language has never been so easy or accessible. That’s right, not even a pandemic could stop us from attending our English and Spanish classes. In 2020, language schools were forced to close. But we saw students globally put down their school bags, open their laptops, and join the biggest online learning movement ever.

And for many of you, it’s become a more convenient, and more preferable, way of studying. It’s no surprise why. There are lots of benefits to learning a language virtually. Studies show that you retain 25-60% more material when learning online.

So if you’re already enrolled on an online Oxford House course, or you’re thinking of giving it a go, here’s how to maximise your course!


FAQs about your online language course


1. Is the content the same as face-to face classes?

Yes, thanks to the beauty of technology, we can pretty much do everything we would normally do in a face-to-face lesson. Our classes help you develop your skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. And we cover all the usual grammar and vocabulary topics.

Screen sharing capabilities mean your tutor can show you a vast amount of material remotely. There’s still the opportunity to play games, listen to songs and watch videos. Teachers are also able to share resources with you, so there’s still plenty of homework in our online classes.

Check out this video or this post for more information – What’s it like to study online at Oxford House?


2. What platforms do you use?

Depending on the objective, we use three platforms in our online classes. With Telegram or Whatsapp, teachers can send text messages and voice recordings to keep you updated.

Zoom is the virtual classroom we use. It has some great capabilities such as screen sharing, audio sharing, virtual whiteboard, breakout rooms and a chat box. Our students also love the virtual backgrounds!

We have our own online platform – OH connect as well. This is a great way to keep a record of the lessons, and your teacher will often post additional links and homework too.

3. What materials do you use?

This will depend on the course. Many of our classes require a textbook, which makes the class easier to follow from home. You will be told what you need when you sign up for the course. Teachers often have access to a digital copy which they can annotate and highlight information on screen to enhance the learning experience.

4. Will we still do speaking activities?

Absolutely! In fact, online learning is perfect for it. Many teachers will use Zoom’s breakout rooms, which facilitate small group speaking activities. This means you’ll still get lots of opportunities to talk in pairs and groups. And for students that are a little bit shy, this is actually better. It’s like being tucked away in your own private chat room without everyone listening. Plus, your teacher can drop in and out and give feedback after the session.

5. Is there still an exam at the end of the course?

The online exams are exactly the same as with face-to-face classes. We do termly assessments for all courses to test the four skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening) to measure your progress. This is normally sent to you as a PDF via OH Connect or Zoom, and depending on the teacher you will either do this in class or in your own time as homework.

Remember, you can still come into the school to take the test if you prefer. And for exam classes like the Cambridge English exams or IELTS we offer a free mock exam in addition to those termly exams.

6. Can I do a level test online?

Yes! Our online level test automatically sends us your results when you enter your email address at the end. This means that when you come to sign up for a course, we already have your test results on our database.

Students wishing to take Cambridge or IELTS courses are sent a written exam via email which they must complete in addition to the online level test. You also have to do an oral test over the phone or on skype to access the course. General English extensive and intensive courses (kids, teens and adults) will need to take an oral exam as well.

7. How can I book onto an online course?

Just head to our website where you’ll find information about all of our courses – both online and face-to-face. Once you click on the course you want, scroll to the end of the page and look for – ‘Sign up now!’ Here you’ll be asked to complete the online registration, select the course, choose your start date and timetable. We’ll also ask for your details and give you information about payment.

8. Is the price the same as a face-to-face course?

Yes, the prices are exactly the same for online and in-school classes. You can find out all our course prices on our website.


Tips for your online language course

When taking an online course with Oxford House, we recommend the following things:

Confirm your place on the course

Make sure you have received an email confirming your place on the course. If you haven’t heard anything from the school prior to the class, please send us an email or call us before the course is due to start.

Check your equipment

For online classes you will be required to have high speed internet connection. You will also need to have a working web camera, and either an inbuilt or external microphone. Please make sure you test your equipment before joining the class.

Get set-up

The school will send you a link to Zoom before the class. Please ensure you have set up an account in advance. Don’t worry, this only takes a minute, and then you’ll be able to join at the start of the lesson without problems.

It’s also a good idea to have a notepad by your side. This will be useful for completing any written exercises and notes. And you may want to have some extra tabs open on your computer with additional resources. WordReference offers translations in both English and Spanish. Oxford English Dictionary and SpanishDict are great for looking up new words and checking pronunciation too.

Get involved

The most important thing is to have fun! Treat your online course like a ‘regular’ course. Get to know your classmates and participate in speaking activities. We promise you’ll get so much more out of it!


Check out this blog post for more tips on learning a language at home.

It’s not too late to sign up for Online Summer Courses starting in September. Sign up online or contact the school at info@oxfordhousebcn.com. We look forward to meeting you!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

To attend (v): singing along to a song, but by only moving your lips, and producing no sound.

To enroll on (v): something on the internet becoming very popular, spreading from one person to another.

The beauty of something (exp): immediately effective.

Vast amount (n): to move quickly through information on your phone with your thumb or finger.

To highlight (v): short extracts or pieces of information.

Shy (adj): a way of ending a relationship by suddenly stopping all communication with them.

Tucked away (adj): to add.

Termly (adj): problems and difficulties.

To scroll (v): informal spoken language.

Get more out of something (exp) : in detail.


v = verb

n = noun

exp = expression

adj = adjective

Study English at Oxford House Barcelona

Interested in taking an English course at Oxford House Barcelona? Check all of our different summer courses, or contact us for more information.

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