The Language Garage offers private, semi-private, and small group lessons. Private is one-on-one, just you and the instructor. Semi-private is two, perfect if you and your friend or significant other want to learn together. Small group is you and two or three other students working together with the instructor.
What’s your budget?
The big difference is of course price. Private lessons cost $180 per level ($45/hour), semi-private costs $120 per person per level ($30/hour), and small group costs $88 per person per level ($22/hour). So if you’re on a budget, a small group is a better option. And with three or four students, the group is still small enough that you’re not exactly going to be lost in a sea of students vying for the instructor’s attention. Semi-private is a great in-between option, especially if you have a friend or partner who wants to learn with you.
How flexible is your schedule?
If you enroll in a small group, you enroll for live lessons at a particular fixed time each week. With private or semi-private lessons, you have a schedule that you choose, but if you have to make changes from week to week you can, as long as you give us enough notice and your instructor is available.
What’s your learning pace?
Pacing is another factor. Private lessons are going to proceed at exactly your pace, and the instructor will be able to zero in on material that you need a bit more time with. In a group, the pacing is going to be set by, well, the group. Since the Language Garage uses blended instruction and every student has the chance to work on his or her own between lessons, all students can review and practice however quickly or slowly they want to outside of the lesson. No one is going to be hopelessly lost. But still, private lessons have the pacing and individual attention advantage.
Do like to learn with others, or on your own?
If you have a mildly competitive streak in you (come on, admit it), small groups are going to give you a chance to show your stuff. But even if you’re not competitive, there’s a social aspect to small groups that private instruction doesn’t have. Learning something with other people is a lot of fun. You can come out of a Language Garage course not just with a new language, but a couple of new friends as well.