Language learning Tips and Advice

Top 10 misconceptions about language learning

You may recall your school years when everyone would study the same subject in mixed-ability classes. Unfortunately, everybody learns in different ways and one particular method of learning will not suit every student. Our teachers realise these differences and alter their teaching accordingly. They aim to break away from the traditional classroom experience and to make your lessons as personalised, enjoyable and comfortable as possible.

The popular assumption about learning a new skill is that when you are younger it comes very naturally. Although age should not be a barrier, as we grow older our brain takes longer to absorb and retain new information. However, neuroscientists have shown that it is extremely healthy and beneficial to learn a language at any point in your life. The most important thing is to work out what the best study methods are for you as an individual.

This statement is so meaningless! We can all make time for the things we like doing or want to do. And being committed and motivated to learn a language is your choice after all. Our courses are flexible and our lessons can be booked according to your daily routine.

Indeed, English is widely spoken in the world but it is not the only international language. Over 400 million people speak Spanish, not just in Europe but also in Latin America. Spanish is considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. It is also a language spoken widely on the internet and in business.

French is also an international language, being an official language of organisations such as UNESCO, the United Nations, NATO and more. It is spoken in many European countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland), in Canada and in many North-African countries.

Chinese is also an official language of the United Nations. It is spoken by over 1 billion people i.e. one-fifth of the world’s total population.

Language learning apps will not enable you to speak your target language. Their true value is to develop your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. If you want to learn how to drive, you need to have an instructor. The same applies to learning a foreign language. Ultimately, when you travel abroad on holiday or for business purposes you want to make yourself understood and most importantly understand what the locals say to you. 

Think about the money that you may spend on other non-essential activities to entertain yourself. It will certainly cost you more than a language learning app but you will progress far more quickly. We offer very small groups so you can spread the cost but still learn efficiently and effectively.

Regrettably, this is wrong. The more students there are in the class, the less you will be able to speak. In private classes, you will have the opportunity to converse in the language that you are learning with your teacher who is a native speaker. The sounds and phrases you will hear are authentic!

Your school days may have put you off speaking a foreign language in front of your classmates. As an adult now you have made the decision to learn a language and attend a course. If you feel embarrassed about making mistakes in a group, you can have one-to-one tuition! The most important thing to remember is that practice makes perfect! 

Revision is an important part of the learning process so homework should not be seen as a negative process of language learning. On the contrary, it gives you the opportunity to practise what you have covered in class. Homework should help you learn. 

It is true that we all began to speak our native language without studying grammar by the time we were about two or three years old. As we grow older, unfortunately, this does not quite apply to learning another language as a total beginner. Grammar is a set of structural rules composed of words. If you want to communicate in a foreign language effectively, you will need to memorise basic words. You may not necessarily want to learn the grammatical terms such as verbs, prepositions and pronouns, but you will need to memorise these words, to hear and reproduce the different sounds they make if you want to communicate effectively in a foreign language. Basic knowledge of grammar will help you develop your vocabulary.

Language learning Promotions

Summer offer 2021

This Summer, it seems unlikely that we will receive many postcards from abroad. Book your language course to experience a foreign culture and get that holiday feeling!

*A free lesson will be added to any private course (6 or more hours but this offer excludes group tuition)


Language learning Promotions

Start additional GCSE and A-level tuition now!

Exam preparation
at The Marlow Language Centre

The past two years have not been easy for students. Disruption to school life and an extended period of online learning has undoubtedly presented challenges for many students but we’re continuing to work hard reassuring and building the confidence of future GCSE and A-level candidates.

We offer bespoke coaching courses (1-to-1 or in groups) for students preparing for GCSE or A-level foreign language examinations in various languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and others. 

Below you’ll find some useful info about the courses and options on offer. 

Language learning Tips and Advice

To speak or not to speak a foreign language – The choice is yours!

Learning a foreign language is a little like driving; you can study the grammar and vocabulary (or the highway code) telling you how to write (or understand road signs) for months, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing like communicating with native speakers (or getting behind the wheel).

At the MLC, we show you why language learning apps don’t work when it comes to expressing yourself effectively in your target language. Their true value is to reinforce your existing knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. If you want to learn how to drive, you need to have an instructor. The same applies to learning a foreign language. Ultimately, when you travel abroad on holiday or for business you want to make yourself understood and most importantly understand what the locals say to you.


Language learning Promotions

Language Lockdown

Yet again, the imperative is to stay at home to support the NHS. However, this does not mean that your resolutions, aims or desires to learn a new language or improve a foreign language have to be put on hold. We are here to enhance your lockdown experience and award you with a free lesson!

We offer private and group courses as well as vouchers. Our courses are flexible and designed to encourage the best possible progress. 

During lockdown, you’ll automatically receive an additional FREE 60 minute 1 to 1 lesson when booking your first course of 6, 12, 18 or 24 hours!

FREE 30 minute 1 to 1 online trial classes are available as well to get to know your teacher, familiarise yourself with the video conferencing platform and assess your level.


Christmas Gift Vouchers

Whether you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas, want to support a local small business or would like to give someone something a little different this year, our Christmas Gift Vouchers are the perfect choice. 

Vouchers are available for private and group tuition and can be taken face-to-face or online. 


Language Lockdown – Get your MLC voucher now!

Want to enhance your lockdown experience? Look no further than our November Lockdown Deal! Let’s face it there is a limit to how much you can binge-watch on Netflix. So, when you’re not watching your favourite foreign language shows why not learn a new language or develop existing language skills prior to your next trip abroad?

What voucher options are available?

Prices apply for online classes ( during & after lockdown) and face-to-face tuition (post-lockdown) here at the Centre in Marlow. 

During November you’ll automatically receive an additional FREE 60 minute 1 to 1 lesson when booking 6 or 12 hours!

FREE 30 minute 1 to 1 online trial classes available in November as well.

Private tuition
1 hour£40£48
3 hours£120£144
6 hours£240£288
12 hours
incl. 2.5% discount
18 hours
incl. 5% discount
24 hours
incl. 7.5% discount

Group tuitionHours***Costs*Available
Half term 9 hours in total
(6 sessions of 1,5 hrs)
Full term18 hours in total
(12 sessions of 1,5hrs)

All our foreign language courses are conducted by a native speaker which allow you to interact with a real person who is an expert of the language and culture!

*Prices inclusive of VAT
**Prices inclusive of fee for 2 people
***Dates depend on our timetables which you can find on our individual language pages

Learn SpanishGermanItalianSwedishRussianPolishFrenchJapaneseMandarinTurkishetc. 

Who is the voucher for?

anyone who is going to sit a GCSE or A Level foreign language exam

anyone looking to improve their job prospects 

anyone looking to enrich their travel experience

anyone looking to relocate abroad

just because it is fun to learn a language 

– “I just want to be able to speak in the correct tenses”

– “Excellent teachers, pushing us the right amount but always fun!”

– “I passed the exam! After this, I know I can improve to the next level. Thank you so much.”

How can one redeem the voucher?

Simply contact The Marlow Language Centre via email, over the phone and tell us what language/voucher option you’re interested in. 

Private tuition: Take private lessons at times to suit you, Monday to Friday 07:30-20:00, Saturday 09:00-14:00. You can cancel and reschedule at 24 hours’ notice. Classes don’t have to be taken on a fixed day and time.

Group tuition:
We run small groups of up to five people of similar ability, guaranteeing good progress. Generally, we run Foreign language group courses from beginner up to advanced levels. Our group language courses consist of a weekly 90-minute class that runs in conjunction with the school terms: September to December; January to March; April to July. Our general group courses follow a timetable. However, you also have the option to set up a private group with family and friends where you can set your own day and time. See the latest groups with available levels and days and times on the individual language page. 

Terms and Conditions
1. Gift Vouchers have to be redeemed by 31/12/2021
2. Gift Vouchers cannot be refunded
3. Gift vouchers are subject to The Marlow Language Centre’s terms and conditions
Language learning Videos

Video clip: The bar

Learning a language like Italian can be a bit more complicated than just reading a book…

Language learning Videos

Video clip: the date

Learning a language like French can be a bit more complicated than just reading a book…

Internal Language learning Terms and Conditions

Post-lockdown procedures for on-site classes

Find our Health and Safety measures keeping you, the teachers and all other staff save when learning a language stated below. 

Language learning Online tuition

Online classes – how it all works

Tough times for us all and we’re counting on your support now more than ever!

Internal Language learning Online tuition

We are open for business!

Online tuition at The Marlow Language Centre

Communication is a key element of our lives, especially in these difficult times.

Why should I learn a language now?

Language learning Promotions

The Marlow Card

Here at The Marlow Language Centre  we’ve teamed up with The Marlow Card. The card itself will give you some amazing deals and offers at some of Marlow’s favourite independent businesses. If you’re a holder of The Marlow Card (or The Henley Card), we have good news for you. You’ll be able to receive an exclusive deal here at The Marlow Language Centre.
Language learning Tips and Advice

Want to know how proficient you are in a language?

How proficient are you in a foreign language? The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) offers a handy measure.

The CEFR operates a scale of 1 to 6: proficiency levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

  • Level group A = basic user – divided into A1 (lower) and A2 (upper)
  • Level group B = independent user – divided into B1 (lower) and B2 (upper)
  • Level group C = proficient user – divided into C1 (lower) and C2 (upper)
Language learning Tips and Advice

“I wish I’d paid more attention at school!”

Our advice for adult language learners

The popular assumption about learning a new skill is that when you are younger, is that it comes very naturally. This is attributed to the still developing, curious, creative and dynamic human brain – something neuroscientists refer to as ‘neuroplasticity’. However, this suggests that when you reach maturity you begin to lose the ability to learn new things, whether it is a new sport, a musical instrument. Yet, both contemporary sciences, and our own experience with over 30 years teaching foreign languages prove this to be largely false. Indeed, there is no better time to learn a language, than right now!
Language learning Tips and Advice

‘Phoning it in’ – pros and cons of language learning apps

There is such a proliferation of language learning applications for your tablet, PC and phone in 2019 that it is often quite difficult to define what they actually can and can’t do. Indeed, when ads claim you can ‘learn a language in a month’ or ’spend 10 minutes a day to achieve fluency’, is this actually the case? As we know, language learning is a multifaceted exercise, so can we take advantage of technology to help make the process as enjoyable and efficient as possible? Today we will be taking a look at the pros and cons of different language learning apps in comparison to other learning methods.

‘The human touch’ – why we cannot rely on machine translation

With the rise of sophisticated artificial intelligence, the prevalence of personal computers and smartphones, we have seen the birth and development of a whole host of online translation engines. Services such as ‘Google Translate’ and ‘Bing Translate’ are designed to supersede the traditional methods of translating one language to another, by use of a specially designed program. The supposed benefits of these ‘machine translation’ tools include accessibility, speed and cost effectiveness, with many of these being free to use at any time online. However, are these translation engines as useful as they initially appear? Today we will be comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these tools, and where human translators stand in the modern day.
Language learning Tips and Advice

Top five foreign language movies for language learners

We all know immersion is the best thing for language learning. But outside of the classroom, going on holiday, and meeting people, how can we really engage with languages in an exciting and stimulating way? Movies! There are a huge variety of foreign language films available through a variety of sources, and watching with or without subtitles can make it less or more of a challenge! Movies are also fantastic for vocabulary building, by allowing you to associate language and words with a visual stimulus, helping your brain make the connection and remember it with greater ease. With this in mind, today we have decided to run through a few of our favourite foreign language movies for different languages!
Internal Language learning

Italian at the MLC – interview with Paola

Today I have the chance to speak to one of our wonderful Italian teaching team, Paola, to discuss the Italian language and what it’s like to teach it here at the Marlow Language Centre!
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Comparing courses: 1-1 vs group tuition

One of the best parts of learning a language at The Marlow Language Centre is the variety of course options we have to suit every kind of language learner. We have recently been asked some questions about the differences between our two main kinds of course; 1-1 (private) classes, and group classes. Read on to find out more!
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Top ten frequently asked questions about language learning

Our primer on learning a language!

Learning a foreign language at the Marlow Language Centre is a fantastic opportunity. However, people often have many questions about the process, and it’s safe to say in our 30 years providing bespoke tuition, we have heard them all! Read on for our top 10 frequently asked questions about learning a language.
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Top five tips for immersion – the secret key to language learning

One of the most valuable, but often most ephemeral, aids to language learning is immersion. A New York Times article in 2017 revealed how 27-year-old Philadelphia ‘Phillies’ baseball shortstop Freddy Galvis from Venezuela, learned English entirely through back-to-back binging the American sitcom ‘Friends’. He would watch in English with Spanish subtitles for hours every day after practice, and within a few years, was semi-fluent in English. While we are not recommending that strategy exactly (we wouldn’t wish that amount of Ross Geller on anyone!), it is proof that immersion is a fantastic way to aid language learning. Here are our top tips for immersion.
Internal Language learning

Setting priorities – the British Council

Politics, culture and languages

In late 2017 the British Council, a globally connected charity dedicated to strengthening cultural relationships and fostering international opportunities, released an extensive study describing what it considers the ‘most important’ languages for British people to be learning. This comes at an incredibly tumultuous time; rising political and economic tensions, including the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, as well as changing relationships between the UK and nations such as China, Russia and the Arab League. This study analyses and ranks the most, and conversely the least key languages for Brits to get a hold on, and today we will be looking at and breaking down a few of their findings.
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Healthiness and language learning – the facts

Is language learning beneficial to your health?

One of the most significant but often overlooked aspects of learning a foreign language are the health benefits. In recent years, more and more studies are showing far reaching cognitive, emotional rewards to language learning. In this article we are going to try to separate the fact from the fiction.
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Group tuition at The Marlow Language Centre

Five reasons why you should choose our group classes

In addition to our wide variety of bespoke private courses here at the Marlow Language Centre we also operate regular mini-group classes. Some students prefer to take tuition in a group format rather than one-to-one; there are many benefits to both kinds of tuition, and learning with other people presents a different style of language learning to private tuition. Here are our top five reasons why our group classes are so popular:

Internal Language learning Videos

30th anniversary celebration

30 years of teaching, translating and interpreting for the local community

Since 1988, the Marlow Language Centre has been providing high quality foreign language tuition, as well as translation and interpreting services in over 50 foreign languages. To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we hosted a summer party at Clayton’s Marlow for students, staff and teachers past and present.

Language learning Tips and Advice

Embracing local culture as a second-home-owner

Live like a local

When you finally achieve the dream of buying, renovating, building or even renting your dream home abroad, the idea of embracing the local culture suddenly takes on a new significance. Naturally, you’ll be excited about learning how to live like a local – knowing the best places to eat, engaging in new traditions and understanding a different way of life but, more unexpectedly, living like a local becomes an absolute necessity if you want to get anything done!
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

Top ten reasons to love learning a language

Our insights after 28 years of teaching

They say the first step is always the hardest and that’s especially true for something like learning a language. It’s always so rewarding to see our students take their (usually trepidatious) first steps in language learning, before falling in love with the whole process of discovering a foreign tongue.
From what we’ve learned in 28 years of teaching, these are the top ten reasons to love learning a language:
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

The top five excuses for not learning a language…

… and why you can’t use them!

It goes without saying that we’ve heard every excuse in the book in the last 28 years… and we’ve overcome every single one of them.

At the Marlow Language Centre, we come across the same reservations time and time again, but the trick to surmounting those mental blocks is to see those “reasons” for what they are – unfounded excuses that you don’t have to be guided by!

Want to know if your favourite excuse is on our list? These are the five most common reasons we hear for shying away from learning a language – and why you can’t use any of them…
Internal Language learning Tips and Advice

How to help your employees love learning

Perceived obstacles and how to overcome them

Learning a second language can be a smart career move, yet many employees find themselves terrified of tackling such a challenge.

This can be both frustrating and baffling for you as a manager – especially if you find language learning easy yourself – so how can you best support your employees to not shy away from the benefits of bilingualism?