Frequently Asked Questions
Why is your method better?
We put you, the learner, at the center of every lesson. You’re the only person in the class, you’re the one who does most of the talking and you’re often the one asking the questions. We select top-class English tutors from around the world, test their performance and then give them a single, measurable challenge: to improve your English.
What’s different about your lessons?
Our teachers have the skill to create grammar and vocabulary exercises especially for you. These are specific to your needs and they’re the best way to develop language that you’ll use outside the classroom. As extra work for self-study, we encourage you to make use of textbooks and grammar guides.
How do I know that your method works?
We measure your progress from the moment you join us and compare your results with all our our learners. We know the methods and tutors that are most effective because we’ve been analysing these results for several years.
What is the role of a teacher?
Your teacher is your guide to the specific language and grammar that matters for you. He/she gives you the resources and confidence to express yourself in written and spoken conversations.
How do you attract the best teachers?
In order to get the best teachers in the industry, we seek learners who are serious about making progress and, unlike our competitors, most of the fees that you pay for lessons are passed on to our tutors.
Do you use textbooks in your lessons?
Only when they’re relevant. We want to make lessons interesting and relevant to your needs, and our lessons incorporate many different materials – such as videos, articles and presentations – but usually these are introduced by you or your teacher. We might borrow exercises from various textbooks, but we won’t use one book for your entire course. We encourage you to construct your own sentences, instead of wasting lesson time with repetitive grammar book exercises or boring course material.
Can I try out your method before I pay?
Yes. The first step for anyone learning with us is a personal assessment. This is free for anyone who is considering taking lessons with us.
What is the initial personal assessment?
This is a 15-minute phone call from one of our tutors. We use the call to gauge your level, understand your aims and answer your questions about our service.
Our tutors will talk to you in English, unless you specifically request that they use your native language. You can schedule the call for any time you wish. During working hours, we aim to connect you with a tutor within 10 minutes. Shortly after you complete the assessment, you will receive a summary of your strengths and weaknesses along with the tutor’s recommendations.
How do I schedule my first lesson?
At the end of your personal assessment call, our tutor will ask whether you wish to start lessons. If so, the tutor will ask you to name a time for your first lesson.
The Learning Process
How long does a lesson last?
Each lesson lasts 50 minutes.
What happens during a lesson?
We give our tutors plenty of freedom to organise their lessons around each learner, but we apply the basic principles of the dogme approach. You can learn more about how this works in the about us section.
What feedback do I receive after each lesson?
After each lesson, you will receive a short report from your tutor. Each report includes a suggested task ahead of your next lesson and a few words for you to remember and errors for you to avoid.
Can you help me to prepare for IELTS, TOEFL and other international qualifications?
Our teachers have years of experience preparing learners for IELTS, TOEFL and other exams, such as those created by the University of Cambridge. Futuresay’s method is designed to help you express yourself in English, but there are many basic exam tips that can help you pass the major English-language tests for study and employment.
Can your teachers help with specialist vocabulary for my profession?
Yes, we have tutors whose professional experience has been in finance, marketing, journalism, art and media.
Can you teach beginners?
If you haven’t studied English before, we’re happy to help you because we have tutors who can teach you but we haven’t yet configured our general method specifically for beginners.
Do I get homework?
Yes, our tutors will be happy to suggest homework tasks that you can complete between lessons. Typically, your tutor will go through this work with you during the lesson. If you would like to submit written work for your tutor to mark at another time, then you should pay an extra fee. This will depend on the tasks, but it will always be agreed in advance.
How do you measure progress?
In addition to the short reports that you receive after each lesson, your tutor will write one longer report at the end of each month that summaries your progress during the period. If you continue to study for an additional month, you will receive another assessment call and we also use this to record your progress and show how this compares with other learners.
Do you provide certificates?
Yes. We provide certificates for every course of study that you complete with Futuresay.
Do you use the CERF?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages assesses foreign language proficiency based on six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. Our tutors use these guidelines in assessing your progress.
Who are your teachers?
Futuresay lessons are taught by the best English tutors available. We recruit tutors exclusively from recommendations and each new applicant is required to teach a series of trial lessons. In the two years since our launch, we have chosen the top 40 tutors from out of over 500 applicants. We recruited from language schools around the world as well as via the English and Modern Languages departments at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, and Dublin.
What qualifications do they hold?
Every tutor with Futuresay has at least a year of experience teaching English and all of them hold CELTA, with the exception of a few tutors that are specialised in particular fields (such as finance or marketing).
Are your teachers native English speakers?
All of our teachers are native English speakers, with the exception of a few tutors who grew up speaking other languages but have since learned to speak perfect English.
Can I have a tutor who speaks my native language?
Almost all of our tutors have learned several languages and many have lived around the world. If you wish, we should be able to connect you with a tutor who can speak your language. However, if you are able to do so, we recommend that you speak exclusively in English during the lessons.
Will I have the same teacher for every lesson?
We try to match you with the best tutors for your needs and interests. You can request a switch whenever you wish. If you stick to fixed lesson times, we can usually provide the same tutor for you. If you pick a different time for lessons each week, we will often connect you with other qualified tutors who are available. We can provide continuity between tutors because we have the records from your previous lessons.
Can I use Futuresay to learn other languages apart from English?
Not yet. The requirements of people learning English are very specific and for now that’s what we’re focused on. We hope to help in future though!
Prices and Payment
What is a price plan?
You can buy lessons individually or in packages of 8 or 12.
How much does each lesson cost?
It’s cheaper to buy a package. The bigger the package, the lower the price per lesson. For example, if you pay for 12 lessons at once, the price per lesson is just under $24.60 and each additional lesson costs $24. If you just pay for a single lesson with no package, it will cost $30.
How long is a package of lessons valid?
When you buy a package, you are required to use all of the lessons in the package within 30 days of the date of purchase.
How do I pay for lessons?
You can pay using your Visa, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. We use PayPal to process payments and will issue an invoice after you have agreed a date and time for your first lesson. Once we have received payment, we will confirm your first lesson.
Do you provide refunds?
For our packages of 8 and 12 lessons, we have a “no questions asked” refund policy the first time that you book a lesson. Unless you reschedule or miss the appointed lesson time, you are entitled to a full refund up to 24 hours after the lesson is completed.
Where do your lessons take place?
You can learn wherever you want. We have teachers in most major cities around the world. You can request lessons at your home or office. Please bear in mind that the prices indicated on our site apply to online lessons, and we apply a surcharge for face-to-face lessons. If you’re comfortable learning at a computer and want the broadest choice of teachers at the lowest prices, you should choose online lessons.
What software do you use for your online lessons?
Our online lessons take place in a virtual classroom that runs on the Adobe Connect platform. It has video, an online whiteboard and an option to record lessons. You don’t have to install any software. Although Skype is missing many of the functions in Adobe Connect, you can use it as a backup option if you wish.
What computers and tablets can I use for online lessons?
If you have a recent model of iPad or tablet, you will be able to use it for lessons if you install a plugin. You can check the minimum requirements for your computer on the Adobe Connect site.
What speed of internet connection do I need for online lessons?
If you want to be sure of a good video and voice connection with your tutor, you should run an online speed test to check that your connection speed is 200 Kbits/sec or more.
How do I schedule lessons?
If you wish to study with a single tutor throughout the course, you should agree a time for your next lesson at the end of each session. If you can’t easily predict your schedule each week, then you might prefer to book lessons at short notice.
How quickly can you arrange a lesson?
If you have paid for a price plan, you can schedule lessons at any time using our lesson request form – if your usual tutor is unavailable, we will assign you to another one – all our tutors are very experienced and used to working with different learners. While we endeavour to set up lessons at short notice, to avoid disappointment, we request that you give us at least 24 hours notice before your desired start time.
Can I reschedule a lesson?
Yes, you can reschedule any lesson up to 24 hours before the original start time. The new time that you pick must be within your current payment period i.e. no more than 30 days from the date of payment.