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FAQS

General

What do I need to take a lesson with Callan Online?

All you need is
  • a computer, tablet or phone with internet connection, a camera and headset,
  • a free Skype account,
  • a quiet place where nothing will distract you,
  • and 25 minutes’ time.

I’m a complete beginner; can I still learn with this method?
Yes. The Callan Method has been designed to teach English at all levels. Thanks to its universal structure, based on repetition, you can succeed even if you cannot say a single sentence at the beginning.

When can I start?
You can start any time. Tutors are available every day. Each tutor will save your progress in your profile, so during each lesson you will pick up where you left off. Just choose a date and time that's convenient to you and start learning!

Do I need books?
Yes, you will need a book for each Stage you learn. You can buy eBooks after buying your first Plan.

How do I read the eBooks?
To read the eBooks, you will need our app. Every eBook you buy will be displayed in the app, where you can read it and play the embedded audio. You can download the application for free below:

Can I have a free trial?
Yes! You can reserve a free trial lesson for each course that we offer.

Courses, Plans and Credits

What Courses do you offer?
We currently offer the following courses:
General English
General Spanish
Business English
Each course is a complete, self-contained programme carefully designed to build up your knowledge and skills. General English and Spanish courses are divided into Stages (12 and 6 respectively). Business English is a shorter course, and isn't divided into Stages.

What are Plans?
Plans are packages of lesson credits with expiry dates that you buy in order to reserve lessons. Plans are based on the frequency and regularity of your lessons. When you start learning with us, you will choose how often you want to take lessons and for how long. After your first plan ends, you can choose a different one.

What are lesson credits?
Credits are a virtual currency that buys you lessons. When you buy a plan, you get a number of credits. Each credit will allow you to reserve one lesson. When a lesson is reserved, you have one less available credit.

What happens if I reserve more lessons than my plan suggests, and run out of credits before the end date of my plan?
You don't have to wait till the end date of your plan. Just buy another plan. Your account will be topped-up with the credits included in your new plan, and the end date will be updated accordingly. Now just start reserving lessons again.

I'm not sure if my number of credits is correct. How can I check?
Your detailed history of credit transactions is available in your Wallet.

What happens if I haven’t used all my lesson credits and my course expires?
The remaining credits will become inactive. You won’t be able to use them to reserve lessons, but you won’t lose them. When you buy your next plan, these old credits will become available again. For example:
Your course expires and you still have 3 credits remaining. You buy a 4 Weeks Light Plan. You get 12 new credits and 4 weeks’ time to use them. You also regain access to your 3 old credits. You now have 12 + 3 = 15 credits. You must try to use them all within 4 weeks.

Can I reserve more than one lesson for the same day?
Yes. Students often choose to reserve 2 lessons in a row, so they learn for 50 minutes non-stop. We recommend not reserving more than 2 lessons on the same day.

Lessons and timetables

What days will I have lessons?
You will build your own schedule. You can reserve each lesson separately, choosing the date, time, and tutor. You can also choose to reserve lessons on the same day and time every week for a few weeks in advance.
The most important thing is that you stick to your plan's recommended frequency of lessons: for example, with a standard plan, you must take 5 lessons every week. With a pay as you go plan, you can take lessons whenever you want, as long as you use all your credits within 6 months of purchase.

What happens if I miss a lesson?
Try to reserve lessons carefully and never miss them. If you miss a lesson because of scheduling issues, technical problems on your side, traffic etc., the credit that you used to reserve it is lost. In case of illness or emergency, please contact Support.

What happens if my tutor doesn't turn up for the lesson?
We do everything in our power to ensure that there is always a tutor available to teach you. In the rare scenario that there is no-one available at the time of your lesson, you get your credit back and can use it to book another lesson.

Can I cancel a lesson?
After you book a lesson, you can cancel it 24 hours or more in advance. The lesson will be removed from your and the tutor’s calendar, and you will get your lesson credit back. If there’s less than 24 hours’ time left until the lesson, you cannot cancel it. If you didn’t cancel the lesson, you should try to attend it. If you are absent, you will lose your credit.

The Method

Why am I doing the same questions again and again?
Every lesson starts with repetition of material from previous lessons. The Callan Method is effective because it involves lots of revision. You will repeat everything you learn multiple times, until you’ve committed the new language to long-term memory and can use it correctly and confidently. Without systematic revision, you will quickly forget what you learned.

Additionally, because there’s a lot of revision, it’s isn’t important for you to understand everything the first time; it gets easier the more you repeat.

Why does the tutor speak at the same time as me?
This is a technique that we call ‘feeding.’ The tutor answers every question with you for the following reasons:

  • To help you give the correct answer. Some answers are long and you aren’t expected to know them by heart – just listen to what your tutor is saying.
  • To set the pace and motivate you to try and speak fast. This way, you remain very focused, and speak at a natural pace, without translating.
  • To provide a constant model of correct pronunciation for you.
Some people find this difficult to get used to. After all, when someone is speaking, our instinctive reaction is to politely listen, not talk over them! However, please remember that this isn’t a conversation – it's a lesson, and everything we do helps you speak more fluently.
  • To help you give the correct answer. Some answers are long and you aren’t expected to know them by heart – just listen to what your tutor is saying.
  • To set the pace and motivate you to try and speak fast. This way, you remain very focused, and speak at a natural pace, without translating.
  • To provide a constant model of correct pronunciation for you.
Some people find this difficult to get used to. After all, when someone is speaking, our instinctive reaction is to politely listen, not talk over them! However, please remember that this isn’t a conversation – it's a lesson, and everything we do helps you speak more fluently.

Why does the tutor interrupt me?
One of the tenets of the Callan Method is instant correction. We want to help you recognise your own mistakes and develop a habit of correcting them, and, over time, not making them at all. That’s why, if you make a mistake, the tutor will immediately stop you and help you correct the mistake.
After you correct your mistake, simply carry on with the answer.
Here’s an example of how we correct mistakes:
Tutor: Are we speaking French? Are we speaking French? No, we...
Student: No, we isn’t...
T: Not “isn’t,” “aren’t.”
S: ...we aren’t speaking French, we’re speaking English.

Tutors

Who will teach me?
All the Tutors offering lessons through Callan Online are native English speakers. They are trained and experienced Callan Method teachers who live in various countries and understand what it’s like to be a language learner. We recommend that you take lessons with a number of different tutors so that you hear different voices and accents.

I’m a complete beginner and don’t speak any English/Spanish. How will I communicate with my tutors?
Our tutors are friendly, patient, and used to teaching beginners. They will be able to teach you without speaking a common language. During your first lesson, you will simply start learning the basics of your target language.

Payments

Which payment methods do you accept?
We accept all major credit and debit cards and Paypal.

Tech issues

How do I check if my Internet connection is good enough?
Click this link (https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA900/how-do-i-check-my-call-quality-settings) to check Skype performance.

I don't have a webcam. Can I still take a Callan Online lesson?
A webcam is highly recommended, in order that your teacher can see your mouth and correct your pronunciation, and also see your reactions and make sure you understand properly. You can still have a lesson without a webcam, but it will be less effective.

Incidents and Miscellaneous

What happens if the tutor doesn't call me?
If the tutor doesn’t contact you on Skype, please check his/her Skype Name (you will receive it in the lesson confirmation email) and send them a message.
If for whatever reason you are unable to contact the tutor, please contact Support.

What happens it the connection breaks and I can't complete the lesson?
If the lesson can't be completed because of a fault with the tutor’s connection, please contact Support and you will get your lesson credit back. If the problems with internet connection are on your side, you cannot get the credit back.

I am interested in the Business English course, but I am below Stage 8. Can I still do it?
No. In order to benefit from the Business English course, you must be familiar with the language taught in Stages 1-7. If you aren’t, then the Business English course will be a waste of your time and money. Please take some General English lessons first. As soon as you reach Stage 8, you can start the Business English course.

How do Callan Method stages compare with CEFR levels?

The comparison of Callan Method stages to the CEFR is approximate.
English Courses

CEFR Level1Trinity GESE2Trinity ISE3TOEFL iBT4Cambridge English5IELTS6Callan stages
A1Grade 2----3/4
A2Grade 3 & 4ISE 0-KET3.0-3.54/5
B1Grade 5 & 6ISE I57-86PET4.0-4.5end of 6
B2Grade 7, 8 & 9ISE II87-109FCE5.0-6.5end of 10
C1Grade 10 & 11ISE III110-120CAE7.0-8.0end of 12
C2Grade 12ISE IV-CPE8.5-9.0-

Spanish Courses
CEFR Level1Callan stages
A11/2
A23/4
B15/6


Can I get a certificate?
We will be happy to issue a certificate to confirm how many lessons you’ve taken and which Stage you have completed with us. Please note that we cannot certify that you’ve reached a CEFR level; we only refer to Callan Method Stages.
If you’d like to receive a certificate, please contact Support!