How to organize a successful language study group

Tips for a good study group
Know that you can effectively organize a study group without yourself being fluent.
More than anything, the group provides the dicipline (via peer pressure) to show up and study each week. This compares to self-study which relies entirely on a learners own willpower.

Fluent speakers can be a blessing or a problem. The fluent speakers are likely to be pressed into service as unpaid tutors.  When they don’t have the leadership role, then often the fluent speaker just watches as the attendees read the texts and do the exercises.  In both cases, this can be rather dull.

Irregular attendance can be distruptive, be creative in encouraging people to attend for several session in a row.  If you don’t, you will likely end up with a new batch of people each week, all who want to do chapter one.  The organizerwill get rather bored doing chapter one over and over.


Consider charging to discourage the uncommited and strenghten the commitment of those who buy in and start. However, keep in mind charging changes the social contract, requires accounting and additional complications.  At a paid event, attendees expect the organizer to be professional. At an unpaid event, attendees tolerate a lack of structure.

Keep a few spare copies of the text book. The textbook should be on the easy side because often there isn’t a person at the table who knows for sure what the answer really is.  And the book should be easy to find.

Put a time limit on study–about an hour is long enough to get through a chapter.

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