There is not much to talk about, it is is the most common and in my opinion not very efficient way to learn a language. You take years to become fluent and spend too much money. Others students can delay your progress. Also, a lot of schools focus on a grammar approach and hardly people communicate fully.
The positive site about school is when there is a good teacher and you’re starting to learn a language. A qualify teacher can correct pronunciation and direct your studies according to your personal needs. You can also compare your progress with others students. It’s good method for extrovert types.
A great way to study because you’ll be learning with a teacher to explain and solve doubts. But the learning process goes beyond the classroom; you’ll be surrounded by the language. The progress is quite fast, because to do anything you will need to use the language.
The downside is, of course, the high cost (but adding years of monthly fees in schools is not that expensive), which goes beyond the payment of course, you have to include food, transportation and accommodation, at least. Another common problem happens when the student stay only with people of their own nationality or community. So, if you have this chance, assure yourself to embrace the opportunity and meet people from different nationalities.
There are many courses, the clear advantage is that you can do almost anywhere and anytime, it is also cheaper than the traditional courses. You have to beware of scams; so always look for references. I never tried online courses, but I’ve heard good things about Englishtown.
If you live in a place where you can find lots of foreigners, you can combine a language exchange meeting. Usually each person talks in her/his own language for 30 minutes. It’s a good way to practice and meet new people. But I don’t recommend for someone who is at the basic level, since it’s nice to have some knowledge to avoid the conversation get stuck.
There are many courses to autodidacts, tons of books, CDs, DVDs and software. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses that will be discussed in an upcoming post.