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How My Course Works

How do I use Pearson Online English?

Pearson Online English is personalized, so you learn the English you need for your life! To get the most out of Pearson Online English, there are a few key elements to understand. We recommend that you use all of these elements, and use Pearson Online English at least three hours a week to see the results you want.

For specific information please view other questions.

How do I use Pearson Online English lessons & activities?

Your units are updated daily with lessons from fresh, current media from our publishing partners. In each lesson, you'll be asked to complete 3-4 activities. These activities will change based on your goals and recent performance. This way you will always be challenged!

I am a beginner, can I still use Pearson Online English?

Yes! Pearson Online English works for beginners, too. Here's how we support you:
- Lessons are made from pictures, Tweets, simple news articles, and conversations.
- A Beginner's Guide explains the basics of English grammar to help you get started.
- Pearson Online English tutors are trained to work with beginners, so don't be afraid to join a group or private session.
- We have special units for beginners. Start with the unit "Beginner 1: Introductions". This unit has 17 lessons that you must complete in sequence. It is designed to give you structure and practice in grammar and vocabulary for beginners. To activate the first Beginner Unit, and continue from Beginner 2 to Beginner 11, visit the unit catalog.

Please take the Proficiency Assessment to make sure that your course is set to the right level. If you still have questions about your level, contact a Pearson Online English Coach for help!

How do I use Pearson Online English on my mobile??

Your units are updated daily with lessons from fresh, current media from our publishing partners. In each lesson, you'll be asked to complete 3-4 activities. These activities will change based on your goals and recent performance. This way you will always be challenged!

How will Pearson Online English help me improve?

Pearson Online English helps you improve by giving you the exact practice that you need. Your course difficulty adjusts automatically based on your performance. So the only thing you need to do is practice regularly with the material we give you! To improve more quickly, we recommend that you attend more group and private tutoring sessions.

If you have questions about your progress, contact our support team and we'll make sure you're on the right track.

What is a unit?

Each unit is a series of lessons that is continuously updated with fresh new content related to specific theme. There are a few pop quizes in between lessons, so pay attention! At the end of the unit there's an achievement test. You can see your units directly on the guide page. You can have three units active at the same time, but you can complete as many units as you want in your course.

How do I choose units?
When you first start your course, your units are chosen based on your interests and goals. You learn best when you practice with material that is interesting and releveant to your life! If you ever want to choose other units, visit the Unit Catalog and browse all the options. You can have up to three units at any time.

Why does the unit repeat?
If you only have one unit, it will stay active when you complete it. It may look like it is 'repeating' because it stays in your side bar, but it is continuously updated and contains new lessons daily -- the unit is "new" every time you take it -- you'll never see the same lesson twice! If the unit interests you, there's no need to stop practicing.

How many units must I do?
In order to improve we recommend doing between 6 and13 lessons a week in combination with time spent in your WordBank, Grammar Guide and Tutoring. You can continue with one, or you can do many different units. Your course is flexible, to help you meet your own specific goals. If you need some guidance about how to use your study time, check your Study Plan.

Which units are right for my level?
The Beginner English unit is designed for beginners and the Practice my English test, and Finance units are generally more advanced. However, most all the units will adapt to your level. So the best way to study is to choose units that are interesting to you - your course will automatically adjust to your level.

A Protip:
Pearson Online English's group tutoring sessions focus on topics that match the units we have. Visit the Tutor Center and look for an upcoming session that's related to one of the units you're currently taking lessons from. You'll enjoy the session more and have great ideas to contribute!

How do I choose my units?

Your course starts with up to three units that reflect the goals and interests you shared with us when you started. If you'd like to change one or more of your units, visit the Unit Catalog and browse the available topics. When you select the unit you'd like to switch to, you'll be asked to replace one of your current units, since you can only have three active at a time. When you replace an active unit, you lose your history for that unit, so make sure you're truly ready for the change!

How do I change the language on the site?

Unfortunately, this feature is currently not available.

How do I see my performance & progress?

We track your progress every single day! You can see your strengths and weaknesses on your Performance page.

We use this information to adapt your course each time you practice so you're always getting the most efficient curriculum.

We also give you the Proficiency Assessment (PA) every three months. The PA measures your overall English proficiency. We recommend that you take the PA as soon as you start your course, so that you know your starting score. Then, when you take it in three months, you'll see how much progress you've made.

How do I use Pearson Online English for additional practice?

If you're looking to study outside of your units, you can do this too. Simply go to the Practice section and you'll find a wide variety of lessons. Lessons in the Practice section are categorized by resource type: Videos, Songs, Conversations, Articles, and Photos. If you want to practice with a specific type of lesson, the Practice section is where you can go!

From here, you can review your own customized word list and study grammar, too. Simply visit the Word Bank and the Grammar Guide.

How do I translate my course?

Even though translation may help you understand your lessons, it is not a good way to learn new words and phrases in English, so we don't recommend that you rely on translation to complete your lessons.

What do I do when I finish my units?

When you finish a unit, keep going! You can choose a new unit or continue with new lessons in the same unit. In your course, you can complete as many units as you want. The more units and lessons you complete, the more you'll improve. After you finish your unit, you have two options. You can continue with that same topic if you're interested, or you can choose new units. If you choose to continue with your current unit, you will see different lessons in the unit. Your units are updated daily so you can keep practicing and you will always see something new and current. So practice with a specific unit for as long as you'd like! If you'd like a change, visit the Unit Catalog to select new units. You can have three units active at any time. To see all your completed units and your unit test scores, visit your unit history in the Performance page.

How do I use my Word Bank?

Your Word Bank is the place to go to review the new vocabulary you've learned.

How do I track my study time?

The amount of time you spend doing activities in your lessons is recorded on your Performance page. The Spotlight box at the top of the page shows how many activities you've completed and how much time you spent answering questions in those activities. The Spotlight does not calculate the time spent reading articles or listening to conversations and recordings. You should read and listen at your own pace. Take as much or as little time as you need doing this, it won't affect your study time calculation. Make sure to check your Spotlight regularly; it resets every 90 days so you get a fresh count of the activities you have completed.

How can I repeat a lesson?

The best way to learn is to keep moving forward with new lessons. We don't want you to get stuck doing one lesson over and over again. Practicing with new lessons will keep you interested and motivated. However, if you must repeat a lesson, you can. Simply look for the lesson in the progress bar on your guide page.

Then click on "Practice this lesson again." When you repeat a lesson, your scores are added to your overall skill scores on your Performance page.

How long should It take me to complete the course?

Your Pearson Online English course is flexible, so you won't "finish" it in any specific time. Depending on your needs, your course may last three months, six months, or a year. In that time, you can do as many units and lessons as you need to. We recommend that you complete 6-13 lessons per week depending on your level in order to improve. If you follow the recommended practice time described in your study plan, you should be able to move to the next level in three months.

Do I have access to the Pearson Online English mobile app?

Yes! Every Pearson Online English account works on the web and on a mobile device (iOS or Android). Simply download the app from the Apple store or Google Play, and use your email and password to login

Which course features are available on mobile?

All Pearson Online English lessons and activities are synced across your web and mobile devices. Other features of your Pearson Online English course are only available on specfic devices.

How do I do the Beginner units?

Now, there are 11 Beginner units available for beginners like you! It is best to complete these units in sequence, so you can study the basics of English in a structured way. To start, activate "Beginner 1: Introductions" by visiting the Unit Catalog.

Each beginner unit has about 15 lessons. You should be able to complete each unit in about two hours of dedicated study time. After you finish "Beginner 1: Introductions", you can go back to the Unit Catalog and activate "Beginner 2: Letters". Continue all the way to "Beginner 11: Travel" to finish the sequence!

Don't forget that you can book a beginner private session or join a beginner group session for speaking and extra listening practice.
Tutoring & Speaking

How do I use Pearson Online English tutoring?

Your Pearson Online English course provides live private and group tutoring sessions to improve your speaking, pronunciation, and conversation skills.

Private Tutoring Sessions
You can schedule 1:1 sessions with any tutor you choose. Your personal sessions can focus on any topic or skill you like, for example, pronunciation, grammar, or interview skills. Your tutor can see your recent lessons, so they are prepared to help you in any areas that need extra attention. We recommend having a tutoring session at least once every week. To see how to schedule a private session, click here. Note that standard subscription plans do not include private tutoring credits, which must be purchased separately.

Group Tutoring Sessions
If you want more speaking practice, you can also join one of our group classes. Every day you can choose from a wide variety of group tutoring sessions. Led by one of our certified, native English-speaking teachers, each class is focused on a new topic and has up to nine other learners. Note: You need to purchase credits for one-to-one sessions. Access to live group sessions depends on your package/subscription.

How do I attend a private tutoring session?

Once you've scheduled your private session, you are ready to meet your tutor.

From the sidebar, click Tutoring, then Private Sessions.

You can see your next tutoring session here. 5 minutes before your scheduled time, the button will say "Launch Video Chat". NOTE: if you do not connect after 15 minutes, the tutor will mark you as a no-show and your credits will not be refunded.

The first time that you attend a private or group tutoring session, you will be asked to download a plugin. This plugin allows your computer to run our live video tutoring software. Simply follow the steps that appear on your screen to download it.

Once you have the plugin installed, you're ready! Click on "Launch Video Chat" and a new window will open. This is your tutoring session. When you click to join, you may see a window that asks you to allow your audio and video to connect. Click on the first option "Send and Receive" then click "Join" and you';re in!

If you have any trouble connecting with your tutor, check your email for a direct link to attend your session.

Troubleshooting tips for your tutoring session

If you're having trouble with your tutoring session, these tips may help you solve the issue.

Do you have the plugin?
The first time that you attend a private or group tutoring session, you may be asked to download a plugin. This plugin allows your computer to run our live video tutoring sessions. Installing the plugin is easy.
You computer may also require you to allow a popup window in order to view the session.

Did you turn on the session video and audio?

When you click to join, you will see a window that asks you to allow your audio and video to connect. Click on the first option “Send and Receive” then click “Join”. If you don't click this, you won't hear anything!

Did you check your computer audio?

In order to have the best tutoring session experience, make sure that the microphone and audio outputs on your computer are set up correctly. We recommend using a headset so that your tutor and classmates can hear you clearly.

Tip: Make sure you are in a quiet space. Background noise (even from an air conditioner or vent) will cause buzzing sounds and can be distracting.

Is your browser blocking popups?

A popup blocker can prevent your tutoring session window from opening. Check your browser settings and make sure to allow popups.

Mute yourself for best audio

The best way to hear your tutor and classmates is to mute yourself in the tutoring session window. When you want to unmute yourself, simply press the space bar. This will eliminate background noise and echos. But don't get too comfortable with the mute button either. The best way to learn a language is by speaking!

Troubleshooting Resources

If you can't hear anything during your session, visit these other troubleshooting sites:

Are you on a desktop or a laptop computer?
Remember, Pearson Online English tutoring sessions are not available on iPhone, Android, or tablets, yet!
If you have any trouble connecting with your tutor, check your email for a direct link to attend your session.

Why should I take private tutoring?

Taking private tutoring sessions accelerates your learning. Our certified tutors give you the speaking and pronunciation practice you need to confidently have a conversation in English. You can focus your session on any topic you'd like and get personalized feedback that helps you improve. See what a difference tutoring can make to your overall practice here:

What are tutoring credits?

Credits are Pearson Online English’s currency for private tutoring sessions. Each credit is equal to 15 minutes. Credits can be combined to book longer lessons (Example: 2 credits = a 30-minute lesson).

You can see how many credits you have in your Tutor Center. If you need additional credits, click the "Get More" box to purchase credits for more sessions. Remember: Group tutoring sessions do not require credits!

How long are Pearson Online English's tutoring sessions?

Private tutoring sessions are available in 15-minute chunks. When you book a session, you can choose the length you want: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or even 60 minutes.

Group tutoring sessions are either 30 minutes or 60 minutes long. You can check the group tutoring session schedule page to see what sessions are available when, in the Tutor Center.

Can I attend tutoring sessions on my mobile device?

Both private and group tutoring sessions are available on the web via your laptop or desktop computer. Sitting at a computer - rather than on a mobile device - allows you to sit in one spot, focus and enjoy the session without interruption. This helps you make the most of your time with your course and learn more efficiently.

Group Session Code of Conduct

Group sessions are a great way to meet new people and practice your English. We have a few guidelines to make sure the sessions are enjoyable and helpful for everyone.

Group Session Code of Conduct
•As a learner participating in Pearson Online English’s group tutoring sessions, you agree to be respectful of the tutor and your fellow learners by following this code of conduct:
•You arrive to the session on time and stay for the entirety of the session.
•You mute yourself when you’re not speaking so background noise doesn’t interrupt the session.
•If another learner or the tutor is speaking, you allow him/her to finish before speaking.
•You allow others to have equal opportunity to speak in the session.
•You do not use language that makes others uncomfortable, i.e. profane, sexually suggestive, rude or violent language.
•You do not make disrespectful comments about race, religions or countries.
•You wear appropriate attire in the session, i.e. a shirt, pants or other appropriate clothing.
•Your cell phone is turned off or set to vibrate so you and your fellow participants are not distracted during the session.
•The classroom is a place to learn and practice English, so please use English as much as possible during sessions for both speaking and writing.
•The Pearson Online English methodology is for adults, and our group sessions are aimed at students 13 and older.

To reaffirm: Group sessions are not for minors. We strongly recommend voicing any questions or concerns to poe.support@pearson.com
My Level & The PA

What’s my level?

To measure your level, simply take the Proficiency Assessment (VPA). This assessment is aligned with the Common European Framework, so your Pearson Online English level can be easily recognized by other organizations. The PA takes about 45 minutes, and should be taken in one session, as soon as you start your course. Your score will be used to make sure your course is appropriately challenging.

What is the PA?

The PA is a test that determines your current level. When you take the PA a second or third time, you will see how much you've improved. You can take the PA once every three months to measure your progress.

How can I change my level?

In order to change your level, you must take the Proficiency Assessment (PA). Taking the PA will ensure your course is set to the appropriate level, and that the lessons you receive will be challenging.

What are some tips for taking the PA?

In order to get the most accurate score on the PA, here are a few tips:

Take the PA as soon as you start learning with Pearson Online English. Doing this will give you, and us, the most accurate picture of your abilities, allowing us to personalize your course as much as possible.

Make sure you complete the whole test in one sitting. This allows you to focus and concentrate on the test. Students who repeatedly stop and start the test generally receive lower scores.

Before taking the test, try to find a quiet place where you won't be bothered by other people or interruptions from your phone.

How many units should I do to move to the next level?

In order to move up a level in your Pearson Online English course, you must take the Pearson Online English Proficiency Assessment™ (PA). The PA is available every three months. To improve your score from your first PA to your second, follow the Flex Study Plan that matches your level. Your plan explains how many units you should complete in this three-month period.

When can I take my next PA?

You can take the PA every three months. To see the date of your next PA so you can prepare for the test, visit your My Level page.

Why is the PA only available every three months?

The PA measures your overall proficiency. It takes time to improve your proficiency. We offer the PA every three months to give you enough time to make progress. We help you prepare by emailing you tips two weeks before your next PA. Visit the Performance page to see the date of your next PA.

Can I retake the PA?

The Proficiency Assessment (PA) is used to assess your current level and to measure your progress. Once you start the test, we recommend completing the whole test. You can pause the test if you must. However, you can not start over from the beginning. So make sure to be prepared when you start the test!

I just changed my level. Should I change my study habits too?

As you improve, it is a good idea to challenge yourself by adjusting your practice. We recommend focusing on new language topics that are appropriate for your level, which can be found in the Grammar Guide. You can also spend more time with different skill areas, like pronunciation.

If you have specific questions about how to change your practice, ask a Pearson Online English Coach for extra guidance at poe.support@pearson.com
Study Tips

How often should I use Pearson Online English?

The amount of time that you should spend practicing with Pearson Online English depends on your current proficiency level. Check your Flex Study Plan to see how much you should practice every week. Remember: You can break up your weekly practice however you want! Spending just 10 or 15 minutes practicing every day is proven to have a big, positive impact on your learning. If you did not receive your study plan in an email, contact us, we can send you your study plan.

I haven't used my Pearson Online English course for several weeks. How do I start again?

Start today! You can find the newest lessons on your practice page. To get back into a habit of practicing regularly, check your POE Study Plan. The weekly practice we recommend will lead you to success, but missing one or two weeks won't set you back too far. You can continue your unit lessons from where you stopped and still improve. Take your next lesson today.

I’m too busy! How do I find time to practice?

Pearson Online English is designed to work with your schedule, no matter how busy you are. In fact, practicing for just 15 minutes a day can help you make progress. When you are taking on a new challenge like learning a language, it can be hard to stay motivated. It may become easy to procrastinate and you might even feel like giving up. However, staying motivated is one of the most important parts of your learning process — if you don’t log in, you won’t learn! We've created six tips to help you stay on track with your course.

What can I do to improve my grammar?

You are actually learning grammar every time you practice with Pearson Online English because grammar is incorporated into every lesson. After you complete a lesson, we show you the grammar points you encountered and give you a brief explanation of them. If you'd like more focused grammar instruction, you can visit our Grammar Guide to read simple descriptions and take specific grammar lessons.

What can I do to improve my speaking?

The are two keys to improving your speaking: Speak a lot! The more speaking practice you do, the better you will get, even if you're just starting. Tutors give feedback on things like pronunciation and grammar. You can also build your confidence speaking in front of others in a group session. Complete Lessons. Reading and listening will help you learn the vocabulary and grammar you need to speak clearly.

What can I do to improve my writing?

Many learners have improved their writing skills thanks to Pearson Online English. Here are three tips for how you can become a better English writer, too: Read more. Reading creates a strong foundation for writing well, especially when you read real-world articles found in your lessons. So keep up your Pearson Online English reading lessons. Focus on Grammar. Pearson Online English's Grammar Guide offers simple explanations of the grammar points that help you write more accurately and concisely. Tutor Feedback. Schedule a private session with your tutor and get personalized feedback on how to improve your writing.

How can I use Pearson Online English to prepare for the TOEFL or IELTS?

Regular practice with Pearson Online English has helped learners improve their TOEFL scores by 22% after just five weeks. Here are some tips about how you can use Pearson Online English to get ready for TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge, too! "Prepare for My English Tests" Unit. Activate this unit to practice with lessons that are similar to the ones you'll find on your exam. Pearson Online English Proficiency Assessment (VPA™). This exam is great test-taking practice. It covers the three core language skill areas, and it shows you your current proficiency level at the end! Tutoring. Join private or group tutoring sessions to focus on your speaking skills, which you will need for the oral portion of any exam. If you're working with a private tutor, tell him or her that you're preparing for a test, and then work on relevant tasks together.

How can I use Pearson Online English to prepare for my job Interview?

Pearson Online English has helped many learners prepare for — and then succeed in — job interviews. Here are some tips for how you can do the same: “Advance My Career” Unit. Activate this unit to learn about U.S. workplace customs and key job search terminology. Tutoring. Join a career-focused group session (check the schedule for upcoming topics) or book a private session and do an interview role-play.

There are 800 words in my Word Bank! Where do I start?

Your Word Bank includes all of the words that you have seen in your course. As you complete more lessons, your Word Bank grows, which can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for using your Word Bank efficiently: Use the filters. They show how well you know a word so you can focus on Weak, Good, Strong, or Excellent words.

Star important words. Choose 5-10 words each week and learn everything you can about these words, like their spelling, pronunciation, and part of speech.

Strong and Excellent words increase your fluency. Don't ignore the words you know well! Work on your pronunciation, study how they're used in context, and use them in your next tutoring session.