First off - Sorry for the long post.
So here's the situation...
1. 10 year old GCSE A grade.
2. Evaluated by well-known school last week - A1.3 level suggested.
3. Very busy job, not a great deal of cash.
Goal - Comfortable conversational german by 2013....HELP!
Ideally - I'm looking for a pretty intensive course (3-5 x per week) for as long as I can stand it; from experience, twice weekly isn't quite enough for me to progress. Unfortunately, I have a very busy job, and thus can't really afford more than 2-2.5h per evening (or early morning) no matter how understanding my employer is.
I've looked at an endless number of intensive courses, but they're either only twice a week (is that really intensive?), too many hours/day or really expensive (Bellingua..). I'm also keen to start learning asap and don't want to wait a month or so to really start learning again.
I'm also a bit confused on the levels e.g. A1.1-3, A2.1 etc. For example, I've seen the following courses http://www.eb-zuerich.ch/kursprogram...ensiv-1-1.html
which seem ideal, but I'm not exactly sure of the differences between A1.3 and A2 (is it huge?!). The schools seem to a be a little coy on telling me exactly what's covered within each level. As I have three years of school learning (albeit a long time ago), I don't want to sign up for a course if I've previously studied the material and just need to refresh it in my brain, this is guaranteed to kill my motivation.
In short, I'm happy to spend 5-600 CHF/month for lessons in the long term, and can probably add another few 100s to that for the first few important months. The big deal for me is efficiency (due to my working schedule), and that it doesn't cost the bank (I'm paying for this myself). So...if you were me, and had my goals...how would you go about starting this process? Private lessons (expensive?) to get to a certain standard, followed by courses? Accept that I'll be re-learning things and get on to a course from the start...
Any advice is greatly appreciated - this decision is driving me mad!!