and English studies portal
Learn English in England or the UK
and advice for
the best English course for you.
The English language has become so
important in global terms, that
language schools and language tourism in general have become a
significant sector of the British economy. But of course England is not
alone, and there are schools teaching English as a foreign language in
other parts of Britain too, as well as in
America, Australia and indeed all the main English-speaking countries
of the world, and many more
But what is the
choose a language school? Where is it best to go? What
sort of course is best ? There are so many options that many students
of English find it
hard to make the best choice. Here therefore are a few useful
guidelines and tips to help you find the best type of language school
or language course to suit your needs.
types of language
There are language schools everywhere, but the areas in which they are
most concentrated are the south coast of England, London, Oxford and
Cambridge. Some schools belong to major national or international
chains, others are
independent; some language schools are big, others small, some are
permanent, notably those offering courses in business English,
others just appear during the main school holidays (notably those
offering English courses
for schoolchildren). There are even schools that combine
learning English with
sporting activities or cultural activities, such as English & theatre,
or English and music.
The cost of a language course in England car vary enormously. Factors
affecting the cost include, notably:
Specialised courses in business English are often more expensive,
notably in schools that cater particularly for a business clientele,
and have contracts with international companies. But in such cases, the
extra cost is often worth paying.
- The size
of classes: smaller classes mean higher costs.
- The number of teaching
courses may just include 10 hours of classes a week,
others may offer up to forty.
- The services
does the school have a library, a computer room? does a course include
just classes, or are other activities included?
- What does the
cost cover? Just tuition (teaching), or does it include activities? Or is it
residential course, including accommodation ?
courses in England, organised
from your country ?
Throughout Europe, in particular, there are organisations that run
English language courses in England, specially designed for students
from a given country. French organisations run courses for French
pupils in England, German organisations do so for schoolkids or
businessmen from Germany, and so on.
advantage in choosing this kind of solution is that you
can arrange everything in your own country. These organisations usually
take care not just of the language courses, but also of travel and
accommodation – which is particularly useful for younger
downside is that people who go to learn English in a
group, let's say a group of German schoolkids, tend to remain in their
group in England, and speak their own language amongst themselves,
rather than speaking English all the time.
So for older learners, people looking for adult
courses or business English courses, it is far better to take the
plunge, and sign up directly
to a language school in Britain. There are
plenty of schools that will find and arrange accommodation
for individual students; and if you sign up individually, you may find
yourself in a class or group in which no-one else speaks your language,
so it's "English all the way" from the moment you arrive –
not just in class, but at home and for your social activities. too.
to choose a language school
Do you like city
life? then find a language school in London. Do you want to combine
learning English with a seaside
choose a language school on the south coast of England, or in the south
west. Would you prefer the atmosphere of a university town?
Then choose Oxford or Cambridge, or an EFL course offered in another
university! Or do you really want to discover "traditional England?" If
so, look for an EFL school that is neither on the coast, nor in London,
Oxford or Cambridge! There are less of them, but they do exist!
With regard to courses in university
please note that a lot of schools use the words "Oxford" or "Cambridge"
in their names. This does not
mean that they are part of, or even acssociated with, the famous
universities of Oxford or Cambridge. It does not always mean that they
are located in Oxford or Cambridge either. Do not think that the words
"Oxford school...." are a guarantee of quality. A language school
calling itself the "Oxford school" may be excellent, but it may also be
are your guarantees ?
The main organisation promoting the development of British culture and
the English language is the British
Council. The Council audits and accredits language
schools, and publishes a list of recognised language schools. You can
find this list here
You will find a link to each recognised language school.
to stay? In a family, in a
B&B, in a hotel or on a university
There are all sorts of different possibilities;
with a "host family".
Please do not be taken in (duped) by
glossy advertisements that show a couple of foreign students standing
in front of large and a very British
house, with smiling "traditional" English hosts who
seem to be welcoming the students as part of the family! This can
happen, it is possible! But most "host
other private individuals who take in foreign students do so
in order to earn a bit of extra money, not in order to show
foreign students the joys of traditional English life. This does not
mean that you will not be well received, and well looked after. Most
foreign students do
find a good place to stay; many language schools work with
people and families to ensure that their students receive good quality
accommodation; and many people who take in foreign students will
sometimes take them out and show them places of interest. But others
It is also possible to stay in B&B
or a hotel,
and lots of language schools have negotiated special rates with local
establishments. If this is the case, they will probably send you a list
of "recommended" accommodation.
As for staying on a university campus,
this is generally only possible during the periods of university
vacation. It is a good solution, as the accommodation is specifically
designed for students. But please not imagine that this will be a cheap
option. University accommodation in the UK is not usually subsidised,
and rooms are therefore hired out at the "market rate", which may not
be very different to that of a similar room in a hotel.
this website, please use the form you will find here .