Category Archives: Study English in the UK

Get the best results: A checklist for learning English in the UK

Would you learn Russian in Mexico? No, neither would I. So when you want to learn English shouldn’t you go to the home of English to learn it?

Studying English in the UK (That’s England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) makes a lot of sense. You ‘live’ the language and use it 24/7. Thousands of students make the choice of coming to the UK every year to learn English. Below are the essential things you need to think about before coming to the UK.

First thing you need to decide is ‘Do I need a visa’? If coming from Europe the answer is no. Coming from most other countries you would need a visa. Check the UKBA website to see what kind of visa you need. Continue reading

This post was submitted by Beth Nicholas.

Need to Learn English Quickly?

Do you need to learn English quickly and improve your communication skills? Maybe you’ve just seen the job of your dreams advertised and you need to brush up on your English fast. If you want to learn English quickly you will need a course that will focus strongly on the key areas of English: reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The best way to learn English quick is to study a Language Link intensive general English course. To get the most out of any learn English quick programme you will need to be supported with great facilities and teachers. By studying a course at one of the most successful UK language organisations that’s fully focused on students’ needs and aims, you’ll be sure to learn English fast.

Language link is located in one of London’s most fabulous and trendy areas, South Kensington. Established in 1975 and with m ore than 30 years teaching experience, Language Link has an international reputation when it comes to intensive general English courses and many students have successfully learn English quickly. Language Link is a member of Education UK and is fully accredited by the British Council meaning that you will receive only the very best in teaching. Not only will the teachers’ experience help you to learn English quick, but the fun and friendly atmosphere really helps to keep you motivated on your path to learn English fast. The Language Link intensive general English courses are popular across the world and have students from over 50 different countries.

You can take great advantage of all that Language Link has to offer and learn English quickly by taking a look at package 1: intensive general English. You will be taught for a minimum of 20 hours per week – the duration of your study does of course depend on how quickly you want to learn English. And if you really want to learn English fast, you can enrol now and get an extra hour’s conversation practice every day.

Want to Learn English?

Whatever your plans for the future, there’s no doubt that being able to speak English will give you a major advantage. Where better to learn the most widely spoken language in the world, than in the country of its birth? There are more English language courses to choose from in the United Kingdom (UK) than anywhere else in the world so you’re almost certain to find one that fits your exact needs.

Checklist: Why study English in the United Kingdom?

  • All parts of the UK are English speaking. There are different regional accents throughout the UK and you will
    soon adjust to these.
  • You will be able to use your English in everyday life, through film and television, newspapers and books,
    shopping and entertainment.
  • British Council Accredited schemes guarantee the quality of
    English courses at 397 private language schools, state colleges and universities.
  • There is a vast range of courses at all levels from beginners to advanced.
  • The UK has a long tradition of excellence in teaching English as a foreign language.
  • UK qualifications in English language are internationally respected.
  • You can choose where, when and how you study.

What can I study?

You can study at all levels; from basic general English to advanced English for specific or academic purposes. You will not usually need academic qualifications unless you are also studying another subject (an English Plus course).

General English: For students from complete beginners upwards.

English for Academic Purposes: To help students learn the English they need for academic study. Essay-writing, note-taking, listening to lectures, taking part in seminars, academic reading, library, work, computer skills, general and social English. Sometimes vocabulary and terminology for the student’s subject.

English for specific purposes: For people who want to learn English to further a career in areas such as business, travel and tourism, and catering. Courses concentrate on the vocabulary and skills needed for jobs. This could be telephoning, writing reports or making presentations.

English Plus combined courses: English language is only one part of a course. The other part – the ‘plus’ – could be training for a career or a professional qualification. The ‘plus’ part of the course could be anything from pottery to politics.

Seasonal or vacation courses:  Summer and Easter courses, available for juniors (aged under sixteen) and adults. These courses often include holiday activities, such as sport or sightseeing.

Can I study English at the same time as another subject?

Yes. This can be a practical or an academic subject. It is usually called English Plus.

Will I find studying in the United Kingdom very different from studying in my own country?

You may find that the teaching style is different from your own country. In British Council teaching centres in your own country, or in the UK itself, you will be encouraged to use the language as well as study it. It is a practical style of teaching and you should expect to play an active part in lessons. Whatever your level of English, you will be placed in a class to meet your needs.

How can I be sure that the course is good quality?

The British Council and English UK run the Accreditation UK scheme. This is the only internationally recognised accreditation scheme for private schools in the UK and the only scheme for short courses for children. Accredited centres have been inspected by the British Council and meet a set of quality standards. All the English language courses listed on this web site are accredited courses. If the course is running at a college of further education or a university, it should have been checked by government inspectors as part of a routine inspection.

Where can I study?

There are accredited institutions throughout the UK, from the south coast of England to the north of Scotland and also in Wales and Northern Ireland. This means that you can choose the region that best suits your needs. You can also choose the type of language institution you want to study at: a specialised language school, a college of further education or a university. State and private institutions offer different advantages. In a state institution you will have the chance to mix with UK students studying other subjects. In a private language school there are usually smaller classes and more individual attention and less UK students. Up to the age of sixteen, you will probably learn English in a language centre which runs summer courses. Independent schools also run these courses. You can also learn English at a British Council teaching centre in many countries around the world. If you are over sixteen, you can study at one of the following institutions:

Private language schools: Full-time and part-time courses at all levels. Short and long courses. English language only courses will be in the majority.

Private and state language centres: Only short-term courses, normally in the summer, often including social activities and cultural visits. English language courses only.

Independent schools and tutorial colleges: You could study a range of subjects at these schools and colleges, and all your activities would involve using English.

Further education institutions: Full-time and part-time courses from beginners to advanced. They also offer career-based training and academic courses in classes where many students speak English as their first language. If you learn English language with another subject, the course will sometimes be called English Plus.

Higher education institutions: Full-time and part-time courses. Students would be of intermediate level, or better. Many of these institutions specialise in teaching English for Academic Purposes.

Where will I live?

Although you can stay with friends or relatives it is probably better to live somewhere where you have to use
your English on a daily basis. Almost all institutions running English language courses will help arrange
accommodation for their students. There is a wide range of accommodation types available from staying with a
family, in college halls or student flats to hotels and hostels. Think about what type of environment you would
prefer to stay in.

What are the main English language qualifications?

Examples would be the Cambridge and Trinity College English courses.

Are there any restrictions on my studying in the United Kingdom?

If you need a visa to enter the UK, you will need to make sure that your course consists of at least fifteen hours
of organised, day-time study per week and that you are able to meet the cost of your fees, living expenses and
accommodation.

You should bear in mind immigration requirements when considering whether to study in the UK. Requirements
vary according to your nationality or citizenship and the length of time you want to spend studying. You will not
be allowed to extend your permission to stay in the UK for more than two years on courses that are below
degree level and are of less than one year’s duration.

Note in particular that you will not be given permission to enter the UK as a student if the school, college or
university that you want to study at does not appear on the UK Department for Education and Skills Register of
Education and Training Providers.

For practical advice on living in the UK visit our studying and living in the UK section.

Checklist: Your next steps

  1. Select the courses or schools/colleges that interest you. You can find courses by area on this site.
  2. Tell us which schools and courses you are interested in.
  3. Fill out 1 quick form.
  4. Relax whilst we apply to all the schools for you. Wait for your letter of acceptance.
  5. Pay the deposit and wait for your confirmation letter.
  6. Apply for your UK student visa.

How to Study English 7 Tips and Ideas

1. Learn slowly

You are like a new born baby. You will learn a new language slowly and through careful steps. So, adopt the steps a baby would and you’ll develop in no time. First learn to listen and then learn to talk and then learn to read and write.

2. Listen everyday

Make sure that you are always listening to English. Listen to the radio. Watch English movies and regular TV. Enjoy a day out at the cinema and watch English movies and make use of any English audio you find online. There will be loads and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

3. Make some friends

Not only can you practice your English whilst socializing, but choose the right friends and you can even practice your English language skills together. Make up some silly conversations to have together and practice your speaking skills. You could even use some text books to guide you and for sample conversations.

4. Read, read and read some more

You want to be reading as much English as possible. Not only to help your reading skills but in order to expand your vocabulary too. A great place to start is children’s books and stories and these can be picked up for next to nothing from charity shops all over London. Read many of the UK’s free newspapers, the backs of packets whilst shopping, adverts on the Tube and trains. When you think about, there is English you can read everywhere. So make sure you do every single day.

5.  Start a vocab book

It’s great that you’re learning all these new words but you will of course forget some. So it’s a great idea to start writing down new words you discover in a notebook for yourself. You may like to order it in alphabetical order, include the word’s definition and perhaps write a few examples of how to use the word. This technique, whilst it may seem time consuming, is a really fantastic way to quickly improve your language skills. And eventually, you will have a huge, useful resource that you didn’t have to pay a penny for!

6. Start a diary

It would be really useful to start writing a personal diary in English. If you’ve never kept a diary before, keep it simple to start with. Just write a few sentences about how you feel, how the weather is and what you got up to that day. Before you know it, you’ll be writing loads and loads and you can even contact us to share your story on this blog.

7. Visit England

Come to England and learn English more quickly. You’ll have so much fun and experience something that will be with you forever. There’s nothing like being able to hear natives speak and you’d really be able to fully appreciate the English language. Check out our English schools in England section now. You may also find out pages on the IELTS examination useful.

How to Choose the Ideal Language Course

Choosing Your Ideal Language Course: With so much choice, this Advice For You guide should help

The beauty of studying overseas is that you will be immersed in both the language and culture of the country, experiencing local customs, people and activities such as sports. With language courses available all over the world, you really can choose to study in a place that reflects your lifestyle and personality. You can plan to study a language course overseas just as you would a holiday – big, metropolitan cities, tourist towns, quiet English village or exotic, tropical location – and you can quickly see the benefits of combining study and travel. So with many things to consider – which school, which course, where to stay and arranging it all – we’ve come up with this guide to choosing the ideal language course.

Schools

There are many languages that you could choose to learn, let alone the thousands of course programmes across the globe that are available to you. As you would expect, however, the quality of the courses and teaching methods can vary so you should always look out for independent school association memberships at the very least. If you want access to programmes which are routinely inspected and so guaranteed to be of a high standard, you should look for endorsement from the country’s education ministry.

The other important factor in choosing your language school is obviously its location. In order to benefit most from studying an overseas programme, you should choose a place that really matches your interests and lifestyle – being in a happy and interesting environment will do wonders for your learning ability and you will amaze yourself with your progress. You could take the following factors into consideration when choosing your language school:

LocationCity Centre, Suburbs or Countryside: Choosing the right location is key to success when studying overseas

And by location we mean what type of place do you like to be? City centres are great if you like going out and partying, as they have fantastic bars, cafes and restaurants as well as fabulous shopping facilities. And with large cities such as London there is always something going on with many cultural events and things to see-and-do. Remember that these areas are going to be busy

But perhaps you prefer to be somewhere that involves less travelling between your school and where you will live, you enjoy a slightly less busy environment but can have quick access to the city centre, then the suburbs may be the place for you.

Perhaps you enjoy outdoor activities such as country walks with breathtaking scenery. If you enjoy a quiet and relaxed lifestyle, then perhaps being in a quaint village would be perfect.

Size of School

This is an important element to consider and there will be different advantages and disadvantages for each. Larger schools tend to have better resources, such as libraries and language-labs; better depth and breadth of courses; and often several specialist courses. There are the social benefits too of meeting more people and having a busy, structured timetable of a wide-range of activities. However, the downsides are that you may fee lost amongst the see of faces and course sizes may be quite large and often never at a 1-on-1 or group level.

Small schools tend to offer a different and more personal atmosphere. Class sizes are often quite small consisting of normally just a few students. So you’ll really get to know the other international students you’ll study with and often students form close friendships. Teaching is often more personal too. However, as it to expected smaller schools will have a smaller selection of courses to choose from. So in order to benefit from the advantages of more personal teaching you may have to compromise on the language course you which to study.

Other Students

To get the best out of your study overseas programme, be sure to choose a course with a mix of nationalities.

If you want to get the very best from your time studying overseas you should choose a school that has a student body made up of a wide range of nationalities. You’ll meet so many different types of people, all with different backgrounds and cultures and who all speak different languages. So, as you meet people and relax with your friends outside of class you will speak to each other in the common language you are learning. This will improve your language skills considerably. In other words you won’t’ fall into the easy trap of speaking to your friends in your native language – remember, you’re studying overseas to learn a language after all!

Courses

There are a wide range of courses to suit your particular needs. Where language learning is popular, such as the UK, you are likely to find that the majority of schools offer a mix of the following course types.

Standard Courses

Every school there is should offer this type of course, which consist of four group sessions per day. Students will be given a good base in the language, focusing on speaking, writing, reading and listening. This kind of course is best for people who want to combine studying with a holiday and learn a language in a general context.

Intensive Courses

These courses aren’t for the faint-hearted, but if you want to make the most of studying overseas and are motivated, you should choose an intensive course. As well as the features of standard courses, you will attend extra afternoon sessions. You could potentially have six lectures per day and the required homework on top so don’t consider an intensive course unless you really want to achieve the maximum you can. And don’t forget, this may impact on your social time so be sure weigh up the pros and cons carefully.

Prep Courses

These courses are for students who have been asked to demonstrate their level of proficiency in English as a foreign language. Perhaps they have applied to study a course at a higher education institution such as a university as an international student but are required to achieve a score in a particular English test such as IELTS before being permitted to attend. You will be taught to specifically pass the test, focusing heavily on the test’s contents and practice of past papers. These courses really are a fantastic way to achieve the required qualification helping to maintain students study focus and covers a very wide range of language skills.

Home Stay and Learn CoursesThere's a wide range of courses available for International Students

These are a special type of course and like the intensive courses you can significantly improve your language school over a short space of time. You will live in your teacher’s home and as such you don’t have classes, but the learning process continues throughout the day. Your teacher will involve you in all aspects of their social and family life. It’s worth noting that you will be totally immersed in the language and will not have any contact with people who speak your native language. The obvious benefit is that you will effectively be taught your own individual programme, tailored to your specific needs. You will be able to find this type of course available for a wide range of subjects for both students and executives and they are all very flexible with mixing study and social time.

One-on-One Courses

Being the most expensive type of language course you really do get what you pay for. Similar to the home stay and learn courses, your language programme will be able to completely tailor this course to your needs. Students can choose the level of intensity of study as well as the language skills and topics covered. The largest benefit is that you will always be communicating in the language with the teacher who can provide you with constant feedback. This will help you to improve your language skills very quickly indeed. Of course, by studying a one-on-one course you will develop your skills much faster than studying in a group. But that isn’t to discount the benefit of some group study and the majority of school which offer one-on-one courses often combine them with in-school group activates and classes. This ensures that you get a highly targeted, rounded foreign language programme.

Business Courses

People who study business courses benefit most if they already have knowledge of the language. As a result many business courses focus on more advanced aspects of the language and how to communicate in a business context. Topics covered include correspondence, presentation skills and telephone manners and etiquette. In order to provide a good level of training to students, most of these courses are conducted in groups no bigger than six students. This allows the easy reproduction of common business situations, such as meetings, presentations and question and answer sessions. As well as general business language courses you will find that many schools offer more specialised business language schools targeted at particular professions, for example, secretaries, lawyers and IT professionals. As well as the skills of standard business courses, students will also be taught subject specific vocabulary.

Accommodation

Where you choose to stay during your studies should be a big part of your planning process. As we’ve already discussed, it’s very important to be in a happy environment for you to succeed with your studies. And as they say, everything begins at home. So, what are the accommodation possibilities for an international student studying overseas?

Private Accommodation

If you will be studying a long course and really want the best opportunity to experience and explore your surroundings then arranging private accommodation may be best for you. Of course there is more to arrange and prepare for but you shouldn’t let that put you off!

Host Family

A host family could be an individual or a family with children and home stays, as they are often referred to, are a popular option amongst younger international students, especially when studying English as a foreign language in the UK. Your host family will provide you with meals as well as support and guidance. Having been carefully chosen, they are great at helping students settle in and will often arrange special trips for you. You should be sure to get all the information about the host family before deciding, as in some cases you may have to share a bathroom or maybe a bedroom.

Shared Student Accommodation

The Environment you Live in can Greatly Impact on Your Success: Choose the Right Accommodation for YouSimilar in nature to private accommodation in that you will be living in a private house or flat, as the name suggests you will be living with three to six other international students. You will be able to have your own bedroom, but will have to share the bathroom and kitchen with the other people in your house. This option is great as it allows you to interact and practice with other students on your language course. You will be able to make good friends and enjoy your social time together. But you will have to be disciplined to ensure that you don’t choose to live with people who speak the same language as you or you won’t practice outside of the classroom!

Hostels

These are a fantastic option no matter what kind of course you are studying. Hostels come in a wide variety of forms and have something for every budget. You will likely be able to find a hostel very close to your school. They are often very sociable environments and offer good quality, inexpensive accommodation.

Arranging it All

We hope that this guide has helped to answer some of the questions you may have about studying overseas. Hopefully you now have a good idea of what to look for and how to achieve the most out of your study experience. So, what next? We have provided some useful resources that will help you make your overseas language experience a reality. Want to find out more? Visit our Find-a-School section to be able to search our extensive database in a variety of ways. You can search by course type, location and many more options. If you need help arranging your accommodation, our Housing Clinic may be of great help. Working closely with you we will find the right property for you. If you have any questions then please Contact Us so we can help you. Or, you could leave us a comment here on our blog.

Why Learn English in the UK?

Learning English in the UK can Really Help Your Language Development

It may seem like an obvious question but there are many benefits of choosing to study at a language school and in particular, choosing to study English in the UK.

Attending a language school is a brilliant way to achieve two goals. To see, live and breathe a foreign country and study its language. Language schools often teach students in an intensive way and when this is combined with living in the country of the language you are studying you really do become completely immersed in the language and its culture. In fact, many language schools have developed this idea further and often include history and sightseeing trips as part of the course meaning that students really can learn all about the new country they are living in. But why live in the country while you study? Well the benefits are obvious; you will be using English as part of your everyday life and so the opportunities to improve are endless. Simple, everyday things such as listening to the radio, watching TV and going shopping wills serve to develop your language skills much quicker than any regular classroom course can.

But there’s a great language school around the corner from me, I hear you cry! And yes, it probably does offer immersion study – in other words you will probably be surrounded at all times by the language you are studying. There is a good reason for this in the case of English for example. The English language is an important worldwide language and therefore knowledge of the English language would be especially and increasingly required in business. Being able to communicate effectively in English would be a real plus, opening doors for studying at prestigious higher education institutions and also of rewarding career development. However, despite being taught by a native speaker and being so called immersed in the language you’re development could be a lot better. Think about it for a second – are you really “immersed” in the language? As soon as you step out of the school doors with your friends, do you see or speak another word of English? I guess you don’t have that many options too. Living in the country of the language you are studying for as short a time as 6 weeks could do wonders for you English; the first thing you’d be sure to notice is a major improvement in your pronunciation – the part of the English language that the majority of International Students struggle with. You’d be able to really pick up on all the subtleties and nuances of the English language.

Should you choose to travel to the UK to study English at a language school, or for that matter travel to any country to learn its language, you will be sure to take advantage of the massive educational experience of living overseas whilst studying. Being in a foreign country you will be forced to use the language at all times, forcing you to constantly practice and improve. Further, using the English language all the time will give you both working knowledge and a depth of understanding of the language. Money can’t buy this kind of experience in a classroom.

All English as a foreign language schools in the UK operate a full immersion system. Students are encouraged to speak the language at all times, including to friends or people from the same country as you who may be studying English as a foreign language too. In fact, you will be encouraged to practice English outside of class, with the many new friends you will inevitably make and you will, for example, be taken sightseeing with guided tours give in English. Being at an English language school in the UK also has a big advantage in that you will have access to very broad and varied libraries which will have materials to help you improve your written English, grammar and vocabulary.

As can be expected the UK has more English language courses than anywhere in the world so choosing a course shouldn’t be difficult.