FAQs for Studying English in London

England is considered the home of the English language and with more international students than any other city in the world, London is a fantastic place to study. London is a great city to be a student in, as there is always something happening and one can never be bored.

If you are thinking of studying English, then where better to do it than in the capital of England, London. From the Queen’s English to the local dialects you might have heard on TV or in the movies, the capital’s accredited language schools have it covered.

Whether you are a complete beginner or just looking to perfect your grammar, English can be used for work, study, travel or simply making conversation with the new friends you’ll meet on your course. All you have to do now is select the right school and the best course for you. We hope the following information will help you make that choice.

Which course is best for me?

This of course varies from person to person and is completely up to you. However. For a broad general understanding of the language we recommend studying a general English course. General English courses are designed to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities. These courses are ideal as either a ‘base’ course for a few weeks while you gain confidence in London, speaking English with the locals and at your school. After you have completed this course you can then either continue on the general English course of move on to specialise to either a qualification or a practical (e.g. business) course.

In addition to this you have the choice of either group classes or private one on one lessons. If time and budget permits we would recommend studying in a mixture of both options. This will allow you to have the benefit of meeting and studying with new people of a similar level in the group class (making friends is one of the best and most fun ways to learn any language) with the one on one lessons supplementing your group classes, allowing you to focus on the areas of English you wish to improve.

For those short of time or who want quick results, most schools offer ‘intensive’ or ‘super intensive’ course options. Although expensive, this can be a good way to study a lot in a short space of time. Please bear in mind that learning a language takes practice and time therefore for best results we would recommend a longer, less intensive course at a school with a busy social program.

Which school should I choose? How can I be sure of the quality?

As a member of English UK and having participated in the Accreditation UK inspection process and been recognised by the British Council, we only work with language schools who are also English UK members and are accredited by the British Council. This accreditation is widely seen by many as an indication of the quality of the lessons offered by the school and means you can have confidence in booking a course with the school.

Now you know the schools listed are accredited, the next considerations are the price and the facilities. Although all of schools listed are accredited, the all have different prices and target different sections of the market. Some are more expensive offering high tech facilities such as interactive white boards, large classrooms, student canteens and free computer rooms. Others offer good value budget packages where the teaching is of a good standard but the facilities are maybe a little more cramped, basic or dated.

What is my English level?

When you first arrive your school you will usually take part in an English test to establish your language ability. From here you will be placed in a class with other students of a similar ability. This will hopefully ensure you are able to have a good understanding of what is being taught, be able to participate in class and communicate with your classmates.

If you find your class too easy or too difficult, the school staff will of course be able to help you to move class.

In general, most schools follow the following level structure for their classes:

  • Beginner – No previous knowledge of the language
  • Elementary – A basic understanding of the language
  • Intermediate – Can cope on a day-to-day basis
  • Advanced – High level of proficiency

What equipment should I bring to lessons?

Even if teachers distribute handouts or post lesson notes online, you will want to take your own notes. Therefore we recommend you take a note pad and pen. Some students find it useful to bring a dictionary (either traditional or electric) and/or iPad/tablet.

Are there courses for complete beginners?

Yes! Most schools are happy to help complete beginners and have special courses and teachers who can assist you. Please make it clear when booking as the school may want to make special provision or arrangements to speak to you in your own language before you book.

Will the School give me a qualification or certificate?

Most schools will issue you with a certificate of attendance which will state the course you have studied and the level you obtained. This varies from school to school and is not an official qualification.

If you would like an official qualification you should enrol on a course that studies exam preparation towards a specific qualification such as IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge English.

Do I need a visa to study English in the UK?

Students from outside of the European Economic Area or Switzerland do require a visa to work or student in the UK.

Different types of visas are available, and some will be more suitable than others, depending on how long you want to study and your language level. Further information on student visas can be found here.

What is the minimum age?

Although a number of schools offer summer courses of under 16’s, the minimum age to join an adult course is 16 years old. On average most students are in their 20’s, however we have helped students in their 80’s find accommodation and a course in London before. There really is something for everyone.

How many students are in the classes?

This varies from school to school. In general most schools limit their class size to 10 or 12 students with the average class size being around 8 or 9 students.

Can I take holidays?

Most schools allow you to take holidays during your course, with the amount of holiday time usually dependent on the length of your course (Longer courses having more holiday time). Many schools ask for a 2 week notice period, although as each school differs slightly, we advise clarifying the rules with your school upon arrival. Holiday time can offer you a great opportunity to explore the rest of the UK and Europe.

What they say...

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