The importance of doing an English language course

In today’s competitive world, students need skills that will equip them for a fast-changing work environment. Technical and communication skills are highly desired by companies and the need for proficiency in English is becoming essential for many posts.

With 80 per cent of international business communications written in English and most of the world’s trade and financial business transacted in the language, companies worldwide acknowledge the necessity of having workforce able to communicate in English if they are to take advantage of the opportunities in the global marketplace.

Aspiring professionals, too, recognise that English is increasingly the language of discourse in many professional and fluency in it can open the door to numerous opportunities. An effective option for those wishing to perfect their language skills is to take an English language course.

Each year over 300,000 students come to Britain for language training. Britain’s thriving English language teaching industry has more than a hundred years’ experience behind it, but can still confidently claim to be a world leader in range and quality of courses.

The range of courses on offer in Britain is extensive so you need to have a clear idea of your objectives and expectations. Choose from General English courses, courses with a business or vocational option, English for Academic Purposes, intensive courses, examination courses and many others.

Intensive courses
Intensive courses are an ideal way of making rapid progress in a very short time. Comprising at least 30 lessons per week, the course can be as long or as short as you wish and can be taken at any time of the year.

Students can expect to improve their listening, reading and writing skills through practical exercises, projects, case studies, free discussion and self study at the school’s language laboratory. Specific attention is given to grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

English for Academic Purposes
Study and writing skills are of considerable importance to students embarking on a degree course or post-graduate studies at a British university.

An English for Academic Purposes course is a great confidence booster. In addition to focusing on lecture listening, note-taking, seminar/tutorial participation, report and essay writing and using reference sources – all the skills that a student needs – some courses include options in specific academic subjects.

Examination courses
There are a variety of examination courses that students can take to demonstrate their level of proficiency in English to prospective employers or academic institutions.

The British Council IELTS (international English Language testing system) preparation course or the UCLES Certificate in Advance English and Certificate of Proficiency in English are prerequisites for further study.

Vocation courses
Business and communication courses are in great demand as students seek to obtain skills that will prepare them for the workplace. These days you can take specialised courses that combine English language studies with business, management, marketing or tourism.

Diploma courses provide a good grounding covering a comprehensive range of topics and skills needed in the business environment. Courses vary in length from 3 to 9 months.

Whatever your interests and needs, there will always be a course to meet them. And as with most things, the secret of a successful language course is careful planning and preparation.

Your next step is to obtain information about reputable language centres in the UK. The only assurance of quality in the UK is provided by the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme, run jointly by ARELS, BASELT and the British Council.

If a school is “English in Britain accredited” that means that it has been rigorously inspected by independent experts. Every aspect of that school’s English language provision has been scrutinised including teacher qualifications, class sizes, materials management, accommodation, student welfare and premises.

Over 370 establishments in the UK are English in Britain accredited. In addition 208 of those schools are also members of a professional body for independent English language schools, ARELS (Association of Recognised English language Services).

ARELS was set up in 1960 to raise standards in English Language Teaching in the UK. ARELS has its own Code of Practice which member schools must abide by.

ARELS members

  • Offer assurances of quality through the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme
  • Provide high quality teaching and expertise
  • Offer a complaints procedure for students
  • Select accommodation of a high standard
  • Have a Welfare officer and a 24 hour emergency help line for students
  • Ensure high standards of health and safety
  • Explain all charges clearly
  • Provide extensive social programmes
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