Learn and improve your English

Each year thousands of young people travel to the UK to attend courses to learn or improve their English.

For most, it is a voyage of discovery - discovery of a new language and the new opportunities that it brings, the discovery of new friendships which can last a lifetime.

So how can you, when you’re thinking about coming over to England, make sure that all these wonderful things happen for you too?

Probably the most important decision is your choice of where you are going to study. There are three issues you should address: let’s take each in turn.

Firstly, where in the UK do you most want to go to? There’s no right or wrong answer - different people have different views. Some want to go to a more rural area; others want to see the north of England or Scotland; others may want to stay with friends or relatives or some will want London as one of the world’s favourite capital cities.

London is one of the most compelling cities in the world. It offers an incredible range of museums and art galleries, including the Tate and National Galleries, the Natural History and Science Museums and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wonderful historical places like the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament, glorious ceremonial occasions like The Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace.

In the summer - the Trooping of the Colour, and, of course, the concerts, pubs, wine bars, clubs, discotheques and shopping for which London is justifiably famous. Any trip to England should include some time spent in London - so why not base yourself here?

Secondly, if you do decide to come to a College in London, pick one where you can be confident that you’ll have made significant progress by the time you leave.

However much fun you might intend to have, the main reason why you’re coming over is to learn or improve your English. So how do you choose a College where you are likely to learn well?

Look for a College where you are tested when you arrive, to make sure you go into a class at the right level for your ability: this will ensure that you won’t waste you time being taught things you already knew, and also that you don’t find yourself sitting in a class where everyone else is much better than you - a depressing experience!

Look for a College where the Government Inspectors have confirmed that the teaching is of exceptionally high standard. ETC is very proud to have been awarded a Grade 1 (the highest level) by the Inspectors last year for English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

These external audits are Government - sponsored, completely independent, and demanding: if they are happy with the standards of teaching, you too can rest assured that you will not only benefit from excellent teaching but will also enjoy the expertise of highly experienced and qualified staff!

Many Colleges have many different courses. Summer school which runs over the summer holidays, includes intensive tuition, often accommodation with a local family and a full programme of excursions and social activities.

There is a wide range of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses which run during normal term times, and modular programmes which allow you to study at your own pace (perhaps from home).

These include courses leading to academic GCSE and A Levels and vocational qualifications like NVQs and GNVQs.

Most Colleges have extensive experience of welcoming students from abroad. Usually there is a special prospectus for the Summer School which is available on request.

Most Colleges supply a comprehensive information pack for all kings of students from overseas who want to study English, from courses for complete beginners through to courses for mature Business people who want to improve their command of Business English.

So whatever your reasons for studying English in the UK, ask for an Information pack from the Colleges and you’ll find a course to suit you.

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