5 Ways to Learn Authentic English Skills by Studying in England
Are you preparing for university in an English-speaking country? Does your job require English language skills?
Do you want to be comfortable communicating with people from all around the globe?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading!
In this article, we will show you several ways to learn English while visiting England. No visit is too short or too long—there is an enormous variety of programs for English learners, beginner to advanced, young and adult.
- What to Expect When Studying in England
- 5 Exciting Ways You Can Learn English in England
- 1. Join a Summer English Camp
- 2. Register for a University Language Program
- 3. Take an Intensive Course at an English School
- 4. Participate in a Homestay
- 5. Teach Your Language in England
What to Expect When Studying in England
Whether you are in busy London or a calm seaside town, you will benefit from personal exposure to authentic British culture such as common British slang, food, entertainment and more. You will get real-life experience doing things that you have been practicing in class, such as ordering food in English, checking into a hotel and asking for directions.
You will also encounter many different types of accents—more than 50 have been recognized across the U.K. and Ireland! This will help you become comfortable conversing with any native English speaker.
You will also find many people just like you who have traveled to the U.K. to improve their language skills, so you will also hear numerous non-native English accents—and you may develop a community of fellow students who can support you.
If you’re not sure if your English is good enough to get by in everyday situations, get some experience under your belt by immersing yourself at home first. Some ways to do this are to listen to English podcasts, watch British TV shows or by using a virtual immersion platform. FluentU, for example, teaches English using authentic video clips from all over the English-speaking world with the help of language learning tools like annotated subtitles. This will help you get acclimated to all kinds of different accents you’ll come across.
Practicing your English skills, and listening to authentic British English, will help prepare you to function in English and start getting better at understanding everyday speech.
As a participant in an English course, you will benefit from a focus on language learning, in addition to a support network. You will have a place to ask questions, get recommendations and make friends with other international students and travelers.
5 Exciting Ways You Can Learn English in England
1. Join a Summer English Camp
Camp is not just for kids! There are dozens of English language summer camps available for children, teens, adults and families in England.
St. Clare’s Oxford Adult English Camp
This English camp is located near Oxford, England. It is far enough out of the city to offer a peaceful environment, but close enough to London to enjoy some evening and weekend fun.
The program offers a flexible schedule and wide selection of English courses such as general English, English for examinations or personalized language training.
Adults can choose between staying on the St. Clare’s college campus, or participating in a homestay program with a local family for a rich cultural experience.
Manor Courses’ Family English Camp
This program offered by Manor Courses’ International School includes a separate agenda for kids and adults: children aged eight to 17 participate in a full-day camp, with an option for parents to stay in the same residence and take private English classes.
Families can stay from one to five weeks during mid-July and August. Kids are encouraged to stay in the residence halls at Hurst College in Brighton, and parents typically stay at local inns. There are two trips per week to famous attractions in southeast England.
Tuition varies depending on length of stay—view a pricing table here. There are additional fees for extra activities like horse riding or private tutoring.
ACCORD ISS Summer School for Young Students
This program is unique in that it offers several camp locations across the U.K., all in culturally and historically important places. Students aged eight to 17 stay in stately manors and boarding houses (and even one castle!) with other students, participating in English class as well as cultural and camp activities.
You can send your child to an all-inclusive residential camp for roughly 1,000 USD per week, but in many cases, you can also choose a day camp (you will have to arrange for your child’s accommodation) and these start around £280 (366 USD) per week.
2. Register for a University Language Program
The obvious benefit of attending a university or college program is the potential to earn an internationally recognized certificate or university credit. An additional benefit of these programs will be the class environment in which you are surrounded by dedicated English students, highly qualified teachers and international travelers like yourself!
Pre-sessional English at University College London
“Pre-sessional” English courses are language courses for students who are planning to study in an English-speaking university. Many international students choose to participate in courses like these during the summer before they attend university.
The University College London’s pre-sessional courses have six-, eight-, 12- and 19-week options. Tuition ranges from £3,250 to £8,600 (4,240 to 11,200 USD).
Aside from preparing you with the English you will need for your studies in the U.K., the course also includes regular trips to see important cultural sites.
For students with a busier schedule, the University College London also offers part-time academic English courses to improve academic writing, reading and other communication skills.
Clear Spoken English Class at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
For busy travelers who are looking for a fun and practical English class, the University of London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama offers a short course on English pronunciation.
For just over 500 USD, students participate in an intensive three-day course focused on improving clarity in their pronunciation. You will learn to master different vowel and consonant sounds, as well as the rhythm of natural English speaking.
This course is appropriate for upper intermediate learners and above, as the course does not cover any English grammar basics.
3. Take an Intensive Course at an English School
Only have time for a quick vacation? Many intensive courses are one to four weeks long. These intensive courses usually offer full days of class with a focus on language immersion. As many of these courses are designed for foreign travelers, they often include optional cultural activities on weekends and evenings.
ETC International College
This school is located in Bournemouth, on the southern coast of England. The school is accredited by the British Council and offers students the ability to choose from various course lengths (including intensive and even “super-intensive” courses).
This is a great choice for summer: Bournemouth is a seaside town and the school is a two-minute walk from the beach!
Eurocentres Language School Cambridge
This school enjoys a beautiful location right next to the University Botanical Gardens in Cambridge, England. Eurocentres is a good choice for students who are interested in British history, architecture and arts, as Cambridge has been a hotspot for cultural activity for centuries.
Courses run for a minimum of two weeks. Students can choose from general English, business English, easy English, IELTS preparation and several more.
Pricing depends on course type and length of stay. Calculate your options with this table.
Victoria School of English
Located in London, this school is a convenient option for travelers who will visit the city for a short time.
Intensive courses start every Monday and end every Friday. Highly dedicated students can register for “Extra Intensive” and “Super Intensive” courses, increasing your classroom time to 25 or 30 hours a week.
With many accommodation options available in the capital city, the school offers a service to help students find convenient accommodation, from homestays to shared flats.
Additional Intensive Course Resources
If you are going to browse for intensive courses online, StudyAbroad.com is a good resource for discovering the many intensive language courses offered throughout England.
LanguageCourse.net is another good online resource for finding an intensive course. This site works like a hotel booking site for language courses, showing their ratings, prices, course topics, course lengths, pictures, etc. to help you compare courses before selecting one.
When browsing, check to make sure the schools are accredited by the British Council, as this will indicate that they are well-established with qualified teaching.
4. Participate in a Homestay
A homestay is the ultimate language immersion experience. In a homestay, you live with a native English speaking host and communicate in their language. Here are a few programs to check out:
Homestay English Teaching
This school offers various homestay programs. The “Parent and Child” homestay program allows a parent to accompany their child and live in the host’s home. There are also programs aimed at teaching English for examinations, business English and more.
For English learners who are looking for a casual learning experience, the “Culture and Conversation” homestay program allows you to learn and practice casual English without any academic study of English grammar.
And finally, if you are looking for inexpensive ways to study, this program offers a good solution: enroll in the “Plus 1 Shared Homestay,” and you will share the cost of tuition with another student from a different country who will also stay with you and your host.
This program offers four-day and one-week homestays.
It also has special programs for English learners who are 60+ years old. This is the type of program that you can easily add on to your vacation and still have enough time to travel on your own.
What makes Homestay England unique is that you can sign up for a homestay based on a popular English hobby. For example, you can sign up for an English language and gardening program or an English language and baking homestay.
These will allow you to stay with a host who also has these interests. You can work and play together with your hosts as they teach you the culture and vocabulary surrounding the hobby.
Do you want a very flexible, personalized English learning option?
Lingoo is an online homestay community that allows you to connect with hosts in many different countries. It is more like an online network or community and less like a formal English program.
There is no set language program—through Lingoo, you will connect with English speakers and come up with your own program. You can arrange a two-way language exchange between both your families, you can stay with a host family or you can arrange to stay with a qualified language teacher.
Learners ages 18-30 can also travel as an au pair. This option allows you to stay for free, so it is great for making a longer trip more affordable.
5. Teach Your Language in England
Want to earn some money while you learn English in England? You can work in a classroom teaching your own native language, while living and working among native English speakers.
The British Council partners with 15 countries to recruit language assistants to teach their native language in British classrooms. You will be supporting language teachers by planning activities and lessons for students and introducing students to your native culture.
Teaching assistants typically work part-time, about 12 to 18 hours a week.
Positions are available all over the U.K. Check out this map of places you can live, learn and work!
Wherever you go, make sure that before you depart you take a moment to learn some basic travel phrases that will help you communicate clearly in English along the way. Enjoy your English adventure in England!