What is the best way to study English? This is one of the most common questions asked by those who are trying to learn English as their second language. Admittedly different people have different learning styles. Some are visual learners; some learn best through a lot of practice or other methods. However, when it comes to learning languages, the best way is through immersion.
What is the best way to study English? This is one of the most common questions asked by those who are trying to learn English as their second language. Admittedly different people have different learning styles. Some are visual learners; some learn best through a lot of practice or other methods. However, when it comes to learning languages, the best way is through immersion. You have to surround yourself in English. You have to speak English in everyday conversation, read English books, watch English television programmes, listen to songs with English lyrics and even dream in English. If you put yourself in an English environment, you are able to learn English passively. This will shorten the time needed to gain good command of the English language. And what is the best way to immerse yourself in English? Spend a few months in the UK!
Of course you can learn English in other English-speaking countries such as the US, Australia and parts of Canada. But the UK has so much to offer. The UK has one of the most diverse and vibrant communities with rich cultural heritage. You will be able to experience the English language in the country where the language was born and developed. The UK is also a truly multicultural country with people coming from all over the world. When studying in the UK you are more than likely to meet like-minded people from different cultures who are willing to share with you the very best of their own cultures.
Types of English courses in general
There are many different types of English courses in the UK catering for different learning purposes.
These intensive English courses
are designed for those (mainly adults) who want to improve their English in a short space of time. They aim to establish a strong grammatical foundation and build up a wide vocabulary. Such courses also help learners to boost their confidence and enable them to use English comfortably. The best intensive courses will offer small classrooms or even one-to-one tuition so that the students receive the personal attention that they need. Intensive courses are often available for every English learner regardless of level of fluency. So if you are a beginner who wants to take bigger steps forward or an advanced English learner who needs the final boost, an intensive English course is suitable for you.
These courses prepare international students for certain English examinations such as CELA (Cambridge English Language Assessment, the new ESOL), IELTS or TOELF. These are internationally recognised English tests that indicate levels of proficiency. Preparation courses focus strongly on the four basic skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students will be given tips on exam techniques and regular mock exams. When applying, students are usually required to take a placement test to determine their current level (some schools do require an IELTS score of 4.0 or higher). After that, they will be sorted into programmes that are at the right level for them. Students at an intermediate level will have to take a more intensive course focusing on the fundamental elements of English such as grammar and word usage. More advanced students will be placed in programmes that aim to polish their skills and exam techniques.
- Pre-sessional English courses:
These courses are for international students who are about to pursue a degree programme in a UK university but with little or no experience of studying in England
. These programmes pay particular attention to research and academic writing skills, as well as other study skills (for example note-taking) that are necessary for you to succeed in your education. Pre-sessional English courses are offered by universities and available to those that have already received a conditional offer from the universities. Nevertheless there are institutions who offer university preparation packages which include IELTS preparation and academic English modules.
At Bellerbys College, there are two English courses available.
IETLS Express is an intensive IELTS preparation course
, whose aim is to quickly improve your IELTS score. The courses start in June/July each year and run for 6 weeks. Upon the completion of this course, you will be able to improve your IELTS score by at least 1 point (more so for exceptional students).
English Language Preparation Programme (ELP)
is available for students who are about to take an academic course at Bellerbys, but have not met the English entry requirements. The length of the course varies depending on your current level of English and your test result at the end of term. ELP courses start every 3 months starting from January.