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Language Schools for Expats in the United Kingdom

Submitted: July 2013

As the home of the English language, it is no surprise that the UK has very many English language schools. There are a number of schools in London (especially West London) and in large cities and towns, but they are especially concentrated in the country's many seaside resorts, which cater mostly to young European students.

It is difficult to give a definite range in terms of cost for a course of studies in a UK language school as they vary greatly depending on the number of lessons, level of the pupil or the location (classes in London are generally more expensive than outside London). Most language schools also help students to find accommodation while here. In selecting a language school either for yourself or your family, you should be sure to ask about their teaching quality standards e.g. whether there teachers are CELTA qualified. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the primary qualification for English language teachers. Languages schools are not easily ranked as not all their students go on to write international English exams (e.g. IELTS). However, you should ask the school to put you in touch with past or current students who would be able to testify to the strength of the school. Most language school incorporate some form of site-seeing into their teaching programmes which allows students to get an insight into British culture and history. You also enquire as to whether your prospective school offers such excursions.

While there are not any established league tables, one indicator of the quality of English language tuition is accreditation by the British Council. The British Council continues to work tirelessly to promote English language tuition around the globe. The list of its accredited English language institutions in UK can be found on the following website:


For general information on learning English in the UK, see https://www.britishcouncil.org/english. Additionally, the English UK website is a helpful resource in determining which language school best suits you: https://www.englishuk.com/en/students

However, you do not need to wait until you get to UK to improve your English. There is a wealth of free resources on the Internet to aid you on the journey. Particularly useful is the BBC Learning English website - https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/. After all, if you are reading this article without the (dubious and sometimes hilarious) assistance of Google translate, it is fair to say you are well on your way to mastering English language.

If you are in the UK and want to learn a foreign language (a language other than English), there are a number of schools which offer such tuition. Most universities in particular tend to have a Centre of Modern Languages. In London, universities such as King’s College London (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/mlc/index.aspx) are particularly known for the wide range of modern languages offered. Your author does confess that he is not the most impartial party in recommending King’s College London, it being his alma mater and all. Private schools also offer modern language tuition. International House (https://www.ihlondon.com/) is particularly known for its wide range of subjects taught and the quality of its facilities. It has branches in London, Bristol, Belfast and Newcastle.




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