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Studying English in the UK

BY: Ken Mori | Category: Education | Post Date: 2009-10-16

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   Ken Mori
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These days, it's hard to escape from English. Whether it's a televised meeting at the UN, safety information on the plane, surfing the web or watching MTV, you don't have to go far to hear it or read it. In fact, it's become very much a global language.

A business deal between a Norwegian executive and a Japanese salesperson? All conducted in English. A Hungarian family holidaying in Thailand? Again, English is probably the only common language. Want to understand your favourite pop, rock, or rap songs? So many of them are in English.

English is now studied as a matter of course by children and teens at schools across the world, but what happens when you've left school (perhaps many years ago) and find that you can't get a job unless you improve your English? Or you really want to travel and realise that English is the only language that will be understood by the majority of people you'll meet?

There are many excellent language schools for adults around the world, but another popular alternative is to go directly to source: to the land where the English language (along with Shakspeare and the Beatles) was born.

There are many advantages to spending time improving your English in the UK. If you opt for class lessons, you will be with students from all over the world so will be communicating with them in English - great speaking practice. A good teacher will devote plenty of class time to speaking activities. If you study in your home country, the temptation to speak your own language is much greater, but if nobody else speaks your language, it's not even possible! After all, language-learning is a lot more than just theory.

If you choose homestay accommodation, you will be able to chat with your hosts over meals. And of course every other aspect of your day-to-day life, from buying a bus ticket to ordering a meal in a restaurant, from understanding announcements at the train station to reading a theatre programme, involves constant listening, reading and speaking in English.

The standard of UK English language schools has risen dramatically over the past few decades, thanks partly to huge improvements in teacher training and also to the British Council scheme of accreditation. When the British Council officially approves a school (subject to frequent re-inspections), it guarantees certain standards, not only for the teaching but also other aspects such as the building and facilities and student welfare. Check their website for a list of accredited schools.

Besides accreditation, what else should you look for? A school with qualified teachers goes without saying, yet you'd be surprised how easily people forget that successful teaching involves a lot more than just being a native speaker. Good classrooms, facilities and resources go a long way. Does the school have internet access? Self-study areas? Support for learning outside the classroom?

And what about cost? Should you go for the cheapest option you can find? Not necessarily: teachers might be badly paid and therefore less motivated, and there could be fewer non-academic staff to organise the social programme or help you with accommodation or welfare issues. A choice of learning options is a good thing: full-time or part-time, class lessons or one-to-one (or a combination), general English or specialised classes such as exam preparation or business English. Most schools also offer flexibility over course length: anything from one week to a year or more, except for some more specialised classes.

The location is also an important consideration. Would you rather be in a big city or a smaller town near the sea or countryside? Well connected or away from it all? London is of course one of the most popular destinations, with all its possibilities for sightseeing and socialising, and here too you'll find the largest choice of schools. If you want all the advantages of studying in the capital city but would like to explore other parts of the country too, check whether the school offers weekend excursions.

Decide what you want, do your research and you'll have a great experience studying English in the UK.


Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: Ken works for the School to maintain a high education standard and applies his time in various ways including the website and its publicity.

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