Welcome to the Kingsway FAQ Blog!

We have answered a few questions from our new students here, so please browse through them to see if your question is answered. If not please do email us and ask your question. We look forward to hearing from you.

Should I choose an English school in London or away from London?

This is an interesting question we received recently from a young professional enquiring about an intensive English course for his work.

It all depends on what you want out of your English course and what your priorities are. There are three scenarios :

Firstly, if the main purpose of your trip is to ‘see the sights’ and improve your English (in that order) AND you have never been to England before, then there is something attractive about staying in the capital city where you have all the famous places on your doorstep (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square etc). I would advise you to choose an English school in London and ‘get it out of your system’.

Secondly, if the main purpose of your trip is as above AND you HAVE been to England before, then you should consider looking at alternative places. Many towns and cities in England offer something different and are within easy striking distance if you need “your fix” of London. Choosing a school away from London can broaden your horizons and you never know what gems you may find!

Thirdly, if the main purpose of your trip is to seriously improve your English (never mind whether you have been to England before or not!) then choosing a school away from London is a very good idea. Why? Much as we love London it is (a) VERY large so you spend a lot of time finding your way around and possibly travelling between your homestay and the school, and (b) it is VERY cosmopolitan which means you may well meet more of your fellow countrymen than you do native English speaking indigenous people.

At Kingsway English Centre here in Worcester, our students tend to be more of category 3. The comments we hear about their experiences in London are mainly about the number of foreign students, visitors and tourists they come across in London and it’s difficult to find a native English speaking environment. It’s obviously not THAT bad, but if you are serious about learning English why choose to put yourself in an environment where you are more likely to hear your own language when you don’t have to.

If you need any help or would like more information please let me, Rick Johns, know. I will be happy to help (and if I think London is the best choice for you I promise I will say so!!).

How can I find a good English school for adults without teenagers?

A good question. When we speak to our students at Kingsway about why they chose us they usually say because you only accept adults looking for an intensive course and I won’t be in a class of teenagers who could be my children or even grand children!

So the first piece of advice is to look only for schools with some kind of accreditation. Two trusted forms of accreditation are the British Council and IALC, the International Association of Language Centres. You can find these websites (to search for suitable schools) here :

https://www.britishcouncil.org/education/accreditation/centres
http://www.ialc.org
If you limit your search to these organisations you can be sure of finding a ‘good’ school in all senses of the word.

Secondly, check the minimum age of the students accepted at the school. This may sound obvious, but a lot of English language schools say they run English courses for Adults maybe in the age range 30+, 40+ or 50+ but if the minimum age for the whole school is say 16 years then you can bet your bottom dollar you are going to be spending your breaks and / or social trips with people who could be your children or grand children!

So make sure the minimum age is what you feel comfortable with.

At Kingsway we are accredited by both the British Council and IALC, and we have a minimum age of 25 years. Our typical age range is 30-65 years, so if you are a mature adult looking for a quality programme away from teenagers do check us out!

Please feel free to contact me, Rick Johns, if you need any help or information. I will be happy to help.

Do I need General English or Business English?

This is a question we get asked regularly : do I need to take a General English course or a Business English course? Or another way of asking : what is the difference between a General English course and a Business English course?

In essence “English is English” and by that I mean that the basic building blocks of the language are the same whichever way you look at it. For any student you need to learn those basic building blocks to a point where you can comfortably use the language in everyday life, to get about on a day to day basis and to ‘survive’ in an English speaking country.

Once you have achieved this then the differences between General English and Business English start to become meaningful. It becomes all about context; where and for what purpose do you use your English?

If you are a leisure user of English – for example you need it for either generally living in an English speaking country or for travel (holidays), then going down the path of developing your General English is the best choice.

If you are a business person – for example working in international sales or technical support / engineering – dealing with either native or non-native English speakers in a work environment, then Business English is probably the better option.

Being a ‘business person’ doesn’t mean you don’t need General English, but perhaps your use of English in a general context is not ‘mission critical’ whereas your use of English for negotiating that 10 million Euro equipment deal is!

So taking a Business English course is all about giving you that confidence to feel comfortable interacting in a structured commercial environment where certain behaviours are expected. You will feel you have all the linguistic tools with which to operate. There is no magic to Business English; it’s all about enabling you to function in your work environment with the appropriate language skills.

At Kingsway English Centre here in Worcester we have a programme which is probably our most popular – that is our General and Business course (called GB30) which combines General English classes in the mornings with Business English classes in the afternoons. It gives you the best of both worlds and worth considering as it boosts both your everyday English and your ability to operate successfully in a business environment.

If you need any help or guidance please feel free to contact me, Rick Johns – email rick@kingsway-english.com, or give me a call on +44 1905-619877. Look forward to hearing from you.

Is a 3-month English course long enough?

Here’s a question we received recently about how long should an English course be.

I need to improve my English not only to study but also to help me at work and to be able to make a presentation to client and have confidence to talk on the meeting. Could you please let me know if a 3 month English course at Kingsway will be enough to get that?

You would be able to make a lot of progress with your English in 3 months but, as I’m sure you know, learning a language takes time. If you took our GG22 x 12 weeks you would get 270 hours of tuition plus you would be immersed in English. It takes about 200 hours to move up 0.5 level in IELTS so if you are currently a level 5.0, you should be at about a level 6.0 if you do lots of exam practice whilst you are here. But separate to your IELTS score, you would become much more confident in using the language and you would really broaden your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation, listening skills and grammar.

If you wanted a teacher to help you prepare for a presentation or meeting then you could add in some 1:1 lessons. These could be booked once you were here and had a better idea of the progress you were making.