IELTS classes in the UK

As the home of both English and the International English Language Testing System and with British Universities increasingly looking to foreign students to help fund higher education in the UK, the study of English has become big business on these shores. A huge range of English language schools and colleges are located either in cities with great prestige in education or cities towns and other locations of great natural beauty. Examples of the former are the Cambridge Academy of English and the Oxford School of English, both these schools provide the perfect platform for success in academic life in England. The Olivet English Language School and Globe English in Devon are examples of schools where you can learn English in beautiful surroundings.

Students wishing to enrol on an undergraduate degree level course or a foundation year must first pass an IELTS exam with a minimum score set by the university they have applied for. Many of the more prstigious universities such as Oxford or Cambridge will ask for at least a 7, whereas the smaller universities might only ask for a 5.5 or even a 5. For students to come from countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc, where English is a language spoken by a minority of the people, it can be difficult to get a good score in IELTS unless they spen a period of time studying English in England or another country where English is a native language. Before choosing a college or school to study at it is important to bear in mind a number of factors including whether the college is British Council accredited.

Where do I want to study in the UK?
Choosing the right college and course is essential if you want to pass your IELTS exam with the minimum of fuss. The first thing you need to consider is where you would like to live. There are many beautiful locations in England where you can study English in a nice location. Some of the best places to study English are in Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff, which are all lovely cities and all have many language colleges. Obviously London, Birmingham, and Northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle also have a variety of language schools and colleges.

What type of school do I want to study in?
One of the first things you have to decide when you move to England for study is whether you want to study at a state college or at an independent school of language. State colleges, which are partly funded by local councils are more likely to have poly-lingual classes where students come from many different culture and backgrounds. Part of the reason for this is they often also accept ESOL students who will be living in the UK and hoping to use English to find employment. There are also many private language colleges and schools, which are more risky because they are often run for profit and may not provide the facilities or the standard of classes that they promise. Many private language schools are part of a chain, with branches on locations across the UK and abroad. A good way to find out if a language school or college has a good reputation is to visit the British Council’s list of accredited centres, which will give inspection reports and a detailed analysis of the institution. British Council accreditation is a fairly reliable indicator that the college or school provides a decent standard of education, however it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will find the best teachers. Many EFL teachers choose to work independently, setting up their own offices so they can work without intrusion or supervision from accrediting bodies. It is a good idea to search comprehensively before you make your final choice.

Do I want to study 1-1 or as part of a class?
There are benefits and drawbacks to working as part of a class. The most obvious benefit is that learning in this setting is much more fun and you can learn as part of team. Howevere, many modern EFL classes are quite daunting places, dominated by a monolingual group who are reluctant to speak to people who don’t share their first language. The reason for this is that many private language schools organise their students intake from an embassy, so that they have a guaranteed number of students throughout the year, Therefore it is often best to check with the academic adminstrator what the make up of the class is and the ratio of nationalities in the class.

Mature students may find it best to learn English 1-1 with their own tutor, who can guide them through all parts of the IELTS exam and ensure they have a good foundation for success.

In the list below we have given the name location and a contact telephone number for some reputable schools in the UK that teach IELTS.

The Bell Language School
Location: London, Cambridge, St Albans, Bloxham (Oxfordshire), Wellington College (Berkshire).
Type: Chain of private language schools
Telephone number: +44 (0) 1223 275598

The Brasshouse Language School
Location: Birmingham
Type: Owned by Birmingham City Council, funded by the local aouthority and fees paid by students
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 121 303 1637

Castle School of English
Location: Brighton
Type: Private Language College
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 1273 748 185
City of Bristol College
Location: Bristol
Type: State funded -local authority run college
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 117 312 5000

Colchester English Study Centre
Location: Colchester
Type: Private Language School
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 1206 544422

Ealing Hammersmith and West London College
Location: London, Gunnersbury Lane (Hammersmith)
Type: State – Local authority managed
Telephone Number: 020 8741 1688

Location: 21 Meadowcroft Road, London
Type: Chain Language School
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 20 7963 8450

International House
Location: London
Type: Chain of private Language Schools
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 20 7611 2400

Language Specialists International
Location: Portsmouth
Type: Private Language School
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 23 9229 1811

Lantern Languages
Location: Birmingham
Type: Private Language School
Telephone Number: 07708 391 600

Richard language College
Location: Bournemouth
Type: Private Language College
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 23 9229 1811

Warwickshire College
Location: Leamington Spa
Type: State – Local authority
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 1926 318 000

Wimbledon School of English
Location: Wimbledon, London
Type: Private language school
Telephone Number: +44 (0) 20 8947 1921