Learning English for Foreign Students: Southampton Hampshire

How do you learn a language?

Many people arrive in the UK looking for work with a very low level of English. Unfortunately this means that only low paid boring factory work with long shifts is available.

People who can communicate in English have a very big advantage when looking for the better jobs and when trying to use the local services. It is very difficult to enjoy living in a society if you can’t communicate with people who can help you in the health service, education, local government, the police, the banks the shops the utility companies, gas, phone, electricity etc. Some of these companies employ people who speak other languages but not all. But that person could be you!

Krzystof, 31, came to the UK in 2004. He had been a sales man in Poland and had a very low level of English language when he arrived. He had never taken an English Language course or even an English lesson before He worked in factories and in the evenings spent some of his money on an English course at a private English language school. He went to English Lessons twice a week. His English level improved and In 2007 he got a job in a bank and doubled his salary.

So like Krzytof, some people manage improve their language level and this gives them the possibility of getting better jobs in an office or as a supervisor.

The English language level of some people doesn’t change even after years of living in the UK.

So what is the difference?

  • They have confidence to learn
  • They want to learn
  • They try to learn


It is quite difficult to lean if you are scared. But you can become less scared if you take the first step. Each step becomes better. If you have passed your driving test think about how scary the first lesson was! But soon as you get used to the environment it becomes easier.


Even if you go to lots of English lessons with the best English teachers if you don’t want to learn then you are wasting your time. If motivation is a problem then try to think about what it will mean to you to have a better life, job, house car holidays. Maybe it will mean you can go to university or do your profession that you left in your home country. Try to imagine how much better life could be and keep that image in you mind and remember it when you are feeling unmotivated.


Learning is not some magic that happens just because you pay some money, or sit in a classroom. The English Language teacher can’t open your head and put the information inside. Good teaching is showing you what you need to learn helping you to understand it and giving you some ideas abut how to remember it. But it is up to you to actually learn the information. It will help to understand how you learn things. People learn in different ways.

VAK theory

Here is a theory about learning styles that may help you to plan how to learn the English language.

In this theory you can learn in a visual, auditory, kinesthetic way of a combination of all three.

The theory is that you probably have a dominant one of these three.

Visual - you like to watch some one else demonstrate or read instructions

Auditory – You like someone to explain it for you

Kinesthetic – You like to do it to understand it

You can use this grid as a simple learning style indicator questionnaire - for example score each
box out of five or ten and then put the total for each column in the boxes.

What level of language do you need?

There are many different ways to describe English levels below a common set of names for levels that the language schools usually use.

Beginner: just, "hello", "good bye", "my name is" ..

Elementary: simple sentences buy things in shops

Pre intermediate: simple conversations may read some children’s books

Intermediate: the point at which you can work with native speakers

Upper intermediate: more complex conversations, social situations not so difficult

Advanced: can talk on the phone have can express most things you want to

Proficiency: can understand most native speakers easily a good understanding of slang and idiom perhaps teach the language

First Group PLC who had a big recruitment drive in Poland concluded that bus drivers needed to be at intermediate level to as a minimum requirement to function safely in their jobs.

Universities look for students to be at upper intermediate level to join a degree course.

The NHS (National Health service) require Doctors and nurses to be at an advanced level to work in hospitals etc.

To work in an office job in the UK you would want to be at an upper-intermediate level or higher.

So how do you know if you are at that level? An English Language School will usually give you a free level check and they will put you in a class at that level.

There are different exams you can do:

Cambridge Exams PET KET FCE CAE PCE

These are good if you want to look for work outside the UK but UK employers don’t really understand them. CAE is recognised by some universities

ESOL Skills for life:

Entry 1 - Beginner/Elementary

Entry 2 - Elementary to Pre-intermediate

Entry 3 - Pre-intermediate to Intermediate

Level 1 - Upper-intermediate

Level 2 - Advanced

IELTS where you get a score from 1 – 9

There are two types of this exam and the academic version is used for Universities and the Health Service 6 is usually university entrance 7 for Doctors and Nurses.

Bfluent Run English Courses in Southampton Hampshire

  • English Courses in Southampton
  • Workplace training
  • ESOL for citizenship
  • ESOL For Work
  • Cambridge exams
  • All levels Beginner / Proficiency
  • Highly skilled and qualified teachers
  • Different Locations in Southampton
Click here to visit the BFluent English Language Courses Website

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