Best ways to learn English in London
700,000 people come to learn English in the UK each year according to the British Council and London will be the destination of choice for many of those people. Perhaps you have come to study or work or simply to improve your English. Whatever your reasons we have some top tips to on the best ways to learn English in London to help you when you arrive:
- Find somewhere to stay – Preferably choose a place where you will have contact with other people i.e. in shared accommodation, whether renting a room in a shared house or in dormitory accommodation in a hostel or perhaps staying with an English family. Staying in a hotel might be nice but it will deprive you of the opportunity to speak English on a daily basis.
- Find a job – This might not be a necessity for you but finding some work will increase the amount of time you spend speaking English and therefore will speed up your acquisition of English. It may help you make friends and integrate into the daily life of London faster.
- Find English speaking friends – This is easily done! Try using a website like meetup.com to find regular get-togethers of people who have the same interests as you – this could be learning English or something to do with Music, Art, Technology or Sport. Look online for services where you can meet with someone who is interested in learning your native language in exchange for teaching you English.
- Find a teacher – Language experts agree that whether it is a formal relationship or not language learners need a teacher in some form – a mentor, a buddy – whatever you choose they need to be someone who is fluent in English and preferably has a qualification, previous experience teaching or recommendations as they need to be able to guide you through your learning, correct your pronunciation and explain the grammar and structure of English. Lingos.co is a great place to look for an English teacher.
- Find a pub – I wouldn’t be lying if I said London is full of pubs ( Public Houses!). This is where the great and the good and the not so good gather at the end of the day to discuss their woes and joys. Try using a guide like TimeOut – the magazine or the website, to find interesting pubs to visit across London. You can stand at the bar and listen to the conversation or take a seat at the back and observe British culture in full flow..
- Find a cinema – Let’s be honest you could be watching English language films from anywhere in London but actually going to the cinema means you could invite a new friend or two to go as well and you could arrange to meet earlier or go for a drink later (see above!) to a) discuss the film and b) practise your English!
- Find a London taxi, or a London bus or take the tube – the London Underground. These are more great places to observe English people as they go about daily life in London. You can tour the city and simultaneously earwig conversations – though I must say the bus is definitely a better place for this – NO ONE talks on the Tube!! Just kidding.. If you choose a cab you may find yourself in conversation with one of London’s treasures, the London taxi driver. Although they can be somewhat opinionated ( just pulling your legs gentlemen and lady taxi drivers ;)) their knowledge of London is second to none, to pass “The Knowledge” test to become a cab driver they must learn 320 routes, 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks or places of interest within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross hence it is renown as the hardest taxi driver test in the world and why they will tell you many a (tall) tale about people and places in London if you ask.
- Find a park – There are many parks in London…25,000 acres of green space and 8 Royal Parks including: Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park and St James’s Park. We think of them as the lungs of the city i.e. places to go for a break, to go slow for a bit and to contemplate. Parks are a great place to find some quiet, to sit down, observe life around you and reflect on the English you have been learning. And they are Free!
- Find a school – As London is the home of the English language and the (albeit temporary) home to many Englaish language learners there is a wealth of English Language School in the capital. If you were to walk down Oxford St you would be bound to see someone wearing a sandwich board promoting a nearby school or be handed a flyer. If you want to arrange to attend a school before you arrive search online for the best deals but be wary – do check reviews and recommendations!
- Find a tour – To truly learn a language it is necessary to understand the history and culture of the people who speak the language. A tour of Parliament, The Tower of London, The London Dungeons, Buckingham Palace, the London Transport Museum will truly open your eyes to the unique country which is.. Britain. Our chequered past is the result of many struggles, interesting Kings & Queens and amazing innovations which have led to the popularity of English around the world. Or opt for a more unusual tour around London’s Pubs or graveyards for an alternative history or along the Thames River or on foot, by bicycle or rikshaw…Come to London to learn English and you won’t be disappointed!