English for Life (online)

About the English for Life (online) course

English for Life (online)

Our English for Life course is for adults who want to improve their English language skills. You’ll be taught online through a combination of daily live classes, weekly one-to-one or small group tutorials and daily independent study. 

You'll gain experience so you can communicate confidently using English, and we'll give you the tools to continue learning English independently once you’ve finished the course.

Special features 

  • Fully online learning - you can study from anywhere in the world. 
  • Individual weekly consultations with your tutor.
  • Study when it suits you, with start dates throughout the year.
  • You’ll be taught by university academics who contribute to research into teaching languages.
  • No course books - use online articles and videos on current topics to improve your skills and explore English language.
  • You'll be a University of Leeds student with access to academic and social opportunities, resources and events, including activities through our Language Zone.

My tutors are fabulous teachers with endless patient instructions. I like the webinars and live chat, and the activities are well-balanced between independent study and collaboration.

Wenjian, studying online

Read more of our current students’ experiences with studying online

You’ll gain skills in the following areas: 

Language knowledge and skills 
Develop your confidence in understanding and using English vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation accurately and fluently. 

Independent learning strategies 
Develop ways to continue your learning independently when you finish the course. 

Intercultural awareness 
Learn about British and other English-speaking cultures so you can communicate effectively with other English speakers. 

Communication strategies 
Learn how to effectively read, speak, write and listen on a wide range of everyday topics. 

What you will study

In this course you'll study two-week units on topics such as sustainability, education, food, law, film and TV, modern history, English literature and more. You’ll develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the context of:

Knowing language

  • word and sentence structure 
  • vocabulary and grammar 
  • pronunciation

Choosing language

  • adapting your language to suit different situations 
  • formal and informal language 
  • politeness and appropriateness

Taking risks

  • communicating even when it’s difficult 
  • fluency 
  • communication strategies


You'll be assessed at the end of each two-week unit to encourage you to use what you have learnt, track your progress and identify areas for you to improve on. 

Assessments vary across units; examples of assessments include creating a blog, taking part in discussions, making a vlog (video blog), evaluating news articles, giving a presentation and producing pieces of creative writing. 

You'll receive grades, detailed feedback and an indicative Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level for your work. The CEFR is an internationally recognised grading system of measuring your language ability. 

For each assessment you'll have time with your tutor to discuss your feedback and your progress.