Our General English course can help you improve your English language skills and learn more about British culture. You don't need to be planning to study a university degree.

You'll develop skills so you can communicate confidently using English in everyday situations, such as work, study or travel.

Our course

Special features of our General English course include: 

  • No course books – use articles, blogs, social media, and videos to explore English language.
  • Practise what you learn by visiting interesting places in the local area.
  • Be taught by university academics who contribute to research into teaching languages.
  • Start dates throughout the year so you can study when it suits you. 
  • Study full-time or part-time, for three to 40 weeks. 

Watch General English at the University of Leeds Language Centre video on YouKu.

Video transcript: General English at the University of Leeds Language Centre

What you’ll study

Full-time and part-time course content

You will learn reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the context of:

Knowing language

  • word and sentence structure
  • vocabulary and spelling
  • pronunciation

Choosing language

  • gist (getting a general idea) and detail
  • adapting your language to suit different scenarios
  • formality, politeness and appropriateness

Taking risks

  • communicating even when it’s difficult
  • fluency
  • non-verbal communication
  • communication strategies

Project week

Twice each term, all classes become project-based for a week. Practise your skills by collaborating on a creative project, or doing a piece of investigation work in the local community. Previous examples have included creating a video about a topic and interviewing people outside the classroom.

Additional activities on the full-time course

General English Plus

This module makes the most of the English-speaking environment around you to learn language.

Each week you'll take part in a different experience, such as a local trip, and complete a speaking or writing task related to that experience. Previous examples have included visiting local parks, towns and art exhibitions, and producing creative writing, podcasts and group presentations. This module is for full-time students only. 

As well as the modules we've listed, you'll have time with a tutor to discuss your progress and learning.

Develop your skills

You’ll gain skills in the following areas: 

Language knowledge and skills  

Develop your confidence in using English vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation accurately and fluently. 

Communication strategies

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

Intercultural awareness

Learn how to effectively read, speak and listen in different everyday situations and increase your confidence.

Independent learning strategies 

Develop ways to continue your learning when you leave the classroom.