English for Work: Business & Specialist English FAQ

Can you organise special accommodation for me?


We offer you the choice of a superior standard host family, booked through the school, or hotel or studio accommodation, which you have to book yourself. Several good hotels near the school are able to offer reduced rates to clients from the Business and Specialist Centre.

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Are there any exams I can do at the Business and Specialist Centre?


The BULATS test in all four skills is available on demand. It can be taken at the beginning of your course or at the end – or both. We can also organise the London Chamber of Commerce exam in Spoken English for Industry and Commerce (SEFIC) with four weeks' notice. In addition, clients can take the LCCI written exams (with six weeks' notice) and the TOEIC exam (every month except August).

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Will I get any idea of my progress?


Teachers will regularly inform you of your progress. Soon after your arrival, you will begin to feel more confident using your English in the immediate environment of London. Reports on client's progress can be issued on request, and will usually be received around three weeks after the end of the course.

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Do all your teachers have business experience?


Remember you are booking a course for business English, not business studies. We believe it is the teacher's ability to teach the language that is most important, not the fact that they know something about finance because he or she worked in a bank. Our teachers know a lot about the language used in business, and many of them have direct experience in business at every level. We also have teachers who are qualified lawyers.

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Can I choose my teacher?


This is not usually possible, because timetabling of teachers is complicated. However, if you decide to have one-to-one tuition, we will match you with the best teacher for your individual needs.

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Can I do a one week group course?


Yes, if you start on the first Monday of a two-week module. However, we cannot accept clients for a one-week group course in August (or a three week group course at the end of July).

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Is it possible to study my course flexibly?


We are very flexible. We design courses to suit you and realize that your needs may change. For example, after two weeks of intensive study in a group you may wish to change to a one-to-one course. With sufficient notice, this is possible. Or, you may wish to have a group course in the morning, lunch with a teacher, followed by one-to-one tuition in the afternoon, and directed self-study after that. Design your perfect language learning programme and we will deliver it.

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Do I get a book with the course?


Yes. We normally supply one book per stay in the Centre. This book will be chosen with your teacher in order to help you continue your learning after the course has ended. Clients also receive a starter pack, which includes a pen, highlighters, transport map, pad of paper and dividers.

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If I stay for another course, won't I just repeat the same material?


No. We keep extensive records on what you do, and - although you may practise the same skill several times during your stay - you won't repeat any of the same material.

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Will there be anyone else from my country in my group?


We create groups according to the level of clients, not their mother tongue. However, we try our very best to keep the number of people who share the same language to two in each group.

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Don't you waste the first morning with testing?


Clients are sent tests prior to their course and placed in classes according to their results. Work starts on Monday Day One at 9.00, although the first hour does take the form of a speaking/listening activity designed to check whether everyone in the group is indeed at the right level.

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Isn't six hours a day too intensive?


Activities are balanced throughout the day so that speaking listening, reading and writing are all covered. However, the emphasis is on speaking and understanding. Courses are intensive but manageable. We try to maximise your time with us.

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My level is very low. What is the best course for me?


If you are from beginner to pre-intermediate level, then we can only accept you in the Centre as a one-to-one client. You could choose a General English group course in the morning and one-to-one lessons in the Business and Specialist Centre in the afternoon. If your English is intermediate (equal to about 500 hours of tuition), then the full range of group courses in General and Business English are open to you.

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Can I start any Monday?


For one-to-one tuition you can start on any Monday. For group tuition we normally only accept enrolments for the start date of each two-week course. This is because you will not get the full benefit of a group which you join in the second week: you may find it difficult to break into the established rapport, and some important work may have been covered in the first five days.

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