Planning an English plus Culture course for the first time

A few tips to help you plan for this course.

English plus Culture courses, popular with Japanese and more mature European students, generally place a greater emphasis on activities and less on academic learning but some students will still expect intensive English lessons. Students can choose how many hours they do and the balance of English lessons and activities. Each activity is counted as equal to 3 hours i.e. half-day activity. Activities do need to be planned and example plans are included in the Teacher’s Manual.

Typical activities include:

  • visit to gardens
  • cooking
  • countryside walks
  • museums
  • historical bulidings/architecture
  • galleries
  • shopping
  • sports activities
  • full-day city excursion e.g. Bath, Oxford, or London (at extra cost if outside your local area)

Quite often students will wait until they have arrived to discuss which activities are available. In these cases our advice to teachers is that they have a list of local activities (some free, others with a cost) they can present to the student as possibilities. Please see the Teacher’s Manual for information on fees, expenses and activity costs.

Many teachers planning their first culture course are keen to give their student a great experience of British life by including a whole host of activities. However you need to be realistic about what you can fit in, how much time each activity will take and you and your student’s budget.

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4 Responses to Planning an English plus Culture course for the first time


  1. Mary-W-2 says:

    Yes, afternoon tea in a country manor house is also popular with the mature Japanese students!


  3. Lynne-B says:

    I know we’re lucky living in Edinburgh as cultural opportunities abound, from the many free museums, art galleries and churches to some lesser-known historical walks, bridges, community centres and other sites of interest. (I never take them to Edinburgh Castle which is always hectically busy and overpriced.) To maximise language development I make out level-appropriate worksheets with questions/activities/opportunities for interaction with native Scots(always problematic due to stress and pronunciation) beforehand, then hover vaguely to one side, ready to help out but only if necessary. My students know they’re ‘on their own’ from the moment we step off the bus and they have to ask directions to the cultural attraction for that day’s visit. Feedback is generally very positive and sometimes has unexpected results. Walking in the rain with a rather introverted, upper-intermediate Spaniard who had been with me nearly a month by that stage, and having exhausted all the obvious places to visit we decided to try and access the Sikh Temple in Leith. This proved impossible on that day but as we sploshed wetly round the old streets we noticed an imposing, locked building called Trinity House which I had never seen before. As we peered through the gates a Polish man came along and unlocked it, then beckoned us inside. In we went to find a fascinating museum belonging to Leith Master Mariners Guild with records stretching back four hundred years and 15th. century vaults in which we were able to watch a short film about its illustrious history. “Please tell people that we exist,” said the curator and indeed I did and do. I have since put together a finding-out sheet and taken other students for one-to-one guided tours. Another wonderful resource!


  5. Liz100 says:

    Try free city walks by volunteers-often passionate about their cities.

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