Welcome to our General English course in Chester

Our General English course at ELC in Chester aims to develop your ability to communicate effectively in English. All aspects of language are covered with an emphasis on speaking and listening.

  • Maximum students: 12
  • Minimum age: 16 (15)
  • Minimum duration: 2 weeks
  • CEFR entry level:
    1. A1
    2. A2
    3. B1
    4. B2
    5. C1

* Minimum age: please see more information regarding levels of care and supervision for 16 and 17 year olds in international classes. We occasionally accept 15 year olds in international classes provided they are part of a group with a group leader.

General English courses are balanced programmes, focusing on the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, whilst covering essential grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, idioms and colloquial language.

The course consists of 28 lessons (21 hours) of General English per week.

There is a core morning programme of 20 lessons that is course book based. Afternoon lessons are theme-based or exam based:

Integrated themed English classes

Develop your real-life conversation skills and fluency. Improve your pronunciation so that people will understand you better. Build your vocabulary and learn techniques to remember and use more words and phrases correctly. Practise vocabulary in context.

Academic English IELTS/EAP**

Preparation for the academic IELTS exam and for university study. Study all 4 IELTS papers, practise listening for lectures and giving presentations.

Cambridge exam preparation*

Training in exam techniques. Study reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar in use for Cambridge First (FCE) and/or Advanced (CAE).

English for work*

Introduction to English used in work situations. Focus on making phone calls, language for presentations, meetings and negotiations.

TOEIC preparation*

Complete and thorough preparation for the listening and reading exam. Practise exam questions and learn exam techniques.

Please note:

Exam options are subject to availability.

*You need to be intermediate to advanced level for this option.

**You need to be pre-intermediate to advanced level for this option.

If you are a beginner with the English language, please contact us to check if we will have a suitable class. If you are a complete beginner, then we recommend that you take one-to-one lessons.

A tightly cropped photo of students receiving their end of course certificates at ELC Chester.
Course timetable
Times Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Morning break

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Core GE lessons

Lunch break


Theme/Exam-based lessons

Theme/Exam-based lessons

Theme/Exam-based lessons

Theme/Exam-based lessons

Free time/ supervised self-study
15:45+ Free time or supervised self-study until school closes
1 ‘lesson’ = 45 minutes. Lessons are usually combined into larger units of time.

Course options

  • Tuition and registration: £755.00 for 2 weeks
    • 56 lessons over the course of 42 hours
    • Includes £95 registration fee
    • Choose your duration below
  • Course intensity

Next steps

Course features

  • Before arriving, you do an online test so your class is at the right level for you.
  • We conduct regular progress checks and set homework every day.
  • You’ll be in a multi-national group for your English classes.
  • Regular individual tutorials with your teacher for private help and study advice.
  • All course books and materials are included.
  • You can use the self-access study centre after lessons to practise and improve.
  • End of course certificate with hours of study and final level.

Who are these General English courses for?

Our General English course is the most popular programme here in Chester. It is perfect for international students who are looking to improve their overall level of English fluency whether that’s for travel, study or your career. The electives in the afternoon allow you to build up skills in specific areas (e.g. Business English).

This photo shows the red brick buildings which make up ELC in Chester. The main part of the image shows a three-storey high brick terrace of town houses, with blue doors. The street is cobbled and there is a tree in the foreground whose green leaves overhang the top of the picture.

Find your English level

Questions people ask about the General English course in Chester

When do General English courses start?

Our General English courses start any Monday and finish any Friday. You can book a minimum of 2 weeks. Please note that the school is open year round except for 2 weeks around the Christmas period – usually the last 2 weeks for the calendar year.

What is the difference between General English and the 25+ General English course?

The 25+ course is completely designed around your needs. It is a more intensive (22.5 hours per week) and the classroom size is maximum 6 and average 3, so you have a lot more teacher attention. Students on the 25+ Course are on average 43 years of age.

What is the best choice of English programme for studying 6 months or more?

Our most flexible and economic option is our Study Year Programme. You will normally start on the General English course, then when you have reached a B1 intermediate level you can join an exam preparation course (e.g. IELTS or Cambridge First). The Study Year Programme includes one free airport taxi transfer on arrival and one free examination.

What is the maximum length of visa that I can get to study English?

To study English language, you can study for a maximum of 11 months. You need to apply for a Short-Term Study Visa

Can I study mornings only on English courses in Chester?

Normally no, all our courses are full time. Please contact us for more information

Do you accept complete beginners at ELC Chester?

We start all our group courses at elementary level. If you are a beginner we can only offer you one-to-one courses.

Can I bring my family with me to Chester?

Chester is a beautiful, medium-size city and a great place for families to live or as a base to travel around the country. If your family members are not studying at the school, you will have to arrange your own accommodation and childcare if required.

How much is a taxi from the airport to Chester?

We can organise a taxi for you and the price is £85 each way from Manchester or Liverpool airports.

How long will it take me to move up a level?

All students learn in different ways and at different paces, so we are not able to give you a specific answer. Sometimes students expect that they will improve much faster than it is possible. On average it takes around 12 weeks for you to move up to the next level.

Find your English level

Our language learning levels relate closely to how the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) define them, but with a difference which we have found to help our students at Elementary level.

ELC level Equivalent CEFR levels
Upper A1 Lower A2

We offer an English level test which anyone can take. It involves 50 questions and, depending on your level, will probably take you from 10 to 20 minutes. At the end of it, we will tell you your probable level.

But when you book, we will ask you to take a more detailed and accurate test, to make sure that you start in the class which is best for you.

Test your English level now

We know it's not easy...

It can be difficult working out which General English course to book when there is so much choice. If you have questions for us before you can book, please contact us, because we’re very happy to help - even if you are not yet confident about your English!

Let us help you choose your General English course