Welcome to England

England offers the biggest selection of English language programmes in the world, and ELC’s group of three schools is ranked the No 1 group of English language schools in the UK by EL Gazette in its review of language school groups and chains. Our years of experience teaching General English means you will receive the best possible tuition.

The English Language Centre provides a broad range of General English programmes across its three highly-regarded schools in Brighton, Eastbourne and Chester. If you want to improve your English fluency, build your vocabulary and confidence to communicate in English in everyday situations, prepare for IELTS or TOEIC examinations, or enjoy tailored private lessons with your very own tutor, ELC has just the course for you.

General, everyday English is the most popular option at ELC, because it does the job of improving your English is a comprehensive way. You’ll boost your speaking confidence, expand your vocabulary, and practise the kind of English language which will help you in most life situations. Your ability to read, write, speak and listen to English is underpinned by your growing understanding of English grammar.

Course features

  • Before arriving, you do an online test so your class is at the right level for you.
  • 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.
  • We conduct regular progress checks and set homework every day.
  • 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.

Where to study General English in England

Here you can see which courses are available at each of our locations.

If you know where you would like to study, you can choose your course and location here. If not, see our explore the courses below or learn about our locations.

Courses Brighton Chester Eastbourne
General English
General English plus English for work
General English plus IELTS and academic English
General English plus one-to-one
General English plus TOEIC

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 levelEquivalent 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

Is a general English course in England right for me?

A general, everyday English course is always going to help you to improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing, whilst covering essential grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, idioms and colloquial language.

The question then is maybe when should you not take a general English group course?

  • If you’re a total beginner with no knowledge of English, it’s probably better to start with a one-to-one course
  • If you are ready to prepare for an English exam, a specialist preparation course could be better
  • If you’re a working professional and you’d like to talk about work or life around work, then a business course or specialist course could be preferable
  • If you’d like focussed time to improve even faster, or work on a particular topic or challenge, then a one-to-one course might be better - but don’t forget you can add individual lessons to your general English courses too.
  • If you’re under 16 and you’re looking for a summer English course.

Remember, you must be aged 16 or over and possess a CEFR level of A1 as a minimum in order to enrol.

A close up picture of a palm tree with multiple branches and spiky looking green fronds. It could be almost anywhere in the world, but we think it's in Eastbourne where ELC has it's English school. If you don't see this palm tree, you'll certainly see some like it.
A very old sign which reads "Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Rebuilt 1667". This is the sign outside a London pub of the same name which was reuilt shortly after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Friends chatting in a fancy coffee shop in Brighton. One of the pair is holding a rounded glass which looks like it contains espresso coffee.
A late evening photo of the bandstand on the seafront in Brighton. The structure has been totally renovated and the detailed iron work is partly silhouetted against the sky.
Students at the English language centre in Brighton are chatting together during a speaking exercise whilst their teacher looks on from behind. They seem to be enjoying themselves. English classes in Brighton are always very communicative, with a focus on building confidence to speak English.
ELC Students take a break from their English lessons in Brighton, in the recently refurbished break-out area near to reception.
A colourful photo of punts, traditional wooden boats, on the River Cam in Cambridge. The water looks particularly blue, as does the sky, and whilst a number of boats are tied up on one side of the river, you can see a beautiful red brick building and several willow trees in the distance on the opposite bank.
A photo of the English Language Centre in Eastbourne, which occupies an impressive villa. There are steps up to the ornate arched entrance way and the fresh green trees ground the building nicely. The sky is blue and some of the top-floor dormer windows in the roof are open.
A classic photo of red London buses queued up in both directions of what is possibly Regent Street in London. The buildings are pleasingly all in the same sandstone colour and look similar architecturally. There are sets of 5 union jack flags strung between the buildings, and these are repeated several times down the street and into the distance. You can also see a black London cab queuing behind the buses.

Cool places that are small enough to be friendly, big enough to be fun

We offer year-round English language courses in three English locations. All our schools are classic, historical buildings with up-to-date, modern language learning facilities, and a warm and friendly welcome.

Map of ELC’s locations in England at Brighton, Chester and Eastbourne, with indications of their distance from major cities, airports and national parks. Brighton and Eastbourne are on the south east coast next door to the South Downs National Park and not far from London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports. Chester just to the east of north Wales is close to Liverpool and Manchester airports and roughly half way between Snowdon National Park and the Peak District National Park. An overlaid scale of 50km helps to show that Brighton and Eastbourne are about 120km from central London, and that Chester is about 35km from central Liverpool and 65km from central Manchester.
A photo of the seafront at Brighton which shows an array of white buildings and the sand-coloured pebble beach. There is a large white ferris wheel in the foreground, and a scattering of people sitting looking out to sea.


Brighton and Hove is a lively, cosmopolitan seaside city of about 300,000 people with a vivid cultural life. It is about 85 km – 1 hour – south of central London and surrounded by the beautiful Sussex countryside. Learn more about Brighton

A photograph of the famous Eastgate clock in Chester which stands high above the road on a section of the Roman walls. The clock has a round white face with black roman numerals and hands, and lots of ornate black metalwork filled in with orange and gold panels. The letters VR are above it, visible against the turquoise dome roof, and the date 1897. This was erected in memory of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.


Chester is an English city with 2,000 years of heritage, excellent shopping and a lively nightlife. It is 30km from Liverpool and 60km from Manchester – major cities of around half a million people each. Learn more about Chester

A seafront photo of Eastbourne taken from the west side. The pier can be seen jutting out into the sea towards the top of the photo, as the beach extends round to the left and the emerald sea takes up most of the rest of the shot. The sun is shining and the white hotels on the seafront are very noticeable.


Eastbourne is a traditional seaside town that’s regularly the UK’s sunniest place. It is about 120 km from central London. The beautiful South Downs national park rises up directly from the western end of its seafront. Learn more about Eastbourne

Other course options you might like

Need help?

If you’re confused and you need some help to decide on the best English course option, we’d love to talk to you. You can use the chat function, or fill out our enquiry form, and we’ll be back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us