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The Essential Course

20 hours per week

The Essential Programme is an intensive but flexible mode of study providing 20 hours of tuition per week. Outside of lesson times, students are welcome to remain in school to work on personal study assignments and to make use of all the school facilities.

You benefit from small class sizes (an absolute maximum of 8 for language skills) allowing a high degree of individual attention and constant proximity to tutors. The unique advantage of the Essential Programme is the opportunity to become part of the school community whilst having the time and flexibility to pursue other interests or independent study. The school environment promotes discussion and provides an ideal setting for cross-cultural collaboration. Students graduate from the programme prepared for the challenges of working or studying as part of an international community.

Course content

  • Language skills lessons
  • Communication skills workshops
  • Plenary sessions

Language skills lessons provide a solid foundation in the English language with purpose designed grammar exercises and interactive oral practice to encourage the expression of ideas. Listening exercises use authentic materials for the development of comprehension skills. Writing tasks familiarise you with a range of styles and registers.

Communication skills workshops build fluency and confidence.

What you achieve

  • Develop fluency and listening skills to communicate with both native speakers and international colleagues
  • Produce accurate English when speaking and writing by enhancing grammar and vocabulary knowledge and use.
  • Practice in formal and informal language for a range of situations.
  • Develop confidence in English to help you succeed both personally and professionally.

Flexible study

The flexibility offered by the Essential Programme means students have time to engage in other activities or independent study to enhance their language learning experience outside of structured lesson time. Some students choose to:

  • work part-time in an English speaking environment to enhance career opportunities.
  • engage in a hobby or learn a new skill in English.
  • study independently in the school.
  • immerse themselves in the local culture, visiting museums.

Students on the Essential Programme are welcome to join the Central School of English cultural programme which usually takes place at 16.30.

Sessions and outcomes

Language skills lessons

The language skills lessons develop language competency. These sessions provide you with a strong foundation in English and the core skills you need to progress to the next level. The small class sizes of no more than 8 students allow constant interaction with tutors.

Communication skills workshops

The workshops build confidence and fluency. You have the chance to practise public speaking and participate as an active member of an audience. The daily spoken performance workshop develops both verbal and non-verbal communication skills allowing students to become engaging and effective speakers.

The Essential Programme

Sample timetable

15 mins: Morning Plenary

60 mins: Spoken Performance Workshop


60 mins: Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric


60 mins: Comprehension, Vocabulary and Précis

60 mins: Team Project