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Learning English On A Trip Abroad to The United Kingdom

By Ava, published on 31/01/2019 Blog > Languages > ESOL (English) > Learn English As You Travel: ESOL In The United Kingdom

As an ESOL student planning a trip to a country that speaks English is going to be a huge treat. While learning English in the classroom can be fun and very useful to give you the foundations of the language. Nothing compares to travelling to a country that speaks the language that you are learning.

When you commit to your language study and use the travel experience to further your communication in English. You will find that your language skills will have the chance to develop rapidly, this is a massive bonus for an international student interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the language by engaging in culturally enriching travel.

When you open yourself to the language and culture of a country, it can make a lot of difference to your English language development. As it can drive home the meaning about what it is that you are learning, inspiring you to develop your skills further.

The United Kingdom (UK) is a sovereign country made up of the 4 countries of England, Northern Island, Scotland and Wales. The UK is a very unique country because it is made up of four different nationalities.

  1. England is where the English live and speak English. England is the largest country of the 4.
  2. Northern Island is where the Irish live, they can speak Irish (Celtic languages) or English.
  3. Scotland is where the Scottish live, they speak English, and in some areas, Gaelic.
  4. And Wales is where the Welsh live, and they speak Welsh and English.

In the north of England there are cities like Nottingham Liverpool which is where the Beatles came from. Photo Source: Unsplash

For the purposes of this article, we will talk about planning a trip to England since this is where the vast majority of English speakers live. England is made up of over 60 counties, For the purpose of speed, we will Separate the country by North and South.

In the north of England there are cities like Nottingham where the famous Robin Hood comes from, and yes indeed Sherwood forest also exists you can take a walk there. Liverpool which is where the Beatles came from and Manchester where the famous Manchester United are from.

In the south of England, there are cities like London which is the largest city in England and home to the globe theatre where Shakespeare performed his plays, and Brighton which is a popular day trip from London, Oxford where you find the famous Oxford University and places like Cornwall with hidden white sand beaches.

England is overflowing with history, castles, culture and an interesting multicultural melting pot of cultures, people and religions. Cities like London are some of the most metropolitan in the world with people from every corner of the planet living there. Unlike large countries like Australia and Canada, the UK is tiny. People live in cities and in smaller towns which are dotted around the beautiful countryside.

The UK has castles, culture and an interesting multicultural melting pot England is overflowing with history. Photo Source: Unsplash

Benefits Of Learning English While Travelling In The United Kingdom

If you are interested in improving your English proficiency and having an intensive English language learning experience. Preparing and travelling to an English speaking country will be the English learning environment that you are looking for. This will be a full immersion experience that will introduce you to and help you with your comprehension of the English language and culture.

Top Benefits To Learning English While Travelling

  1. Even language teachers who use the top methods of teaching, lesson planning or language training are limited if they remain in the classroom. To teaching techniques that try to mimic real life but of course can never compare to real life situations. The classroom is great for providing you with the foundation and grammatical knowledge that you need to build on. But at some point, you need to go out and use the English skills that you have learnt and allow your language proficiency to support your communication. This is real student achievement.
  2. Learning to use English communication through cross-cultural lines, while being understood and gaining in confidence is the best language assessment that you can take to learn about your current level of reading, writing, listening and speaking in English.
  3. Using your reading skills, your writing skills and your listening skills so regularly in English you will rapidly see an improvement in your comprehension. But most importantly you will be able to identify where you are lacking certain skills and work on them to fill any gaps in your knowledge.
  4. Enrichment of your vocabulary will be a natural progression of travelling in an English speaking country. When you meet native English speakers and non-native speakers or international students on your trip, you will have the chance to discuss ideas and difficulties and receive different points of view.
  5. In the United Kingdom, you will get to learn about this culturally diverse country.
  6. One of the best benefits is that you can not turn off the learning or ignore it. No matter what you will always be actively or passively using your Reading and writing, speaking and listening skills. This is how you learnt your first language, and it is a compelling way to learn.
  7. If you are in adult education or want to focus on your professional development or learn business English, there are some great creative options for you too. By hiring an English teacher, certified teacher or English tutor to guide you around the location of your choice, you will be able to be more intentional about your learning and also about what you are doing in your day.

Other Options For ESL English Learners To Visit The United Kingdom

If you feel that a short trip won’t be long enough for you, you could apply for a different kind of stay in the UK. This is beneficial for students with limited English and more advanced or fluent students.

Spending time in the UK You will find that living in the UK is the biggest challenge and the most rewarding one. Photo Source: Unsplash

To improve your second language, you could try enrolling to

  • Become a full-time English learner in the UK with an educational program or international school.
  • Do a student exchange program for a semester
  • An English language placement program for ESL classes

Discuss the options with your current school teacher and they can help you understand which might be best for your academic achievement and English learning.

UK Essentials To For The English Language Learner

The Weather

The UK is well known for its weather of grey skies and rain, but something that is great about the weather is the UK is that for the most part, it is mild. It never gets as cold as Canada not as hot as Australia. There are no extreme weather events either.

The year equally divides into 4 seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. But the temperature between all of this season is very slight, and the most notable change is the surrounding nature. While summers can get warm they rarely go higher than 30 degrees and while winter can be cold they rarely in Southern England at least droop below -5 degrees. The north of the UK is colder than the South and the best time to visit is without a doubt the spring, summer and Autumn seasons.

Entry Requirements

Requirements for entry into the UK depends significantly on the passport that you have. If you qualify for visa-free entry or if you need to apply for a visa is essential to know before booking any transport into the UK.

Essential practical Information

  • The United Kingdom is traditionally English, but the capital of London is entirely multicultural and multilingual so you can hear many languages in addition to English here.
  • The currency is The United Kingdom Pounds (GBP)
  • The legal drinking age is 18 years old
  • The emergency number is 999
  • It is safe to swim the sea, lakes and some rivers in The United Kingdom, but it is likely as cold as ice even in the summer so bear that in mind.
  • The international dialling code is 44, and each county has its own area code
  • Free wifi is widely available in libraries, cafes and some shopping centres.

When you are learning the English language, travelling in the UK gives you a huge advantage. Because you get to test your language skills, even if you only have basic skills in English you will find yourself each day closer to being bilingual. Your grammar will be challenged, your vocabulary will grow, and your speaking skills will be tested.

No matter what strategies you have used in the past to learn English you will find that living in the UK is the biggest challenge and the most rewarding one. ESL students will benefit from full Immersion, which is how we learnt to speak our native languages, not with ESOL lessons. ESL teaching can never compare to the education and learning that we experience by being out in the field.

Your English fluency can only improve by spending time in the UK. Don’t hesitate! Get your visa and book your flight and get ready for the language learning experience of a lifetime. Imagine being able to say that you gained English fluency by talking to people in coffee shops in London, UK or on the beach in Miami, USA.


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