Full-Time General English Courses


So you want to learn English in the UK? Do you need English for beginners, or an advanced English course? Whatever you need to know, if you’re interested in English lessons we have the answers for you. We’ve been teaching since 1985, so whether you want an advanced English course in Portsmouth or English for beginners, we can help.
Our English lessons include courses in General English, IELTS, and for students over 30. Read on to find out more.

Now available online! All General English courses are also available online (check out our Online English courses) and the price includes access to an online self-study tool, Sensations English.


Key information

Required level: We take all levels
Required age: Minimum age: 18, Average class age: 23
to find out more about our 30+ courses, click here
Course length: Minimum 1 week
Average group size: 8
What’s the maximum group size? 12
When are the classes? Monday to Thursday from 09:00 – 15:45; Friday from 9:00 – 11:45
How many hours of class time do I get? 22.5 hours (60 minutes) per week, plus 5-10 hours self-access
How much does it cost? To find out about our course prices, click here*
When can I start? Start any Monday except public holidays



Did you know?


Our maximum class size of 12 is smaller
than the UK Average – 14 or even 16 students.

Our courses are more intensive (22.5 hours per week)
than most UK schools.


Click here to find out more!

What English will I learn?

Improve your grammar and vocabulary in the morning

The full-time General English course morning classes have a grammar focus and we loosely follow the syllabus of the course book. We try to give you what you can’t do easily in your own country: lots of focus on speaking and listening. While learning the grammar and vocabulary of the topic, you’ll get reading and writing practice.

Focus on speaking, listening, and everyday English in the afternoon

Skills, such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing as well as everyday English, are focused on in the afternoon classes. The afternoon is a chance for you to immerse yourself in real-world English. Don’t be surprised if your teacher takes you out of the class and into town to complete a real-world speaking activity such as interviewing native English speakers on the street or ordering food and drink in a cafe. A chance to learn useful phrases will really increase your confidence in real-life social situations!

An English course that improves all your skills

The teacher of the morning class and the afternoon class meet regularly to discuss their class and the individual students in them. In these meetings, the teachers talk about the progress students are making, areas of improvement for the students, and the aims of the day/week.

This way they can create a plan of what to teach for the week and make sure that all their students are making the kind of progress they want. In addition, the teachers can ensure that everyone in their group is getting the right amounts of pronunciation, writing, reading, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar practice. It’s important to remember that the main focus of the LSI/IH Portsmouth General English course is on communication.

How do I know my English is getting better?


You will be given a test and a tutorial with your teacher at least once every 2 weeks, as well as regular homework. The test and the homework can help you to monitor your progress during your language stay here in Portsmouth. The tutorial is a chance to sit down with your teacher and tell them how you’re feeling in the class and what you want to focus on.

It is important to remember that during your stay at LSI/IH Portsmouth, you will find your teachers very approachable and friendly, if you want to talk to them about your progress, you will be able to do this before or after any lesson.


Sample timetable

08.30 – 09.00:   Optional Self-Access

09.00 – 10.15:   Grammar/Vocabulary Skills/Pronunciation

10.15 – 10.30:   Morning Coffee Break

10.30 – 11.45:   Grammar/Vocabulary Skills/Pronunciation

11.45 – 13.00:   Lunch/Optional supervised self-access

13.00 – 14.15:   Everyday English functions

14.15 – 14.30:   Afternoon coffee break

14.30 – 15.45:   Everyday English themes speaking/listening

15.45 – 17.15:   Optional supervised self-access

There are no lessons on Friday afternoons, so you are free to do additional supervised self-study. Alternatively, you may like to join in the social programme (click here to find out more) or do additional 1:1 lessons to focus on specialist areas of your language studies (at an extra cost).


General English Course FAQs


How do I find out my English level?

All new students do a placement test on their first day at school. It involves a grammar and vocabulary test, a free writing test and a 5 to 10-minute interview with a teacher. You are then placed in a class appropriate to your level. This will tell us if you need English for beginners or an advanced English course in Portsmouth.

When can I start my English lessons? Are there fixed dates?

There are no fixed start dates for General English. You can start on any Monday.
LSI/IH Portsmouth operates a continuous enrolment system, where students start on any Monday and leave on any Friday. New students learn whatever grammar and functions are being studied at the time.

If I join in the middle of a level, won’t I miss some very important grammar?

Our teaching involves a lot of reviewing of grammar and vocabulary and our aim is to help you make as much progress as you can in the time you have booked with us.

Can I change my course?

Yes, easily! Students switch between General English, IELTS and Cambridge exam classes all the time. The price is the same, so ask us and if you are at the right level and there is a space in the class, we can change your class easily.

What do I do if I want to change my level?

Talk to your teacher. If they agree you are good enough, we will find you a place in another class.

How long does it take to move up a level?

This depends on how much English you already have and how often you are using English outside class time. Students who go on all the social programme activities, making friends with people of other nationalities, and those who speak English with their host families, tend to make faster progress. Reading regularly also helps a lot. Moving up a level can take as little as 8 weeks or as long as 12.

Have we answered all your questions about studying English courses in Portsmouth?

If not, find out more here or contact us. We look forward to meeting you in Portsmouth and helping you to learn English in the UK!



Accommodation at LSI/IH Portsmouth


During your stay in Portsmouth, you may want to live with a local homestay family, in one of our self-catering residences, or choose to find your own accommodation. We will do everything we can to give you the best option to suit your needs and to help and support you with your living arrangements.

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Social Programme

Looking for something fun to do in your free time? Meeting and making friends with other students is a great way to practice your English! Our social programme is full and varied, it is always changing and tailored to meet the needs of our students. Click below to find out more!

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"About the school, it is outstanding. I have no words to describe how much I've liked being here. I've improved my English a lot in just 4 months. The people who work at the school make you feel like in your home. I'm sad to go back to Brazil, but I have to return to my normal life. About the classes, everything depends on your target. The classes are amazing and the teachers are super prepared.

Watch the full video here"

Riccardo, Brazil