General English Programme

Read about our interesting and fun General English courses at ISC. Optional Academic English and Cambridge Preparation Courses can be taken in addition to the General English programme.

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General English Lessons

At ISC students receive 28 lessons/30 hours* of General English, British Culture and Project lessons during the two-week programme. Our English lessons are interesting and fun and focus on improving communication skills.  We want to help our students improve in confidence and fluency when using English. 

Students practise all communication skills and pronunciation with a focus on spoken production.  We use our own range of interactive and interesting course materials, which are constantly updated by our creative teaching team.

We have an excellent team of experienced, professional and friendly teachers and we were awarded a strength for teaching in our last British Council inspection in 2016.

In General English our students acquire and practise vocabulary, grammar and learn all about a variety of subjects. We practise all skills, with a focus on improving communication. Students have lots of opportunities to practise speaking with their international classmates. We also help to prepare students for life outside of school with leadership and teamwork activities.


In British Culture classes, students learn about the British way of life, food and music. Students also prepare for their excursions, so they can practise all the English they learn in class out on trips!

In Project classes, our students work with their international classmates to create a drama production which culminates in an exciting Project show at the end of the course.


Our teachers care about helping each individual student to progress and they use a variety of motivating activities, materials and technology in class. Learning is fun at ISC and we want to help our students learn and use English to the best of their abilities!

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Helping students to perform at their best

When students arrive, they do a short placement test so that we can place them in the appropriate class. Our levels range from elementary to advanced. Students should have studied English for a year prior to studying at ISC. We do not offer classes for beginners.

Throughout the course teachers monitor the progress of students in lessons. At the end of the course students receive a written report and certificate from their teacher.

Our teachers care about helping each individual student to progress and they use a variety of motivating activities, materials and technology in class.

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How classes are organised

We organise students at ISC into two age groups. Students in the 'Jets' group are aged 9-13 years old and students in the 'Sharks' group are 14 -17 years old.

Students learn in classes according to their age and ability. We also ensure there are a good mix of nationalities in classes and houses, so that there are lots of opportunities to make international friends. When out of class, Jets and Sharks are mixed in the houses, on trips and in some evening activities.

There are a maximum of 16 students in General English and British Culture lessons and students learn with classmates from all around the world. In Project classes, we have international, multi-ability Project teams of up to 32 students, working together to create drama Projects, with the help of two teachers and activity monitors.

Students either have lessons in the morning or afternoon. If the Jets have lessons in the morning, the Sharks will be in activities. Then after lunch, Jets will have activities while the Sharks are in lessons. We alternate this every day. 


The first lesson of each day is General English, followed by a break, then a British Culture lesson and Project class. Morning lessons and activities take place from 9:00 - 12:30. Afternoon lessons are from 13:30 - 17:00 and activities are from 14:00 - 17:00.

Students arrive on a Tuesday and depart on a Monday on our two-week programme. Lessons take place every day apart from on arrivals day, trip days (Saturday and Sunday - week 1 and Wednesday - week 2) and departures day. 

Our General English course includes 28 lessons/30 hours of study during the two-week programme. There are 14 hours of study in week 1 (5 x 1hr 30 General English lessons and 8 x 50 minute British Culture and Project lessons) and 16 hours of study in week 2 (5 x 1hr 30 General English lessons and 10 x 50 minute British Culture and Project lessons).

Download our example timetable and two-week programme to see what a typical day at ISC looks like.

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British Culture Lessons

In our British Culture lessons, students have the opportunity to learn all about the British way of life, food, music, festivals and much more.

Students learn and practise topic specific vocabulary and all communication skills. Our supportive teaching staff encourage the students to interact with their international classmates to improve their spoken ability.

We also prepare our students for their excursions in British Culture lessons, where they learn all about the history, geography and cultural significance of the places they will be visiting.

It is very rewarding for our students to be able to practise the English that they have learnt in class on their trips.

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Project Classes

Project classes are a hugely enjoyable and creative way to improve spoken confidence and fluency.

Mixed ability classes work together as a team with the support of their teachers to create a drama Project. Students use their imaginations to create a story, characters, costumes and props. Their drama Project is performed to their peers in an exciting Project show at the end of the course.

Classes are merged for Project and are assisted by three members of staff. Students learn how to structure and write a story, write dialogue, develop acting skills, work as a team and improve their pronunciation.

In and out of class, students can win points for their Project class for good work, effort and behaviour. The Project with the most points is awarded the ISC cup for the best class in school.

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Learning Objectives

  • To practise and develop spoken communication skills, in both interactive and individual speaking tasks

  • To learn and practise level appropriate vocabulary according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

  • To practise and improve pronunciation skills

  • To learn and practise grammatical structures according to the CEFR

  • To practise and improve writing skills, such as how to structure and write a story

  • To practise and improve listening skills, such as listening for gist and detail

  • To learn about British culture, history and geography and practise relevant vocabulary

  • To develop and practise reading skills, such as reading for gist and detail

  • To raise awareness of and encourage students to use learning strategies that promote autonomous learning

  • To nurture life skills, such as being independent, time management skills and working as a team

  • For students to improve fluency and gain confidence when speaking

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Key Information

  • For students aged 9-17 years old

  • Students are level tested on arrival and placed in the correct class

  • Our levels range from Elementary to Advanced (unfortunately we do not accept beginners)

  • Maximum class size of 16 (General English and British Culture lessons)

  • Classes are merged for Project and assisted by three/four members of staff

  • 30 hours study/28 lessons per two-week General English programme, which includes General English, British Culture and Project lessons. 

  • *There are 14 hours of study in week 1 (5 x 1hr 30 General English lessons and 8 x 50 minute British Culture and Project lessons) and 16 hours of study in week 2 (5 x 1hr 30 General English lessons and 10 x 50 minute British Culture and Project lessons).

  • Excursions to London, Oxford, Royal Windsor, Stratford and the Cotswolds

  • Fantastic daily activity programme

  • Students receive an end of course certificate and report from their teacher

  • Prize-giving ceremony at the end of the course

  • Additional optional courses are available on request – please see the Cambridge Exam or Academic English Course pages for more information

 

International Student Club

School Address: Bloxham School, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 4PE, UK
Head Office: Hillside, The Springs, Bowdon, Cheshire, WA14 3JH, UK