Lessons in the classroom are a very small part of your English learning experience. Whilst you’re in Plymouth you can acquire the English language in many different ways.

Ask your Family

Many of you will live with a host family during your stay. This is a place where you can build up a relationship with someone from Plymouth and ask lots of questions. You can ask about not only the English language but the English culture too…… why do the English behave as they do?!

Ask questions about your meal, what are you eating? Ask about rooms, what is the name of each furniture item?

Out and About

Keep your eyes open as you walk to and from school and as you shop in the city centre. Do you understand the words on the advertisements on bus shelters or on the sides of buses? How about in the shop windows? Write down the words you don’t know and look them up later or ask your teacher. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your vocabulary knowledge will grow.


Keep your ears open. Listen to the conversations around you on the bus, in the shops – what is everyone talking about?

Tune in to the radio (a local station is Radio Plymouth 106.7FM or a BBC stations such as Radio 4 for lots of speaking). Have the radio on in the background as you organise your room or do the washing up, you won’t understand it all but your ear will start to tune in to English.

The TV is another good way to improve your listening skills. Sit with your host family in the evening and watch with them.

Put your English to the Test

Buy things from the market where you need to ask for what you want rather than the supermarket where you don’t. Go to cafes and ask for a coffee.

Use the language you have learnt in the classroom with your host family as you speak to them over your evening meal, they will help you get it right.

If you actively learn outside classroom along with learning inside the classroom you will be amazed at your progress!