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Academic English

We offer a range of Academic English courses based on students' individual needs and aspirations. Outlines of these courses are provided below.


What is Academic English?

Academic English forms the educational foundation for any international student studying with us, whatever course they follow, as English is the language for both teaching and learning.

Every student’s language target is to achieve a minimum of 6.5 in the IELTS exam (International English Language Testing System). It is compulsory to study this course until this is achieved, although we recommend students study beyond this score. There are various courses to follow to do this, depending on the English level at the start (which we will assess upon arrival).

The IELTS exam is as important as any A level subjects, Foundation course, BTEC qualification or GCSE and must be taken alongside these, because the demonstration of academic English skills of a certain level (generally 6.5) is a pre-requisite for entry to all good universities. Further to this, universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial and UCL often ask for 7.0/7.5.

This exam focusses not only on the four main language skills areas (reading, writing, speaking and istening) but also on the academic learning skills required through the sixth form, into university and beyond; for example, discursive essay writing, argument analysis and note-taking.

What is Academic English @ DLD?

We believe in an integrated skills and topic based approach to learning, as language is learnt best in context. Wherever possible, we will link the relevance of our lessons to the other subjects across the curriculum. We believe strongly in working together with other subjects, in order to help you more easily, and successfully, understand and work with the language of your subject. Therefore, you will see strong connections between how all subjects present and work with language, so that you can have a collective and consistent learning experience.

How you will progress?

At interview, the College will establish which main course you should study for and place you at the correct point in this progression table for the Academic English component:

IELTS:5.5 – 6.5+
FCEFirst Certificate in English (Pre-sessional, Years 10 and 11)
PETPreliminary English Test (Pre-sessional, Years 10 and 11)
KETKey English Test (Pre-sessional, Years 10 and 11)

These exams are all paper-based and externally assessed, with an even ‘mark weight’ balance across the four main skills areas.

The future

Studying with us means living and learning in English for international success. We will support you to achieve to your highest potential linguistically in order for you to succeed in all courses and subjects.

This is an ideal time in your life to become fluent in another language, adding an invaluable skill set for future work, whilst also expanding your intellectual and cultural perspectives significantly.

“I think DLD is a great place to study English. When I first came, I felt homesick and scared by the cultural differences in England. With the help of the friendly and professional teachers, my confidence soon grew and my English developed quickly from a low level to near fluency. It is no exaggeration to say that I could not have gone to Edinburgh University without the care and attention the DLD English teachers gave me. I will never forget them.”

Xiao Zhong – DLD Graduate

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