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Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.

Which is the right long-term English language course for me?

With the wide range of English courses available, choosing the right course for you can be difficult. So we have created this easy to follow guide to help you!

First, it is advisable to ask yourself a few questions, the main one being, WHY do you want to study English?

Another thing to bear in mind is the time you have to study.

  • How long are you able to join a course for?
  • One or two weeks or more long term, over several months or more?
This will depend on work and family commitments among other factors.

Two of our most popular courses are the General English course and the Academic Year course.

So what are the main differences between the two?

The General English Course:

The General English course is for those students looking to learn and improve their English skills for personal or travel reasons. As the name suggests, the General English course covers topics on every day life. The course focuses on fluency and helps students to become confident fluent speakers with optimum opportunities to practice speaking English in the classroom. Students also develop their core language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and improve their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation skills.

General English courses start every Monday at every level on the CEFR. Students can choose how many weeks they wish to book, from a minimum of 1 week and for as many weeks as you wish to study. For students booking 8 weeks or more on our Long-Term General English course the price of the course per week will be at a discounted rate. There is a maximum of 12 students per class.

The General English course includes 20 (15 hours) group lessons a week. For a supplement students can choose to take General English 30 (22.5 hours) group lessons per week. There is also the option of Intensive English which includes 20 (15 hours) of General English group lessons and 10 (7.5 hours) individual one-to-one lessons per week.

For students aged 30 or over there is also the option of taking General English 30 for 30+ at ETI, ESE’s sister school (located within the ESE building). This course includes 30(22.5 hours) of group lessons per week and is designed for adults in the 30+ age bracket. There is a maximum of 8 students in a class.


The Academic Year Course:

The Academic Year Course is for students who want to improve their English skills for a specific reason such as work or future career prospects or to obtain an English proficiency certificate for entry onto an Academic course or institution.

Courses start every 6 weeks with a number of start dates throughout the year, and can be booked for 12, 24, 30 or 36 weeks.

The Academic Year Course includes 30 (22.5 hours) of group lessons a week and consists of two main components, The Language Stream and the Specialist Stream. In the mornings students study together in the Language Stream, where they focus on improving their core language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) along with language knowledge, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.  In the afternoon, students can choose from three different streams, depending on why they are studying English.

The first Stream is the Academic Stream. This stream is for students who are focused on their academic studies and who are either planning to sit for the IELTS, Cambridge or TOEFL-iBT, TOEICTrinity,  enroll on the International Foundation Diploma or furthering their studies at an English Speaking University. This stream concentrates on academic skills such as study skills, summarizing and  planning and writing essays. A minimum language level of B1 is required to join this stream.

Next is the Work stream. Students who want to improve their English skills specifically for work purposes can choose this stream. The Work stream focuses on using English for Business such as C.V writing skills, apply for jobs and job interview skills such as answering questions in an interview, writing business correspondence and e-mails. Students who want to prepare for a Business Exam such as TOEFL-iBT, TOEIC, BEC or BULATS can also choose this stream. A minimum language level of A2 is required to join this stream.

Third is the Fluency Stream.  This stream is for those students looking to develop their fluency and become more confident speakers of English. The fluency stream gives students a more structured alternative to the long-term General English course using communication activities based on engaging and relevant topics. This stream is open to students of all English levels.

Students also have the option to transfer to an exam preparation course in the last 10 weeks of the Academic Year course if they would like to obtain an internationally recognised certificate.

Again there are a maximum of 12 students per class.


Which course will I progress on faster?

There are a number of different factors that will determine your rate of progress and which of the core skills you will progress faster in. These include how committed you are to learning and studying English, whether you have studied English before, and how willing you are to practice English outside of the classroom.

Studying English at ESE in Malta gives students full-immersion into the language whereby students have to use English in order to communicate in their day-to-day lives, not just inside the classroom. This combined with a willingness to learn and study will see students make good progress.

With regards to the General English course, students on this course develop and improve their fluency skills much faster and as a general rule, can expect to move up a level after 8 weeks of study.

With the Academic Year Course, equal focus is given to the core language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and students can expect to see an improvement in each of these skills. As a guide students can expect to move up a level after 10-12 weeks of study.

Still can’t decide? Why not combine the two by studying a 12 week Academic Year Course in ESE Malta with a few weeks of General English at our sister school EiY, in York UK! You can choose to study either in Malta or the UK first, extending your study travel experience with two destinations!

For more information visit:

Whatever course you decide to choose, we look forward to welcoming you to ESE and helping you to achieve success in your English study objectives.


Samantha Dixon - ESE Malta Author: Samantha Dixon

About the Author: Samantha is British and has taught English as a foreign language in several different countries including Thailand and Finland. She has been with ESE since March 2016 and has recently joined the Marketing team as a Marketing Executive. Samantha enjoys being creative, painting and writing when time allows. She also enjoys spending time with her 3 year old son, soaking up the Maltese sun.

About this blog

Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.  Please feel free to write to us with any comments, suggestions or any articles you may have written and would like to share with us and our students.