“Academic English is a second language for everyone”

Why is language important?

  • Even if English is your first language or a strong second language…
  • Even if you can speak English fluently and understand the English that you hear…
  • Even if you have already been educated in English before your degree…

…the language you need to write (and speak) successfully at University needs to be learned. Just as you can learn how to structure better assignments and use sources, you need the right kind of language to do these things—language is part of these skills, not just an extra.

For most people this does not come naturally; it has to be developed. Many students who are confident in their spoken English still have difficulties for example, in their writing. Often these difficulties are similar to those faced by students whose first language is not English. It’s all language.

Ultimately, in order to show what we know and express what we think, the more language we have to do that with, the better.

Our offer

We offer three kinds of help:

  • Learning Skills Hub content: This important first step in engaging with online development and will help you get more from the live sessions.
  • Workshops/embedded sessions: interactive sessions (face-to-face or online) with tasks & a chance to ask questions. ‘Embedded’ sessions are usually integrated within the teaching of a particular module or programme.
  • Tutorials: a chance to discuss your particular needs. The result of this will usually be suggested follow-up work (maybe using the Learning Skills Hub content).
  • Free English Language Classes: taught by trainee teachers, these classes provide students with the opportunity to enhance their teaching skills while offering high-quality English language classes free of charge to the local community. See below for more information


Free English classes at Canterbury Christ Church University

Our Free English classes are taught by students who are studying for their Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) qualification and their MA in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL), these classes provide students with the opportunity to enhance their teaching skills while offering high-quality English language classes free of charge to the local community.

The classes offered are to improve your English and are suitable for both high and low levels of English. Unfortunately, these sessions will not be suitable for complete beginners.

PLEASE NOTE: Classes will be conducted on campus. Although these lessons are not generally recorded, we may seek your permission to record the occasional lesson.

If you, a colleague, family member or friend is interested in attending these classes as a volunteer and are 18 years or over, please contact the service to register your interest.

As these classes are on campus, we will be asking for passport information prior to the classes starting.


Privacy notice: Canterbury Christ Church University is the data controller for this personal data. You may read further information here regarding how the University processes your personal data here.

We will advertise more sessions later in the semester in response to students’ needs. Embedded sessions are arranged in cooperation with the Learning Developers and academic subject staff.

Workshops may be aimed at particular kinds of students, e.g. within certain subject areas, or relating to certain kinds of writing.



This provision is offered by the Centre for Language and Linguistics. However, students needing tutorial help will normally be referred onto us by the other Learning Developers or academic subject staff.

Our email: academic.english@canterbury.ac.uk

Why not start exploring the Learning Skills Hub resources, such as our module on Proofing and Editing.


Last updated: September 2021