General English (20) is the Standard English course which runs every morning (Monday to Friday) from 9:00 – 13:00 and equates to 20 hours of study per week. This means students start class at 9am sharp, and then have their first break of 20 minutes from 10:40 until 11:00. The second break takes place at 11:50 for ten minutes, and some of you may change classes, and possibly teachers, for your conversation class which will take place from 12:00 – 13:00. This General English course will focus on the skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and grammar. The class generally follows a course book (which is included in the price of your course and does not cost extra), although teachers have enough flexibility to tailor to the class needs, substitute and supplement with many different types of materials. Start dates for these classes are on any Monday and classes never exceed a maximum of 18 students. Generally, however, classes are smaller than this with an average of 8 students per class.
If a student opts for afternoon classes, then they can choose from a range of electives. Electives currently on offer are Listening & Pronunciation, Writing & Grammar, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and Business English. If you have chosen the semi-intensive package then this means you will study English for 25 hours per week. You can choose to take one of the electives which will take place in the afternoons, twice a week. In other words, if you study General English in the morning, then you can choose Listening & Pronunciation, for example, which will take place on a Monday and a Wednesday. The rest of the time you are free. If you have chosen the intensive package (studying 30 hours per week), then you can take two of the electives on offer. In other words, you can take General English in the mornings, then Mondays and Wednesday afternoons you can take Listening & Pronunciation and Tuesdays and Thursdays you can take Writing & Grammar. Please note that the EAP and Business English electives are only available to students in the intermediate or higher levels.
Afternoon electives start at 13:30 (after a half hour lunch break) and continue until 15.10 for a short break. Class recommences after 10 minutes and students are finished at 16:00.
IELTS and TOEFL exam classes follow the same schedule as above, but these classes are focused on exam preparation. These courses can be combined with any of the electives on offer in the afternoons.
Cambridge ESOL exam classes also follow the same schedule, but these courses have set start and end dates because the exams take place less frequently throughout the year. For more details on course and exam dates, please visit our website page.
All our courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced teachers who are committed to delivering the highest quality of English to our students. There is no class on a Friday afternoon because we reserve this time for teacher and staff meeting where school matters are discussed such as exam dates and content, students who wish to move to the next English level or change morning classes, absenteeism and late coming, registers and other student or class issues. After the meeting, teachers very often stay for CPD (Continuous Professional development) where either the Director of Studies, Juliette, or teachers themselves share latest developments, news and trends in the TEFL industry or share ideas for the classroom with one another, such as integrating certain technology in the classroom or specific techniques.
In summary, students can choose between studying 20 hours (mornings only), 25 hours (mornings and 2 afternoon per week) and 30 hours per week (mornings and 4 afternoons per week). We also offer a set package for private lessons, and are always happy to assist in finding the options that best for you.
A word of advice from the staff at the UCT English Language Centre – intensive English (30 hours per week) requires a lot of dedication and the school is very strict in terms of class attendance. So, if you would like to study for 8 months or more, it may be in your interest to break up your study plan and either slowly increase from 20 – 25 – 30 hours as the end of your course draws near, or start off with 30 and reduce towards the end. You are welcome to discuss the options with us so we can find a suitable study plan which you will be able to get the most out of.