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British Council

Exploring English: Language and Culture

British Council via FutureLearn


On this online English course, you will learn about British life and culture, and improve your English language skills and knowledge.

Through short videos, you will learn about different popular culture topics as well as ways of life in the UK, including English as a global language, the countryside, music, and literature. Filmed in Great Britain, these videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English. You will also examine some of the language used in the videos and analyse its use and learn how to use it again in practice.

This English language course draws on the British Council’s expertise in online learning. On this British Council courses page you can find out more about the other courses they offer for people who are learning and teaching English.

You can find out more about this course in Chris Cavey’s post for the FutureLearn blog: 3 tips for getting the most out of Exploring English.

This course is for non-native English speakers who have studied English to around intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR).


  • English: the global language
    • Getting started
    • Why is English a global language?
    • Technology and language learning
    • Language focus: passives
    • Useful expressions
    • Summary of Week 1
  • Music: making a difference
    • Introducing the topic - British music
    • Music and society
    • Language focus: clauses
    • Live Music
    • Summary of Week 2
  • Countryside: a green and pleasant land
    • Introducing the topic - what is Britain like?
    • Looking at the countryside
    • The United Kingdom
    • Language focus: description
    • Summary of Week 3
  • Literature: books and identity
    • Introducing the topic - Literature
    • The Globe Theatre
    • Language focus: comparatives and superlatives
    • Roald Dahl
    • Summary of Week 4

Taught by

Chris Cavey


4.7 rating, based on 849 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 460 ratings

Start your review of Exploring English: Language and Culture

  • Anonymous
    "Exploring English: Language and Culture" is a fantastic course in four weeks that will improve our productive (writing and speaking) and receptive (reading and listening) skills. Every week deals with a different subject: week 1 explores English l…
  • This course is quite good especially the listening materials. I would like to see more detailed explanation of grammar rules and more grammar tests. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of growth in English.

    With the best wishes,

  • Anonymous
    I am yet to complete the course but can't really thank class central and future learn enough for the kind of detailed resources they have provided access to for each week's modules. I was only wondering if the comments that the students post are re…
  • Amy Hevia Santos
    The course is very useful for me. It is helping me to develop reading, writing and listening skills. Additionally, to increase my knowledge of grammar, new vocabulary and refresh some aspects that I already know, but I had not worked on it for a long time. This course has awakened the interest to dedicate me to training skills a little bit every day. This will be a goal for me from today on. Thank you!!!
    Thanks, one more time to British Council for this opportunity to participate in this free course. I have tried to make the most of it. I feel that at the end of this course my ear for English has improved a lot. I'm so glad for it! I hope to take more courses with you!
  • Anonymous
    I am very happy that I am doing this course, its great in the way that has been created.
    The videos, the information, the explaining of the subjects make the course very interesting as it is not just a follow course where you repeat a word or sentence a hundred times just to remember it. They are real conversations, normal people on daily routines, and I think that is the beauty of this.

    I am loving it!!!

    Thank you
  • Anonymous
    I am very happy that I am doing this course, its great in the way that has been created.
    The videos, the information, the explaining of the subjects make the course very interesting as it is not just a follow course where you repeat a word or sentence a hundred times just to remember it. They are real conversations, normal people on daily routines, and I think that is the beauty of this.

    I am loving it!!!

    Thank you
  • Very useful for english learners, very well organized, structured by topics it helps to improve and learn grammar, new vocabulary as well as english pronuntiation.
  • Anonymous
    I reallly enjoyed this course. As a Latin American English student I learned much of the English Culture along the coure. Since the British Countrysides, which I had a more surface view, the unique view and description of the landscapes are maginc a…
  • Anonymous
    I think our topic about language and culture is a very rich one. The videos recorded by the presenters and editors are really great as they direct the learners to the main point of each topic. I like much that concept of learning the language by di…
  • Anonymous
    So interesting as a course; i still in week two and i learnt many things;get new vocabulary;and knew new information about the UK i am really enjoying it;

  • Anonymous
    I like the structure and the topics. I strongly recommend it. I think is very useful to refresh your English and learn a bit more.
  • Gerard Boyer
    I found this course very interesting and enriching. It allowed me to better understand what the British language represents and the link between language and culture which in my opinion is indissoluble. It has also allowed me to discover a beautiful region(Lake district) and makes me want to know more about the English countryside. The intervention of the educators brings an important support for the understanding but also allows to feel guided. I also really appreciated the discussion at the end of the course and the many recommended books, for someone like me who doesn't like to read, it is an incentive to read.

  • Anonymous
    It is a really useful, intersting and helpful course. I'm very happy that l finished this course " language and Culture". l have learned a lot of Things like british Culture, music and literature, and also some of the basic and important grammar. I think my language is improved a little bit by this course. And also I enjoed in it because of variation of steps some of it is video and the other is discussion and also there are quiz. I guss this course will add maybe 30% of student knowledge. So l recommend students to register in this course that well make them have knowledge about language and Culture.
  • thanks alot to brilliant teachers who shears their knowledge about music and culture I think that it is really important to know the culture of the country which language you are teaching in order to be able to teach students in right way and make them understand what kind of people are using the language they are learning and ofcourse the music and song are really helpful in teaching and developing love of pupils toward the language itself.
  • The entire course is designed as an A1+ to A2 level listening comprehension exercise.
    Week 1 = how it feels to speak English + the active vs the passive voice
    Week 2 = British music + relative pronouns and relative clauses
    Week 3 = the British countryside + gradable and non-gradable adjectives
    Week 4 = British literature + comparatives and superlatives
  • Anonymous
    I truly love all courses offered by British Council via FuturLearn: I can tell that the contents are so rich and up-to-date. Educators put together information that is so accurate and clear. They also provide extra links and one can explore interesting materials that would have not been discovered otherwise. Thanks for the great opportunity to improve my English and to discover breathtaking content about British culture. Looking forward to continuing to learn with British Council. ♥
  • Anonymous
    It’s an engaging course taking as a starting point our feelings towards language and the importance of the indivisible union of language and culture, as culture is reflected through language by means of speech in verse or prose. We learned in the co…
  • Anonymous
    I am really enjoying this course. English and England are not so new anymore as I have been living here for the past 15 years. But I am still learning and I can only imagine how amazing it would have been if I had had this opportunity. Also the chance to find out about what others are doing to learn a new language is really insightful. I loved the Lyric Straining app idea.... It is fun and you do learn something new! thank you so much for this course.
  • Profile image for Elhabib Elkouri
    Elhabib Elkouri
    I have learned many useful ideas on how language and culture are interconnected.And I found out that language as well as culture are skills that need to be gained.I also get to know how British people see music.And how music is used to reach out to disavantaged peolple and how it can impact other's lives
  • Anonymous
    This course was great, too short for me. I hope British Coucil will propose more courses maybe on literature, pronunciation.
    I really enjoy this course, it was interesting and I will see in more details all the references and links given to us. Thank you so much! Thank you to British Council! I loved it

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