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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 840 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 460 ratings

Start your review of Exploring English: Language and Culture

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    "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,

  • 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.
  • 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…
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    I have studied with Future Learn for many years and everytime I have just learned so much and made friends with some of the other learners.
    A plus is the great way grammar is taught and expressed.
    Sometimes, the answers are very easy (the quiz about general lit) but they were for me - I am a addicted book worm but most of the times it is not so obvious.
    Thank you so much about your courses.
    Danielle Fitussi
  • Anonymous
    I like this course. I am really feel that I am learning a lot . I have learned new words, idioms and I have the opportunity to listen native teachers . Nowadays english is spoken for lots of people all over the world and through this course on lin…
  • 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
    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.
  • María Isabel completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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
    This course has been very helpful so far. I practice, I learn new linguistic forms and all this, singing, getting to know English culture and discussing current and interesting topics for everyone. Thank you.
  • 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
    Thank you so much for this course, Exploring English, it was really helpful and interesting. The comments of the participants were great and all the videos were amazing. I could review some grammar rules in the 4 weeks of the course. In week 1, the…
  • 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
  • Anonymous
    I want to thank all teachers for this course. This is titanic work which needs a large number of inspiration, desire, education, creativity,varied knowledge.

    I'm glad that I joined it,because it was absolutely novel experience. I believe that every experience in our life is useful. I think it wasn't my last course and I will try more and more.

    What I really liked in our course was diverse themes. It wasn't only grammar rules or long articles about culture. It looks like interactive game.

    I seriously reccomend this and other courses, because they helps us to maintain contact with people from different countries, of course improve our language and knowledge,push our boundaries.

  • Anonymous
    I have enjoyed doing this course. I have really appreciated when working with grammar, the links provided have been very useful. The course is a glimpse of what I have understood to be British culture. I really recommend it. Thanks to the British Council and Educator Team for this opportunity.
  • Anonymous
    I think that this kind of courses helps people to express their thoughts and share experiences. You can learn from the distance and connect to the course at any time and do at your own rhythm and take you time reviewing the points that you need the most, great way to learn.
  • Anonymous
    I have learned how to active and passive voice, pronoun and pronoun close. The role of music project

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