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British Council

Exploring English: Food and Culture

British Council via FutureLearn

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Explore British food and culture to develop your English language skills

This four-week course from the British Council will help you practise your English language skills while you learn more about modern culture in the UK.

Explore traditional British food

When you think about British food you might think about roast beef or fish and chips, but this course will show you how food from all over the world has also become part of British culture. You’ll even learn how to cook chicken tikka masala, sometimes described as ‘Britain’s national dish’.

You’ll also see the international influence on modern British eating habits by looking at the exciting restaurant culture in the UK and finding out what kind of takeaway food people prefer to order.

Improve your listening skills by listening to authentic British voices

At every point in the course you’ll hear English from British people describing what they eat, who cooks their meals, and where they go to shop for food.

They will also welcome you into their kitchens to show you around and cook with you. The course videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English.

As well as traditional British eating habits, you’ll hear about how things are changing.

You’ll learn about the rise in vegetarianism and veganism and discover that many people are growing their own food in gardens and allotments.

Improve your English and cooking skills

This course gives you a great opportunity to practise your English and improve your ability to talk about food and cooking as well as how to cook some tasty British dishes!

This English language course is aimed at intermediate students, at B1 on the CEFR or equivalent.

It would particularly suit learners who want to know more about the UK and British culture.


  • What is British food?
    • Welcome
    • Breakfast
    • The UK and the world
    • South Asian food in the UK
    • Chicken tikka masala
    • Review
  • Changing habits
    • Lunch
    • Healthy eating, vegans and vegetarians
    • Grow your own
    • Vegetarian shepherd's pie
    • Review
  • Shopping and cooking
    • Doing the cooking
    • Learning to cook
    • Food shopping
    • Takeaways
    • This week's recipe
    • Review
  • Special occasions
    • Sweet things
    • Tea or coffee?
    • Special occasions
    • Christmas dinner
    • Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland
    • Review

Taught by

Chris Cavey


4.9 rating, based on 69 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at FutureLearn based on 102 ratings

Start your review of Exploring English: Food and Culture

  • Anonymous
    When registering for this course, I expected to watch a lot of cooking videos for tasty dishes, which wasn’t quite fulfilled - every week, there’s only one cooking video with recipe. But unexpectedly, and that in a positive way, I got to learn a lot…
  • Anonymous
    In this 4 weeks course, I learnt the history behind the British food, how a typical British kitchen looks like, the iconic British food, fish and chips's history, the preparation of Christmas dinner, some informations of local foods in different par…
  • Anonymous
    I decided to take this course mainly because I wanted to break down stereotypes about British cuisine and culture. I live in Italy and here people think British food is unhealthy and quite bland. However, I've found out that there are many local dishes, traditions and international flavours that make your cuisine unique. I am looking forward to cooking the Shepherds's pie and all the other scrummy recipes.
  • Anonymous
    It's an interesting way to learn about English cuisine, culture and language. Videos and sharing recipes makes the course easy to follow.

    The course followers/ students are invited to share traditional and popular recipes from their home country which makes the course even more interesting.

    The diversity and the origin of the recipes are also well explained. Interesting to learn about the oregin of Chicken Tikka Masala. Originally from India but the recipe adjustment with spicy creamy sauce the dish become an Indian English dish.

    It's a course I will recommend to others who are interesting in English cuisine ,culture and language.
  • Quality content, really. I have learnt a lot. Every lesson has a video, text and then some questions or interactive activities at the end for language practice. There are also many links to articles and useful websites for further reading practice. Moreover, the course is not only useful to improve your English, but also to learn more about cooking and English culture.
  • Anonymous
    It is an amazingly delicious course that brings people together and delivers the aromas of culinary delights to different parts of the world. And what makes this experience unique is an inspiring interaction between the educators and the participants, which encourages further creativity in the kitchen. Everyone will find a dish to taste on this course as the incredible varieties of lovely recipes are on the menu that this wonderful course has to offer. Join the course, explore and enjoy the food of the British people and discover the British culture from a totally new perspective.
  • Anonymous
    This course is a detailed and planned visit to British cuisine. However, you must understand that the origin of it has roots in different countries, so do not be surprised if you find dishes from other countries. You will find people from all over the world, and your cooking book will be filled with so many new exciting, tasty, delicious recipes. The educators are willing to provide you with tons of information humbly and nicely. Besides, you will get to prepare mouth-watering recipes and share your results on Padlet. You can do the course at your own pace and enjoy every single step of it. Isn´t it inviting?
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course very much since it covers various topics around food and culture which is exactly what I wanted to learn through this course. I also enjoyed to see responses left by instructors to my comments.
  • Anonymous
    I learned much about British foods far more than I expected.
    Also, the video clips were really fun to watch.
    I want to try sandwiches that British people make at first.

    Thank you so much!
  • Anonymous
    Here is my first time joining an online course, and I'm glad that it's successful for me. Food and culture are 2 things I love to explore more, joining this course not just help me get more information, knowlegde, improve my English but also it's an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world.

    Thanks to the educator for those lovely instruction videos and each lesson of the course. One of my favourite times of the day is learning English in this course.

    I just want to say thank you all. I'm glad to be a part of this course.
  • Iryna Shcherban
    I have always been interested in British culture, traditions and food. I‘ve never been in the UK yet, and hope that some day will habe a chance to explore it. But I am happy, that I took this course to the end, as it is very informative, interesting and positive! I‘ve learnt a lot, found answers to many of my questions regarding the UK‘s popular dishes. Special thanks for the videos, workshops, resumes! The educators did the great job! I wish I could go through the course or similar one once more. I further recommend it to all interested learners!
  • Anonymous
    I found out a lot of new things in this course. There are a lot of video recipes that I would like to try. I really enjoyed it. I liked everything.
  • Anonymous
    The course has been excellent because I have had the opportunity to learn or remember vocabulary related to ingredients, utensils, places to buy, etc.

    There has been vegan and vegetarian recipes.

    What I liked the most are the photos and recipes from different countries on padlet.

    I was also pleased that educators did read the comments and answer our questions in the Q&A sessions.

    Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    This course is very interesting. I learnt a lot of things about English Culture and food. I have found new recipes to try and I am wery surprised about English recipes as shepherd's pie. I learnt a lot about healthy advice for eating, too.

    Meanwhile I study English language and improve my reading skill and my listening skill. Thank you very much.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very well structured because the sequence of activities helps the person to stay interested. It is very useful for practicing the four skills along with vocabulary, expressions, and everyday situations. Also the people who appear in the videos, being of different ages, give the idea that the subject is interesting for all ages.
  • Profile image for STANLEY SAMSON
    I really feel that this course helps anyone who loves food, cuisines and culture. I sometimes felt I were living in the UK while doing the course. Conversational chat made me feel proud to share my countries greatness with regard to food and tradition. But food lovers, should see that they don't get addicted to the sites of cooking recipes.
  • Anonymous
    What a wonderful course I am doing for pure pleasure a distraction from tv. It is the intention to help people with English with the addition of history and culture. Students or people from abroad would really enjoy this course. They do looking at feedback keep up the good work!
  • Anonymous
    Great topics and amazing contents! The comments are really interesting too.

    I've learnt lots of words and I'll try cooking at least Yorkshire puddings and Tina's shepherd's pie!

    Then, I'm looking forward to being in England to have a fry up breakfast!

    Thank you so much!

    See you on third week!

  • Anonymous
    I loved the course! The content was not only useful but also interesting. Thank you for sharing traditional British recipes with us. I really liked historical and cultural components of the course. Now I have a lot of stories to tell my students.
  • Anonymous
    The course is a wonderful combination of English language learning, British culture and cooking. It provides necessary information to learn how to cook, to learn the language of cooking and at the same time to get info about the British cuisine.

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