English and Examinations

1. English connects people with the world and builds trust for the UK.

2. The British Council is a world authority in English language teaching, learning and assessment.

3. Our work in English and examinations generates millions for the UK economy and strengthens the reputation of the UK as a leading provider of educational opportunities.

The English language builds trust and enhances the UK’s international standing

• As one of the UK’s greatest assets, the English language has a central role in building the UK’s international cultural relations.

• English language learning creates life-changing opportunities, supports the UK’s contribution to international development, opens new markets and improves security in conflict zones.

• Our research has consistently found that the English language is the UK’s most important soft power asset.

The British Council is a world authority in English language teaching, learning and assessment

The British Council has a world-leading reputation for providing high-quality English language learning opportunities worldwide, raising the global profile of UK expertise in English language teaching.

We deliver English lessons in over 80 teaching centres and partner premises in more than 50 countries, reinforcing the UK’s position as the home of the English language.

We provide a growing portfolio of English learning products for those who learn English through the internet, mobile devices, broadcast media and print.

We help improve the quality of teaching in national school and higher and further education systems through policy work and teacher training programmes.

Through a combination of our free-access and paid-for services, and by involving UK providers in meeting the demand for English, we benefit teachers and learners worldwide.

Through our English classes and examinations we share the culture of the UK – our literature, drama and film and television.

Research shows that people who take English classes or sit examinations with us develop significantly greater trust in the UK and its people.

English and examinations support prosperity

The UK’s internationally recognised qualifications open doors to opportunities in education, work and mobility for millions of people each year, promoting the use of UK qualifications as a global benchmark.

We support the UK’s English language teaching sector, worth £3 billion annually by promoting the UK as a leading destination for English language learners.

Our examinations work generates £80 million in earnings each year for UK examination boards.

By providing access to highly valued UK qualifications, with the reassurance of integrity, we build on the UK’s reputation for world-class educational standards.

Facts

In 2014-15:

  • 369,000 learners took part in our teaching centre classes and we reached 231 million people via broadcasts, print or digital English teaching;
  • We delivered 2.5 million IELTS tests;
  • We worked with 2.9 million examination candidates in more than 850 towns and cities worldwide.; and
  • We worked with 13.7 million teachers and learners in online communities. Over 109 million people accessed our range of online English pages.

We accredit over 550 UK schools, colleges and universities as providers of quality English language learning and link them to education marketing in 58 countries.

Our global English language assessment service, Aptis, supports organisations to assess the English language abilities of their people. It has been taken in 80 countries since its launch in August 2012.

Working with the UK’s leading social learning platform, FutureLearn, we produced two new MOOCs. Breaking previous records for audience participation on FutureLearn, these courses gave over 290,000 people free access to global learning opportunities.

We supported 60,000 Syrian refugee children experiencing the trauma of displacement to acquire the language skills they need to access education in Lebanon.

Our Word on the Street television series and radio programmes reached nearly 136 million people in 2014-15.

We launched an English teacher training project to help raise the level of Burma’s education system to international standards. Funded by the British Council and DFID, and delivered with Voluntary Service Overseas, the project will support over 1,500 state teacher educators across the country.

We offer a range of free and ‘paid for’ services to private sector providers of English language teaching to support their expansion in new markets, including market intelligence and networking events.