Are you an international student keen on studying in Singapore? If you are, we suspect that one of the considerations holding some of you back is fluency in the English language. That’s probably why you’re here, isn’t it?
Or are you a local looking to improve your English in general? Or seeking a qualification for other reasons?
Not to fret! The best way to pick up a language is to practise it. Get the guidance of experienced speakers by taking an English course in Singapore! We’ve rustled up a list of courses that will help you in your quest to learn English like a pro.
Before we jump right in…
If you have never spoken to a Singaporean, or been to the Lion City before, the heavy Singaporean English (Singlish) accent and manner of speaking might throw you off. Here’s an example:
We advise you to not worry so much about this: most Singaporeans can speak proper English just fine! Singlish is very much a source of pride for many locals due to its efficiency and blend of cultures, so some exposure to it beforehand might help you feel less out of place!
If you need some help, here’s an online Singlish dictionary you can consult whenever you’re in a state of confusion. Like when someone orders teh kosong/siu dai/c/whatever else, something even locals can sometimes mess up, too.
*All course fees are for 2018/19’ intakes and subject to changes depending on the school; fees do not include misc. fees. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated. We are only looking at the full-time courses. This is only a list and not an endorsement of the courses listed, so please do adequate research of your own before choosing any course!
British Council (Singapore)
With 200+ offices in more than 100 countries, we think that it’s highly unlikely that you’ve not heard of the British Council. If you haven’t, though, here’s some background information! Established in 1934, the British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Their outreach comprises of arts and educational events, resources for those keen in studying in the UK, as well as (naturally!) teaching English. All lessons are conducted face-to-face.
Programme Duration: 2-52 weeks, depending on placement test results. 20 class hours + 5 personal study hours per week.
Accreditation: The British Council (Singapore) is EduTrust certified, as well as ConsumerTrust and TrustSg certified.
Curriculum: The SMART English courses aim to build strong English foundations in its students while improving their soft skills, too. What you learn is dependent on which stage you’re at, but courses generally cover these five components: Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary, as well as Pronunciation. For a better idea, see here!
Course Fees: Fees are fixed at 755/week
Canadian Education College
- Certificate in English course
The Canadian Education College (CEC) specializes in teaching English and is located in town at Somerset. Founded in 1997, the CEC’s teachers are all native speakers of English hailing from countries such as Canada and the USA! Their Certificate in English course is a course that aims to help international students seeking a tertiary education in Singapore, so we’re listing it here!
Programme Duration: 12 weeks full-time
Accreditation: The Canadian Education College is EduTrust certified.
Curriculum: The course covers Grammar, Writing, Reading, Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary and Pronunciation components.
Course Fees: 2,650 for Elementary to Advanced 2
- Certificate in English course
Education First (EF) was first established in Sweden in 1965 and is now in 116 countries across America, Asia and Europe. In its Singapore language school, located in central Singapore, the campus hosts facilities such as internet kiosks and lounges, topped with a multi-purpose rooftop terrace. EF Singapore also provides accommodation options for its students, if necessary.
EF also runs language courses, educational travel excursions and cultural exchanges, which you can check out here.
Programme Duration: 5-52 weeks, every Monday
Accreditation: EF Singapore is EduTrust certified.
Curriculum: Classes are carried out through a mix of lectures and general language classes/iLab language classes in the form of group discussions, written exercises, role plays, and so on. To evaluate your progress, you’ll take a test every 6 weeks.
Course Fees: (2016/17 rates) please refer here for details
inlingua School of Languages
- Maxi/Mega-Intensive English Full-time Programmes
Established since 1972, the inlingua School of Languages has an amazing course catalogue: it teaches 17 different languages from Vietnamese to Hindi! Naturally, English is one of these, with the course employing interactive techniques and technology as well as native speakers for teachers. The school is conveniently located in Orchard, in the heart of town! Do note, though, that inlingua’s method of teaching focuses the most on speaking (in addition to listening, reading and writing).
Programme Duration: 4 weeks per level, 25-35 hours per week depending on chosen level of intensity, 5 hours per day or 5 hours a day plus 2 hours per day on individual basis.
Accreditation: The school is EduTrust certified.
Curriculum: Please refer to this for more information
Course Fees: 2060 per level
Nanyang Institute of Management
The Nanyang Institute of Management is close to two decades old today, having been founded in 2001. Offering a plethora of courses at various levels from certificate to post-graduate, their Certificate of General English program has been tailored to cater to different levels of English proficiency.
Programme Duration: 6 months full-time
Accreditation: The institute is EduTrust certified.
Curriculum: The course covers reading, writing, speaking and listening. Lessons will comprise of tests, presentations, practical assignments and/or tutorial participation, seminars, as well as workshops.
Course Fees: 8,453.00 (with GST)
DIMENSIONS International College
DIMENSIONS International College was set up in 1980, so it’s been around for longer than you might think! Currently, the College has three campuses catering to its different programmes; the Certificate in Academic English course is conducted in its city campus at River Valley Road. This course is designed for students who desire to communicate better in English, as well as those who desire to further their studies in both local or overseas institutions.
Programme Duration: Full-time, 6 months per level
Accreditation: The college is EduTrust certified and is part of the Singapore Association for Private Education (SAPE).
Curriculum: The Beginner level of the course covers topics such as question words and simple sentence structures (grammar), as well as commonly used words and phrases for topics like transport and travel (vocab). At the highest level (advanced), students learn how to read and break down lengthy, complex texts and will be challenged to use what they have learnt in previous levels to stage role plays, for example.
Course Fees: 6,612.60 (inclusive of course materials and other misc. fees)
- IELTS courses
The English Explorer Language School, as its name implies, specializes in giving English language training to students of all ages. Courses on offer include conversational business English and exam-prep courses like GCE O-levels/GCSE A-levels, as well as IETLS and TOEFL courses. The school offers trial classes for those who want to if both parties are a fit. If you’re taking IELTS, this might be a course of interest.
Programme Duration: 10 weeks, 2 hours per Sunday
Accreditation: The school is not EduTrust certified, but achieved the Top Asia 80 Brand Award for Language Training in 2016.
Curriculum: Please enquire directly with the school for more information.
Course Fees: 450 for 10 lessons
LASALLE College of the Arts
This is a niche course, especially for those looking to delve into the local arts scene. Suitable for those looking to pursue a tertiary education or improve their English, students will learn through interactive classes and pick up study skills along the process. The course also includes study trips to places of interest in Singapore, and encourages attendance to talks, exhibitions, and performances. Completion of this programme will leave you with English standard equivalent to IELTS 5.5, the minimum requirement to take a Diploma with LASALLE.
Programme Duration: 12 months full-time (Beginner to Advanced levels), 20 hours of class per week
Accreditation: The school is EduTrust certified.
Curriculum: This is a four-level programme, going from Beginner -> Lower Intermediate -> Intermediate -> Advanced. The course covers the areas of 1) General English, 2) English for Academic Purposes, 3) Study Skills as well as 4) English Language for the Arts.
(The beginners level, however, is only open to those applying for the school’s Diploma programmes and the Foundation Certificate in Visual Arts.)
Course Fees: 14,300 for beginner to advanced levels, 10,725 for lower-intermediate to advanced levels,
7,150 for intermediate to advanced, 3,575 for advanced
CA International College
CA International College (CAIC) has been teaching English courses to students ever since 2009, offering bespoke courses customised to students’ needs. Courses on offer include conversational English courses. Business English courses as well as courses for those looking to teach English as a career (CELTA qualification, which is awarded by the University of Cambridge)!
Programme Duration: 12-21 weeks depending on selected courses
Accreditation: The school is not EduTrust certified
Curriculum: How to write discursive/opinion essays, interpret and describe graphs, answer comprehension questions and so on
Course Fees: 498 to 3.880 depending on course duration and chosen course
If you’ve benefitted from an English course and would like to recommend it/leave some feedback, please drop a comment below so we can add it to our list!