• British Council

Exploring English: Language and Culture

This English language course looks at British culture and examines English in use to help improve your English language skills.

760,084 enrolled on this course

Exploring English: Language and Culture
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $59Find out more

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.


  • Week 1

    English: the global language

    • Getting started

      Find out how to use FutureLearn and meet your British Council tutors

    • Why is English a global language?

      Think about why English is so widely used

    • Technology and language learning

      How does technology help you learn?

    • Language focus: passives

      A look at how and when we use the passive voice

    • Useful expressions

      Some useful vocabulary from this week

    • Summary of Week 1

      A final round up and a discussion of your experiences of learning English

  • Week 2

    Music: making a difference

    • Introducing the topic - British music

      What does British music mean to you?

    • Music and society

      Watch a video about a music project in the south of England and think about how music can make a difference to people's lives

    • Language focus: clauses

      A look at some of the language used in the video

    • Live Music

      Find out about how the UK watches live music.

    • Summary of Week 2

      A final round up and a discussion of the role of music in social change

  • Week 3

    Countryside: a green and pleasant land

    • Introducing the topic - what is Britain like?

      What do people think about the British countryside?

    • Looking at the countryside

      Watch a short video of a visit to the Lake District in north west England

    • The United Kingdom

      A look at the different parts of the UK

    • Language focus: description

      A look at ways of making your use of language more descriptive

    • Summary of Week 3

      A final round up and a discussion of the countryside where you live

  • Week 4

    Literature: books and identity

    • Introducing the topic - Literature

      A quiz about British literature and your thoughts on Shakespeare

    • The Globe Theatre

      Watch a video about the Globe Theatre in London

    • Language focus: comparatives and superlatives

      Nicole talks about some of the language we heard in the video

    • Roald Dahl

      A look at the life and works of the author Roald Dahl.

    • Summary of Week 4

      A round up of what we covered in Week 4 and a discussion of literature

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on different popular culture topics as well as ways of life in the UK
  • Explore English as a global language
  • Develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English
  • Reflect on language in use
  • Develop language skills and practise using new language
  • Discuss the countryside, music, and literature

Who is the course for?

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

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council is on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries connecting the best of UK culture with a global audience and providing high-quality English language courses.

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