• British Council

Exploring English: Food and Culture

Improve your English language skills and learn how to cook some classic British dishes while exploring modern UK culture.

10,400 enrolled on this course

A serving of fish and chips, with peas
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  • Course access expires 13 Sep 2022
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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!

What topics will you cover?

The course looks at the role food plays in UK culture.

  • What is ‘traditional’ British food and what do people in contemporary UK actually eat?
  • UK restaurant culture. Explore the vibrant UK restaurant scene and look at the link between immigration to the UK and changing food culture.
  • Changing eating habits. Healthy eating and the rise in veganism and vegetarianism
  • How to cook some traditional British dishes
  • Regional variety. Some traditional foods from the different parts of the UK
  • Special occasions. What do British people eat at special times of the year?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore contemporary UK food culture
  • Experiment with some recipes from the UK and beyond
  • 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 UK eating habits from traditional dishes, to multicultural influences to veganism

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a teacher and online learning specialist for the British Council and I manage the development of all of our FutureLearn courses.

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.


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  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
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  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course


One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access


Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 4 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

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  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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