Communicate School of English accepts students who are under 18 years old as well as adults.
1. There are two stages: written and spoken assessment. The written part is in a form of an online grammar test on the school’s website. The speaking skills are assessed by the Director of Studies when you first arrive in the school.
2. The Director of Studies will choose the most suitable course for you and give you information about your level, class times, course book and classroom allocation.
A course book is £25 and you must buy it before your course. Students who study short courses, up to 6 weeks, can borrow the book for a deposit of £25, which is refundable on a strict condition that the book is returned in exactly the same condition as when it was borrowed. Students who study longer courses are recommended to use books and write in pencil as this will help in studies. Students who study intensive courses will need more than one book.
Make the most of your study:
We have a strict rule of speaking English only in the school. Always speak English, in your lessons and at break times. If your classmate speaks your language, speak English with them too. It may first seem strange but it will soon become natural.
If you study General English or exam preparation courses, you will regularly take tests that will allow you and your teacher to check the progress and what you may still need to work on. If you study IELTS you will write monthly mock tests.
These tests are written and include questions on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and reading. You will also be tested informally in class based on how well you do in group activities, and your understanding of new language.
Sometimes teachers will give you smaller tests on vocabulary, spelling and grammar, but they will always tell you when these tests are going to be.
At the end of your General English course you will receive a detailed certificate of your proficiency in English showing your level assessment according to the Common European Framework (CEFR). The assessment will be based on the results from the tests during your study. The attendance must be minimum 80% to receive the certificate.
If you would like a written report when you finish your course, tell your teacher and they will prepare one for you.
It is important that you arrive for lessons on time. If this is not possible, for example due to work commitments, please let us know. lf you arrive after class start time, your attendance will be marked as late. However, if you arrive more than 15 minutes late after your class has started, you may not be able to enter the classroom until break time.
lf you are absent for more than one day, please telephone or email the school or send information with a classmate. We will call you at the end of the week if you have not attended lessons that week to check that you are ok and if there is anything we can do to help you.
Do not use your mobile phone during lessons. If it is urgent, you must ask permission from your teacher beforehand and then take the call in an empty room.
Each student is entitled to a one week holiday for every 12 weeks of study. If you are planning to take holidays and want to recover the missed classes, send an email with the holiday dates before you go away or speak to a receptionist who will record it in your file. You must book your holiday at least one day in advance.
If you are ill and cannot attend your classes, speak to a student support officer at the school reception as soon as you can. You can get other classes if you missed more than 3 days but only on the condition that you bring a note from a doctor. Classes missed for any other reasons (job interview, one-day sickness, sickness without a doctor’s note, etc.) cannot be recovered and students will not get extra classes instead.
There are no refunds on courses that a student has started attending. Lessons cannot be transferred from one student to another. Please see the full terms and conditions: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The school will be closed for Christmas from 24th December 2016 to 2nd January 2016. The school will re-open on 3rd January 2017.
2017 bank holidays / national days:
Good Friday – Friday 14th April 2017
Easter Monday – Monday 17th April 2017
Early May Bank Holiday – Monday 1st May 2017
Spring Bank Holiday – Monday 29th May 2017
Summer Bank Holiday – Monday 28th August 2017
Christmas Day* – Monday 25th December 2017
Boxing Day* – Tuesday 26th December 2017
New Year’s Day* – Monday 1st January 2018
*You do not pay for missed classes; your lessons will be moved to other days.
Our main commitment is to make learning English interesting and challenging. Communicate School of English practices the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT) in General English, Conversation and partly in First and Advanced Certificate exam preparation classes.
All the English teachers are qualified, we always review classes to make our students happy. Generally, a course book will be followed, along with a wide range of teaching methods and learning resources. For example:
In order to see what you are going to study on the course look at the first pages in your course book or ask the office for a course outline. If you want to know what you are going to study in your first lesson, ask a student support officer to give you this information. You can also ask her for a folder with a scheme of work for your course, which describes it in full detail.
For General English, IELTS, First / Advanced Certificate and Conversation classes are comprised of 3 lessons of 50 min.
1 class = 3 lessons x 50min = 2 hours and 30 minutes.
There is always a 10 minute break in the middle of a class.
If you study a full time or intensive course:
a) you may have more than 1 class in one day.
b) you may study with more than one group of students during a week.
You will get the timetable after the level assessment, before you start the course. If there are any times or days during which you cannot study, inform us before you register and we will try to adapt your timetable if possible.
When you join a class, please remember that you may join in the middle of a course and that other students have studied things before you. This does not mean you will be behind with the material. You may already know the material or you will do it at some point in the future. We will give you a course outline before you start so you can see what you will be doing in your course. Teachers will usually do a short revision from a previous lesson and check homework, but they will not ask you to give answers. This is an opportunity to get to know what was done in the last lesson. Don’t worry if you are not sure the answers to the revision exercise, the teacher will help you to catch up.
The teachers regularly have meetings about the school and students and we discuss your progress together with your test results. If it is clear that you have achieved the standard required at your level, we may recommend that you move up a level. One of the things that helps us decide if a student can move up is a result above 90% in 2 consecutive tests. Please remember that this is not just based on your test results, but on your performance in class, your homework and your spoken English.
We have individual study booths with some computers. Students are welcome to use these computers and there is a list of useful self-study websites on the wall and at the end of this handbook. If a classroom is free, students can use it for self-study.
We have some books for you to borrow in the reception, there are English novels, as well as graded readers; books adapted for English Language Learners. See the reception staff in the office if you would like to borrow one.
Some of the course books come with a CD Rom which you can use to practise at home, (Total English and FCE Gold). New English File has a Students website: www.oup.com/elt/englishfile/
Speak to the reception staff in the office if you need help or advice to find suitable accommodation in Manchester. An accommodation register is maintained and a student support officer acts as the accommodation officer. She can offer support in finding suitable accommodation and she can be contacted regarding any problems with your accommodation.
Advice can be offered regarding the legal implications of living in home stay or private accommodation. Information on tenancy agreements, local property taxes and agency agreements is also available from the student support officers.
We regularly organise social activities which are a great way to practise your English, meet friends and teachers. You can read about the next activity on the board in the student room. Activities take place a few times per week. They have included:
Most activities are within a walking distance of the school. However, students will need to pay for public transport and personal expenses, like food and drink. We will tell you before the social activity if you need to bring any money. A drink in a café is £3, a return tram ticket £4, bowling £8, train ticket to Liverpool £12, a meal in a restaurant between £6 and £15.
One lesson in 12 weeks may be in the form of an organised social activity and it is considered an important part of your English learning experience. You can practise your English conversation and have an opportunity to meet other students. These activities may include:
We will sometimes give you a form to complete called a tutorial. This is a chance for you to speak to your teacher about the course, the course book, and your progress in the class.
We will also sometimes give you a questionnaire to complete about the school in general, and this is your chance to make suggestions.
There are several formal exams you can take to prove your level of English, and at Communicate we have some classes to help you prepare for these (FCE, CAE, IELTS)
Cambridge English First (FCE) for CEFR B2 or Upper-Intermediate level (£135)
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) for CEFR C1 or Advanced Level (£135)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) www.ielts.org (£150)
You can take the FCE and CAE examinations at the following location in Manchester:
ELC Manchester Academy of English, St Margaret’s Chambers, Newton Street, Manchester
You can take the IELTS Exam (for applying to university) at the University of Manchester Language Centre and the exams are every month.
We want you to be safe at school and around Manchester. We have an emergency contact number which is 07482660030 or in a medical, police or fire emergency you can call 999.
* There is a lot of mobile phone theft in Manchester city centre. Do not walk around on skype or facetime because this is when a lot of phones are stolen.
* Be careful with your bags and phones when you are in a café. Do not leave bags or phones on tables.
* Do not let anyone you don’t know into the school building.
If you are worried about anything else, ask a teacher or the reception staff in the office.
Communicate will not allow any abusive behaviour.
What is abusive behaviour?
Abusive behaviour can take many forms:
It can create a scary environment, or leave you feeling upset, vulnerable or threatened. It could happen anywhere – not just in school but on the street, in our accommodation or in your homestay.
You need to tell your teacher, the student representative or a student support officer if you suffer from any of this type of behaviour from anyone – staff or student.
We hope all our students find studying at Communicate a comfortable, relaxing and safe experience and we are always happy to hear anything you have to say – good or bad.
If you have any problems or if you are unhappy with anything (for example behaviour of a student or a member of staff, your progress, timetable, teacher, lessons, accommodation or anything else) you should speak to your teacher or a student support officer first. They will try to help you with the problem.
If you still have a problem:
1. Fill in the complaint form – it is on the notice board in the main corridor of the school.
2. Give it to a student support officer, the Principal or Assistant Director of Studies.
3. We will write down a report which we will keep in the office.
4. We will take further action to resolve the problem and help.
We always try our best to help you with any problems but if you are still not happy, as we are an accredited English centre, you can contact English UK for further advice: http://www.englishuk.com/en/students/english-in-the-uk/student-complaints-procedure
If you want to go to university to study in the UK you usually need to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Their website is www.ucas.com – go to the section for International Students. See a student support officer for more information and advice.
1. Check the entry requirements – usually previous qualifications (or international equivalents) you should have, as well as whether you are suitable for the course. 2. Demonstrate your English language skills – proof you will be able to study in the UK (this is also required for some visa applications). This is usually the IELTS exam, but may sometimes be the Cambridge FCE, CAE or CPE exam.
3. Possibly have an interview, audition or provide a portfolio – some course providers like to speak to you in person before deciding whether to make you an offer.
4. Meet any conditions of an offer – if you are still studying for a qualification you need in order to get on a UK higher education course, the course provider might make you a conditional offer.
5. Apply for a range of courses with different requirements – this way if your results are better or worse than expected, you will have more than one choice. Remember you might need to arrange a student visa too, as well as accommodation with the course provider.
The student agrees to attend lessons regularly and punctually and understands that the school will act in circumstances where students fail to do so.
The student will respect Communicate School rules, which appear below:
FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE SEE FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS PAGE: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Manchester has a bus, tram and train service.
Where to buy your ticket:
Buses – The bus driver can sell you a single journey ticket, (on many routes) a return ticket, or a Day Saver. Bus drivers only take cash, but are happy to give change when they are able. If you travel on stagecoach buses, you can get a weekly megarider bus ticket which costs £13.50. If you travel on the Magic Bus along Wilmslow road, you can get a Magic Rider for £7.50. Get your ticket from the bus driver. More information can be found about buses on the official Transport for Greater Manchester website: www.tfgm.com
Trains – Tickets are available from staffed stations or ticket machines, otherwise pay on the train. Single tickets, return tickets and day tickets are available.
Trams (Metrolink) – Buy your ticket from the machine located on the platform. Single tickets, return tickets, daysaver tickets and season tickets are available. Ticket machines accept coins, notes and credit and debit cards.
Travel from Manchester Airport – you can get a train from Manchester airport to the city centre. They are every 15 minutes and the journey takes 20 minutes. The train ticket is about £4.50 which you can buy at the ticket office or from the machines.
Travel from John Lennon Liverpool Airport – you can get a National Express bus to Manchester city centre. Book online here.
More information can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website: www.tfgm.com
You may be able to join Manchester central library where you can find resources such as course books, story books, CDs, magazines and many more. We will be happy to issue our registered students with a letter of introduction if they decide to join. The library’s contact details are:
Manchester Central Library
St. Peter’s Square
Manchester M2 5PD
Telephone: 0161 234 1900
ln order to join the library, you will need a proof of ID.
The library is open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 5pm on Fridays.
Telephone number is 0161 234 1972. More information can be found on the library website
Please note that it is illegal to copy books and other publications protected by copyright law without consent from the publisher. lt is also illegal to download software protected by copyright law without consent given by the publisher.
Communicate School does not permit the copying of course books or other published material or downloading software protected by copyright law without consent given by the publisher. Any such copying is in breach of copyright law and therefore illegal. Further information can be found on Copyright Licensing Agency website at www.cla.co.uk.
Manchester M4 3AQ
Tel: 0161 832 8563
Deansgate: 91-93 Deansgate
Manchester M3 2BW
Tel: 0161 837 3000
WHSmith, Arndale Centre
Manchester M4 3AD
Tel: 0161 834 8300
If you need emergency treatment in the UK it is usually free on the NHS (National Health Service) but you may have to pay for other types of treatment (non-emergency, hospital appointments, dentist).
If you are a visitor from the European Economic Area (EEA) then you are strongly advised to bring a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, otherwise you may be charged for your healthcare. The EHIC means you can get healthcare free or cheaper than usual.
However, the EHIC is not a replacement for medical insurance. Some services that would be free in your home country may not be free here and medical insurance is important if anything serious happens. If you come from outside the EEC, we strongly advise you to get medical insurance.
If you want to register with your local health centre, you might need a letter of introduction issued by the school. Such letters may be issued to our registered students upon application.
Your local medical centres, GPs, dentists and hospitals can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/service-search. The college is able to assist you in finding address and contact details of the above centres.
Speak to a student support officer at reception to get more information.
Visa nationals may have to report to and register with the police if this is mentioned on their visas. Such students normally have 7 days to do so.
lf you have to register with the police, then you may need the following:
The police station is within walking distance from the school. Their contact details are as follows:
International Visitors Registration Office
Greater Manchester Police
Manchester M2 5GU
Tel: 0161 856 3320
St Augustine’s Parish and University Chaplaincy
Manchester M15 6BW
Tel: 0161 236 6762
Church of England
Manchester M3 1SX
Tel: 0161 833 2220
Manchester Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre
20 Upper Park Road
Manchester M14 5RU
Tel: 0161 224 4119
20 Mayfield Road
Manchester M16 8FT
Tel: 01923 857244
Gurdwara Sikh Temple
Manchester M14 4GP
Tel:0161 226 1131
Cheetham Hebrew Congregation
453 Cheetham Hill Road
Salford M8 7PA
Tel: 0161 740 7788
All the services below are free and conﬁdential:
Ambulance: In an emergency, if you need an ambulance for yourself or someone else, you need to call 999 and ask for ambulance service. You will need to provide your name, address and you may be asked questions on your/other person’s health.
NHS Direct: (telephone advice line) 0845 4647. For all health information including advice on ﬁnding a doctor, dentist, pharmacy and support groups. An interpreter service is available free of charge — ask for the language you wish to use.
Brook, Commonwealth House
Manchester M4 5AZ
Tel: 0161 237 3001
Alcohol and Drug Services:
87 Oldham Street
Manchester M4 1LW
Tel: 0161 834 9777
lf you feel depressed, seek help from your GP. lf they think you need specialist help, they will refer you to them. lf you cannot or do not want to speak to your GP, you can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08457 909 090. Their website is www.samaritans.org.
If your GP thinks you need counselling, they refer you to a counsellor. Therefore, if you think you need this service, please contact your GP.
lf you suffer domestic violence, you can call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If you have any worries at all, please speak to a student support officer at the school reception.
Manchester Advice: People living in Manchester can get free and confidential information and advice on benefits, housing rights, adult and social care, education, leisure, consumer law and basic immigration rights through Manchester Advice based in Town Hall Extension. Contact details of Manchester Advice are as follows:
Town Hall Extension
Manchester M60 2AF
(Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm, Wednesdays 10:00am to 4:30pm)
Tel: 0161 234 5678
(Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm)
Consumer Advice Service: If you have paid money for goods or services and you are not happy with what you have received, you can phone Consumer Direct on 0845 040 506 for advice. Their address is:
Town Hall Extension
PO Box 536
St Peter Square
Council Tax: Full-time students may be able to apply for exemption or a reduction in their council tax. For complete information and how to apply visit Manchester City Council website www.manchester.gov.uk/counciltax.
International Society: Membership fee for students from £7 to £20 per year, depending on when you join. It has 3000 members from 130 countries; offers advice as well as organizes social events.
William Kay House
327 Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PG
Tel: 0161 275 4959
Information: For useful information on crime reduction, personal security, physical security, bogus callers, home security whilst away, home watch and neighbourhood watch, tips on choosing accommodation, living in rented or temporary accommodation you can visit the Greater Manchester Police website www.gmp.police.uk.
Emergency: In an emergency you can call 999 and ask for police. You will need to provide your full name, address and the reason for calling.
Arrest: You are advised to comply with the British law and not to break it. If you are arrested by the police, you have three rights: right to inform someone of your arrest, right to consult the law and right to access legal help (a solicitor).
The address of the police station located in central Manchester is:
31 Bootle Street
Manchester M2 5NS
Tel: 0161 872 5050.
lf you would like to keep fit and do some physical activities during your stay and study in Manchester, you can have access to sports facilities at the centres below:
Moss Side Leisure Centre:
Moss Lane East
Manchester M15 5NN
Tel: 0161 226 5015
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (No joining fee)
Abraham Moss Leisure Centre:
Manchester M8 5UF
Tel: 0161 720 7622
Email: email@example.com. (No joining fee)
Manchester Aquatics Centre:
2 Booth Street East
Manchester M13 9SS
Tel: 0161 275 9450
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (No joining fee)
Please note that there is no joining fee for the above centres, however you will need to pay a membership fee. Please contact the centres for their membership fees.
– It is illegal to purchase alcohol or tobacco products under the age of 18.
– All drugs (cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine etc) are illegal to buy, sell or possess. You can contact Alcohol and Drug Services Head Office on 0161 834 9777 or at:
87 Oldham Street
Manchester M4 1LW
For problems related to alcohol you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous national advice line on 0845 769 7555.
– Driving — you must be at least 17 years of age and hold a full driving license/permit issued in your home country. You may only drive for up to 12 months from the date of arrival in the UK using this license. After 12 months you MUST contact the DVLA (vwvw.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring) to find out what you must do.
– For information on roads and vehicles including operation and maintenance of national and local roads in England, traffic signs, insurance, penalties, required standards for vehicle efficiency, safety and registration, cleaner fuels and speed on roads visit the Department for Transport’s website www.dft.gov.uk.
– If you have any problems concerning the law, housing, immigration and your Rights whilst staying in the UK then you can contact The Citizens Advice Bureau (free of charge) www.adviceguide.org.uk or call Manchester Central Citizens Advice Bureau on 0161 834 9057.
What is homestay accommodation?
One of the most popular types of accommodation is staying at a local Manchester homestay. This means that you are a household member, eat and relax with your hosts. Mancunians (people from Manchester) are famous for their humour, generosity and friendliness. You may stay with one person, two people or the whole family. Staying with hosts in Manchester is a very enjoyable and beneficial experience which means you will get to know British people and an effective way to immerse yourself in the English language.
What happens when you stay at homestay accommodation?
The hosts will regard you as a guest and you will be expected to follow the house rules. All hosts provide a private room with access to all living areas in the house and two meals. In most cases students will be expected to share the bathroom. Experience has shown us that living with a host is the most interesting and effective way to become fully immersed in English language and culture.
Hosts will always do their best to involve you in daily conversation while making you feel as comfortable as possible in their home. Remember that they may have different customs and habits than perhaps you are used to. Meals will be prepared according to local tradition. All houses are within 45 minutes travelling time of the school and have easy access to public transport.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself if considering the homestay option:
1. Am I prepared to adapt to the lifestyles of the hosts?
2. Will I be happy to live by the house rules?
3. Will the hosts be able to satisfy my food and diet requirements?
How do I get the best out of staying at homestay accommodation?
Open and honest communication is perhaps the most important factor to successfully living with hosts. When all parties concerned know what is expected of them – and what to expect in return – an honest relationship can develop. To avoid cultural confusion after you move in, make sure to clarify certain details before you begin your stay. Ask about sleeping arrangements and where to store your possessions, ask about the routine when it comes to meal times.
It is also important to familiarise yourself to laundry facilities, communication technology such as the Internet and telephone, pets and younger children who are living at the home.
You should also ask if the hosts have any curfew rules and whether you are free to drink alcohol or smoke.
Cleanliness is an important issue
Cleanliness is an important factor when showing respect and consideration to the hosts.
Please put dirty laundry in the laundry bag, wash it on a regular basis, hang up wet towels and clean your bedroom regularly.
There are other cleaning tasks you should do during your stay such as: changing your sheets now and then, washing up after you have eaten or prepared food (if you chose self-catering option), wiping down all kitchen surfaces you may have stained, keeping all school or work supplies neatly tucked away, leaving any room as clean as you found it and pitching in during a general family clean up.
Care and considerations
If students care and respect the hosts, they will receive the same treatment in return and the stay will be all the more worthwhile.
Anyone can pay rent and become a tenant, but becoming a part of the family and making lasting relationships requires caring.
Living with a host should be a time for you to experience a new culture. With a small amount of communication, cleanliness and caring, living with a host will be a superb experience that you can take home and cherish.
Overview of the House Rules
What are Halls of Residence?
Halls of Residence are usually big buildings where lots of students live at the same time. They are sociable places and you will have freedom to come and go when you like, but they can also be busy.
Will I have my own room?
Yes. You will have a single room with a bed, wardrobe and a desk.
Can I have my own bathroom?
You will usually share a bathroom with other students but you can have an en suite room for an extra £15 a week. This is subject to availability.
Is there somewhere to cook?
Yes. You will share kitchen facilities with other students.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself if considering halls of residence
1. Am I happy to live with other students from all over the world?
2. Can I cook for myself and keep the communal areas clean?
3. Will I remember to lock my door and keep my valuables safe?
A benefit of student halls is that you have freedom to come and go whenever you like. However, this also means that halls of residence are busy places and people go in and out of them all the time. You must make sure that you lock your room and keep your windows shut when you are not there. There will sometimes be a receptionist, but not always, so you must make sure you do not let anyone into the building you do not know.