Personal Development
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Exploring English: Language and Culture

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Course Features



13 weeks


Delivery Method



Available on

Lifetime Access



Mobile, Desktop












3 hours per week


Teaching Type

Self Paced

Course Description

This ExpertTrack by the British Council will help you to understand the culture and history in the UK, as well as improve your English skills and provide opportunities for you to practice at every stage.

The ExpertTrack courses cover some aspects of British culture. They also look back at the roots of British culture through the works of William Shakespeare and Magna Carta, which are the foundations of our modern democracy.

You will hear real English spoken in interviews with people from all over the UK. Language activities based on what you hear will be conducted and you will share your thoughts, experiences, and opinions at each step.

This course is the first in ExpertTrack Language & Culture. It will examine some key elements of British culture.

You will first consider English as a universal language. How did English become the language for business education and popular culture across many countries?

Next, we'll examine the role of music within British culture. What are your favorite British artists? Can listening to songs help with learning a language?

Although the British countryside is known for its greenery, what do you know about four other countries that make up the United Kingdom's borders? This will give you an idea of each.

Who is your favorite British author? We'll be looking at famous authors and sharing our own experiences with reading from the UK.

William Shakespeare is Britain’s most beloved and famous writer. The second course will teach you about Shakespeare's life at Stratford-upon-Avon.

We'll also be looking at five of Shakespeare's most well-known plays, including Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Actors will share their experiences with Shakespeare's characters. You'll also learn about Shakespeare's impact on the English language. You might even have the chance to play a bit of Shakespeare!

This course will begin by exploring the events that led up to Magna Carta's 1215 signing. This document was almost forgotten for hundreds of years. How did it play such an important role in shaping history? We'll examine its role in the formation of modern Britain.

Learn more about other struggles throughout the centuries, from American independence to the right of vote, and from Gandhi to Nelson Mandela.

Course Overview


Alumni Network


International Faculty


Post Course Interactions


Instructor-Moderated Discussions

Skills You Will Gain


This ExpertTrack is aimed at non-native English speakers who want to improve their English while learning about British culture

There are no formal requirements, though it would best suit those with intermediate English language skills; B1 on the CEFR or equivalent

The courses are delivered in English, including course materials, and interaction with tutors and other learners

What You Will Learn

Investigate British life and culture, including English as a global language, the countryside, music, and literature

Explore the life and works of William Shakespeare and his enduring popularity

Investigate Magna Carta - the 800-year-old 'great charter' that shaped the world

Reflect on English in use and learn how to improve your English language skills

Target Students

This ExpertTrack would suit intermediate English learners who want to learn more about different aspects of British Culture

It would be particularly interesting to those curious to learn about British people, British music, and British literature particularly Shakespeare

You'll learn through watching videos of everyday English in use, to help you understand how British people speak the language

Alongside British culture, you will also learn practical English skills and practice speaking English with your coursemates and tutors

Course Instructors

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Chris Cavey


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


I live and work in Bratislava and have been teaching for more than twenty-five years. I'm the Social Community Manager in charge of the British Council's global social media channels for learners.
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Genevieve White


I've taught English in Hungary, Romania, China and the UK. At the moment I teach in Shetland and I also write English language teaching materials.
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Sally T


Hi - I'm from Britain but I live and work in Spain. I'm an English teacher, EFL materials writer and online courses coordinator.
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