How to learn English for free in London

09 Feb 2022 - Category: Blog /
Learn English in London

If you’ve just moved to London from abroad, your English language skills may not be as good as you want them to be. Thankfully today there are many ways you can improve your English quickly and without spending lots of money.

Many people move to London for the purpose of learning English, but soon find out that London can be an expensive city, and the cost of living doesn’t leave much spare cash for language courses.

So how can you learn English for free? Yes, it is possible to receive a great education in the English language without spending any money. And we’re here to help you learn which method is the best for you.

In this blog we’ll highlight a few ways you can learn English for free in London, including:

  • Getting in touch with your local council
  • Use the official ESOL website
  • Adult learning centres
  • The British Council’s Learn-English scheme
  • Joining groups on Meetup

Get in touch with your local council

Most councils offer English classes for immigrants. English language skills are an important way to become part of the community and improve your prospects of getting a job or accessing services.

On the Kingston Council website, they note that a “lack of English skills has been identified as a barrier to integration within the local community and accessing essential services [...]. We have secured funding from the European Integration Fund to [...] provide free lessons in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)”.

This sort of service is available in many councils across London. Whichever area of London you have settled in, get in touch with your local authorities and ask whether you can access their free resources. This should be your first port-of-call if you are looking for free council services. If you live in the area then you have a right to access these services. In many areas, like in Kingston, these English language lessons have been running for many years and the instructors they use have plenty of experience helping new immigrants learn English quickly.

Use the official ESOL website

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a valuable resource for anyone who has just moved to London and is looking to improve their English language skills.

The official ESOL website will let you know the easiest way you can learn English in London based on your circumstances. Go to to find a number of solutions to suit your time availability, knowledge level and location constraints.

On their website you can find a list of their centres around London that offer ESOL and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses. And, when you have spare time at home, you can follow their free online courses, such as English for Beginners or Elementary English.

The ESOL website is a great resource for people new to the UK and London. Here you can find out exactly where to learn English in London for free and how you can do so in a way that is convenient for you and your family.

Researching adult learning centres

As well as ESOL, there are a number of other institutions that provide tuition for adults who have moved to the UK and need to learn the basics of the language to find better jobs. There are adult-learning centres all over London that can help learn English, from the basics to the advanced stages.

For example, if you live near Westminster in London you may want to visit the Westminster Adult Education Service. On their website they explain that, “If you are a citizen of the UK or a country within the European Economic Area or have lived in either for at least the last three years, then you should be eligible for UK government funding for your ESOL course.” You will be able to find similar incentives and offers at adult learning centres around London.

On the website of the Westminster Adult Education Service they go on to explain that, “People with certain types of immigration status such as refugee status, discretionary, exceptional or indefinite leave to enter or to remain and their family members are also usually eligible. [...] Courses are free if you receive Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are in the work-related activity group (WRAG). If you are unemployed and are receiving state benefits you may be able to study for free.”

As you can see, if you just come abroad to live in London there are many ways you can receive free English language lessons. If you are not able to support yourself financially then there will be even more support available to you to help you learn English and start using your language skills to work and interact with services in London.

Enrol in the LearnEnglish scheme

The LearnEnglish website is excellent to start off with, as it offers assessment tests where you can identify your knowledge level, in order to find the right course for you. You can then choose from a number of resources to help you improve your skills

The resources go beyond your basic grammar lessons and provide you with a comprehensive and intuitive way to learn English. These come in the form of video or audio lessons and you can choose the way you want to learn.

You can even select games to make learning more engaging and entertaining. It’s all online so it can fit around your work schedule, too. Ultimately, it is an ideal way to learn English and work in London at the same time without having to spend any money on expensive, inconvenient lessons.

Join groups on Meetup

Meetup is a great place to meet all sorts of people and sign up to a number of activities, including English conversation groups. One of the best groups for people wanting to learn English without spending any money is the Free London Conversation Club (UKCE). This group will allow you to practice your English with native teachers and international students.

To learn more about learning English via conversation groups head over to the Meetup website: and get started.

Use Small World

If you’ve just moved to London then you may need to send money back home to your family and friends. You can do this easily with Small World.

Small World is an international money transfer service that helps millions of people transfer money across borders every year. We have a number of money transfer services including bank deposit, mobile wallet, cash pickup and home delivery. Choose whichever service you like and start supporting your loved ones with Small World.

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