British Council

british council


In today’s article, we will talk about one of the biggest and oldest organizations to learn English, the British Council boasts the world’s best English teaching experts. Their English Online program lets you learn English online through high-quality courses and extra material like practice exercises that get you to speak English confidently. 

Though the British Council offers children’s courses, English Online is specially designed for adult learners. Plus, it also caters to businesses and International English Language Testing System students (IELTS).

What is the British Council?

British council

British Council is an international organization dedicated to sharing education, culture, and English globally. 

With relationships in over 100 countries and reaching over 650 million people in 2021/22 alone, the British Council’s global influence is undeniable.

Plus, with live and self-study classes 24/7, the British Council’s English Online program is worth checking out.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

How does the British Council work?

With a range of themes to explore, as well as live 1-1 or group classes, there are different options for learning with the British Council. That being said, the first step toward learning is to book a class (your first is free!).

British Council’s classes are 100% teacher-led and interactive. This means you’ll be engaging with teachers and students. By the end of the class, you’ll also gain access to extra course material.

Along with group classes, there are also some other specialist class options:

  1. Live25 classes (free 25-minute lessons focusing on English grammar/pronunciation)
  2. Private classes (1-1 tuition from British Council’s expert teachers, with personalized feedback and end-of-class reports)

British Council is also unique in that it offers learning paths by “Theme.” For example, one theme is “Education and Training.” This is a section that houses multiple classes on education-based topics.

In short, the British Council not only covers the building blocks of language, but it further encompasses subjects like business, government, arts, and culture.

Plus, the British Council organizes its resources by proficiency level. This means, that if you place as a B2/Upper Intermediate learner, you can filter blog posts by your ability and get only relevant content to help you improve your skills.

The great thing about British Council is that you can design your own learning. Whether you benefit from 1-1 tutoring, self-paced learning, or want specific resources like IELTS, the British Council has it all. By setting your goals, English Online also tracks your progress to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform.

British Council’s English Online has the following options:

Silver: 5 class credits

Gold: 10 class credits

Platinum: 15 class credits
Premium content in smaller group classes

Each option is payable monthly and can be canceled at any time.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

Who British Council is for

British Council’s English Online Online is designed for anyone wanting to speak English with confidence. In particular, this applies to non-native speakers and focuses on learning English as a foreign language. As I see it, the platform is best for:

  • English students looking to improve their reading, writing, and speaking
  • Professionals who want to better articulate their ideas in English
  • Anyone looking to use English as part of travel/relocation
  • Businesses who want to equip their staff with advanced English skills

British Council’s English Online platform has a number of ways to search for courses. And, the more you browse, the more personalized your suggestions get. Here are a few ways to find the best courses for you:

  • Browse the Themes section, which contains multiple topics and lessons within these
  • Search by datetime, or even your favorite teachers
  • Filter by group/private lessons, or your desired lesson topic
  • Use your dashboard to find recommended, top, and upcoming lessons

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

How to open a British Council account

Signing up to British Council is easy (and free):

  1. Click the “Register” button in the top right corner of the page
  2. Fill out your nameemail address, and user details.
british council

From here, you can head to the online Learning Hub where you can read free blog posts, watch videos, and discover the British Council’s full range of online and face-to-face courses

With a subscription sign-up, you can book a free trial lesson (and you cancel anytime). Your profile keeps track of how many lessons you’ve taken, and you can chart this alongside your own hourly goals per week.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

How much does the British Council cost?

british council

British Council offers three main subscription types for its teacher-led courses: 

  • Silver ($88 per month)
  • Gold ($143 per month)
  • Platinum ($177 per month)

These subscriptions offer class credits to allow you to book classes (group/private). As you’d expect, Platinum offers the most class credits, but see below for the full details:


British Council’s Silver subscription starts at $79.20 for the first four months (then $88/month). This option grants you five lessons per month – all flexible around your schedule. With all lessons at the 55-minute mark, you learn 100% online with desktop/tablet options.


British Council’s Gold option starts at $129 for the first four months (then $143/month). With a doubled credit of 10 lessons per month, the Gold subscription also boasts a 7-day free trial. As with all three options, you pay monthly and can cancel anytime.


British Council’s top option for teacher-led learning, the Platinum subscription costs $159 for the first four months (then $177/month). This option grants you 15 class credits and even gives you access to premium content. As with the gold subscription, you also get a 7-day free trial.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

British Council free trial

With British Council’s Gold and Platinum subscriptions, you get a 7-day free trial (during which you won’t be charged).

At this time, you have full access to the platform and its features. This means you can book group or private classes and engage with extra material like listening exercises and quizzes.

Through your dashboard, you’ll also have a record of the lessons/themes you’ve started, how many you’ve completed, and your progress level. If you’re interested in a particular theme (e.g. business communication or presentations) you can also book this as a private class.

In short, the British Council’s free trial gives you access to all features available during your subscription. This means you can use your class credits for private, group, and Live25 classes.

If you’ve opted for a Platinum subscription, you can also start using the additional resources and smaller group lessons.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

British Council refund

British Council does not offer refunds for its classes or for any classes missed. That said, regardless of the package you subscribe to, you can cancel at any time and avoid being billed for the next period.

Plus, with Gold and Platinum subscriptions, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial and not be billed if you cancel during this time. If you cancel a class within 24 hours, you also won’t get this credit back.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

Can I buy the British Council as a gift?

If you know someone learning or keen to learn English, the British Council has gift vouchers available. With varying package options, you can give up to 12 class credits a month to friends or family.

Each package includes group/private classes, access to online materials, and specialist grammar webinars.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

What a lesson is like

british council

British Council’s teacher-led classes are 55 minutes long and either private or group-based. Because you can take a placement test or search by themes, the British Council makes it easy to find a class that’s right for your interests and skill level.

So, when you’ve booked a class, you’ll gain access to the lesson’s pre-class prep material. This will outline the class goals and the content you should expect. From there, a lesson will typically include the following:

  • Teacher-student introductions
  • Listening and speaking exercises
  • Reading practice
  • Fill-in-the blank assignments
  • Formal speaking assessments

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

British Council for Business

british council

For businesses and governments, you can book a free consultation with the British Council’s English Online online. 

This helps to determine the best training path for your business. Once submitted, a member of the British Council’s expert team will be in touch to recommend a customized package or assessment program.

As with its personal lessons, the British Council for Business offers live online classes that focus on your business needs, bite-sized exercises, and customizable learning times tables to suit your workforce. You’ll also have a trusted partner supporting you through every step.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

Who are the instructors?

British Council’s teachers are all highly qualified and experienced professionals. As teaching specialists, they’ve worked with millions of students from countries all over the world, with their quality monitored by a team of experts.

With the British Council, you can book with a specific teacher, or – as they advise – take lessons from multiple teachers with varying dialects. You can also choose to learn 1-1 or in small groups. There are even IELTS teaching experts if this is the path you’re keen on.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

British Council Pros

With a range of personal and group tutoring courses, English Online with the British Council appeals to millions of learners all over the world. With that in mind, and with so many directions you can take, the British Council is an abundant platform to explore.

That being said, I explored the platform with an open mind and with a range of proficiency levels/learning objectives in mind. I made sure to take into account varying goals, skill levels, and learning styles to see if this platform has it all.

100% teacher-led interactive classrooms

Led by the world’s leading English experts with around-the-clock availability, British Council’s teachers ensure you’re held accountable for your learning with pre-class prep, in-depth lessons, and out-of-class resources. So, this is a great learning option for those who don’t know where to start or those who do best with a teacher-led learning path.

Plus, with group or private sessions available, there’s ample opportunity to practice your speaking and listening as close to a real-world scenario as possible. And, if you opt for private lessons especially, you get live, personalized feedback and tailored guidance on how to meet your goals.

Customizable lessons and timetable

One perk of English Online is that it offers 24/7 live learning and support. So, you don’t have to work around conflicting time zones or even sacrifice your personal schedule for classes. With LearnEnglish, there’s always availability regardless of what unsociable hours you’re free!

As a whole, the platform is also easy to navigate and you can search for classes with a range of filters. This increases your chances of finding a class that suits you – and if one is unavailable, there’s bound to be a convenient alternative.

British Council badges and certificates are available

When you subscribe to the British Council, you can collect badges and certificates for each course you complete. With these, you can showcase your personal and professional achievements to prospective employers and colleges.

Self-study subscription option

While there’s a lot of focus on teacher-led learning, this isn’t the only learning path available on English Online. In fact, there’s a dedicated self-study subscription option for only $7 a month (with a 50% discount for your first month).

Of course, this lacks the personalized feedback and 1-1 teaching you get with the teacher-led options. But, if you’re more of a self-learner, this option is unrivaled. With it, you still get access to fun exercises created by English experts and you can earn certificates and badges as part of the British Council’s global community.

1-1 tutoring available

If you do work best with teacher-led lessons, you also have further options within these classes. Namely, you can choose a group or private class (or alternate between the two). While group classes expose you to a range of accents and conversations, private classes are great for focusing on your own problem areas or goals.

So, if there’s a particular area you want to work on, British Council’s private tutoring grants you 1-1 real-time feedback and a whole hour of tailored learning. And, because you can choose your lesson style each time, there’s no need to make a permanent commitment to group or private lessons.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

Is the British Council legit?

british council

British Council is legit. It’s a registered charity and a non-departmental public body. Both on and outside of English Online, the British Council strives to promote global cultural relationships and education standards.

2021/22 saw them provide online resources to over 70 million English language learners and teachers. As well as this, they partnered with over 200 countries and territories, and their revolutionary learning program, Connecting Cultures, is rolling out to Primary and Secondary Plus students around the world.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.

Is the British Council worth it?

As is the case with most e-learning platforms, the British Council’s worth really depends on your own goals and what you want to get out of it. Luckily, the British Council teaches English as a foreign language for a range of proficiency levels and even builds topics around potential goals (e.g. work, travel, networking).

Not to mention that with the British Council, you’ll be learning from a renowned global organization with the world’s expert English teachers. You also have the option for self-study or a 100% teacher-led course.

That being said, the British Council is entirely in English. So, you’ll be expected to read, write, and speak English from the get-go. If this seems a bit overwhelming for you, a taster class on another site such as Lingoda might be a better starting point.

In my own experience, though, being immersed in speaking and listening is the best way to fast-track progress. And, with the British Council’s subscription packages and progress charting, their English Online platform promises to do just that.

All in all, the best way to know whether the British Council is right for you is by trying it out for yourself. And, with a 7-day free trial for Gold and Platinum subscriptions, there really is nothing to lose.

Click Here to Start your English Journey.


If you are thinking about learning English, the British Council is the right place for you, with a variety of plans, and pricing that should be suitable for anyone.

choose the right plan for you and start first with the free trial, if you see that your English is getting better convert the plan to pay.

After you pass your exam, you will take a certificate from the British Council, this certificate will help you so much in your career.

If you need another website that learns English, check the DOULINGO ARTICLE.

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