General English Syllabus

Our syllabus allows your teachers to create lessons that suit your needs. It is topic-based and provides a structure for your learning. The syllabus is designed so that you can start and finish any week.

It develops your skills in

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

It builds your knowledge of

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Functional Language

How does it work?

Each level follows a 12-week cycle. There are 6 weekly units of grammar (Weeks A-F), and 12 topics. Each week you will study either Topic 1 OR Topic 2. After Week F, we return to Week A, and change from Topic 1 to Topic 2, or from Topic 2 to Topic 1.

Check the General English calendar each week. D1 means you are studying Week D, Topic 1.

View Our Syllabus

Placement

On your first day, we will place you in a suitable class based on your placement test score (grammar and speaking).

Changing Levels

We can change the level of your class any week, when you and your teachers feel that you are ready. Our teachers meet every week to discuss which students are ready to move up. If you think your class is too easy or too difficult and you want to move to another level, please talk to your teachers.

‘Can-Do’ Statements

To help you to measure your progress, we have listed the things you will be able to do after completing each week of the syllabus. We call these our ‘Can-Do’ Statements. Click on a level below to read the can-do statements for each week.

Week A

I can…

  • talk about what I do everyday
  • talk about my free time
  • make positive and negative sentences using present simple
  • understand and make questions using present simple
  • understand and use adverbs of frequency
  • tell the time and talk about times and dates
  • talk about things I like and dislike
  • count in English
  • use capital letters, commas, apostrophes and full stops

Week B

I can…

  • talk about travelling and visiting new places
  • talk about my home and places in a town
  • use there is/there are/it has got
  • say where things are (in, at, on, under)
  • understand and give simple instructions
  • talk about what people can and can’t do
  • greet people
  • ask for directions and help
  • talk about countries and nationalities
  • use a dictionary

Week C

I can…

  • talk about myself and my family
  • talk about my past and my friends
  • make positive and negative sentences using past simple (including be and can)
  • use subject and object pronouns ( I / me, he / him )
  • use the possessive ‘s’
  • use possessive pronouns/adjectives (my / mine, your / yours etc.)
  • ask and answer simple wh- questions
  • talk about people from other countries
  • describe people
  • pronounce -ed endings
  • read for general understanding

Week D

I can…

  • talk about buying and giving
  • describe clothes and possessions
  • talk about things that are happening now
  • use have got to make positive and negative sentences and questions.
  • identify and understand the difference between countable and uncountable nouns
  • use and understand some/any
  • ask and answer questions using how much/many?
  • use and understand this, that, these and those
  • understand and talk about prices
  • understand the rules of ‘ing’ spelling

Week E

I can…

  • talk about my education and my future plans
  • talk about jobs and hobbies
  • use can/can’t, must/mustn’t and have to/don’t have to, to ask for something and say what we have to do
  • talk about the future using will and going to
  • understand and use irregular verbs in the past
  • use linking words (and, but, so, because)
  • understand and use classroom language
  • identify syllables in a word and where the stress is
  • listen for general understanding

Week F

I can…

  • talk about my body and different lifestyles
  • talk about food and order food in a restaurant
  • ask for something using want and would like to
  • ask for things politely and make requests
  • make comparisons using comparatives and superlatives
  • give my opinions to describe things
  • hear and make short and long vowel sounds
  • record vocabulary

Week A

I can…

  • talk about how people look and their personality
  • talk about how I feel and my senses
  • understand the difference between the present simple and present continuous
  • understand and use adverbs of frequency without mistakes
  • ask and answer different types of questions
  • understand and use like in different ways
  • make comparatives and superlatives
  • show that I am aware of homophones
  • divide my writing into paragraphs
  • skim for general information and scan for important words when I am reading

Week B

I can…

  • talk about important historical events
  • talk about dangerous situations people have been in
  • talk about crime and gossip
  • use the past simple to make positive and negative statements without mistakes
  • understand and use the past simple to ask questions without mistakes
  • use basic time phrases, eg three weeks ago, last night, in the 1990’s
  • understand and use past continuous
  • understand and make wh- questions in the past including subject and object questions
  • use prepositions of time (on / in / at) without mistakes
  • notice and record prepositions
  • show a basic understanding of when to use a / an / the

Week C

I can…

  • talk about and describe my country and culture
  • talk about cooking and health
  • use and understand imperatives to give instructions without mistakes
  • identify and understand the difference between countable and uncountable nouns
  • use descriptive language to describe cultures and lifestyles
  • use quite, so, very and too to modify adjectives
  • use enough, too many and too much to modify nouns
  • ask and answer different types of questions
  • give and understand advice and make suggestions including should, shouldn’t and ought to
  • recognise and pronounce different plural noun endings correctly
  • use a dictionary

Week D

I can…

  • talk about communities and relationships
  • talk about nature and social problems
  • use the second conditional
  • speculate about what might be true or possible using might and must
  • talk about things I have to do in the present and had to do in the past
  • understand when to use say and tell
  • give my opinions and talk about how I am similar to others, using me neither, me too, so do I
  • guess the meaning of new words by looking at all of the text
  • notice and record collocations

Week E

I can…

  • talk about study and work
  • talk about holidays and festivals
  • use and understand present perfect including for and since
  • use and understand used to for past habits
  • talk about my likes and dislikes using the ‘ing’ form
  • understand and use common phrasal verbs
  • recognise silent letters in some words
  • listen for specific detail

Week F

I can…

  • talk about money and my ambitions
  • talk about technology and different ways of communicating
  • use will and going to without mistakes
  • use present continuous to describe future plans
  • use and understand zero and first conditional
  • show that I know when to use the possessive ‘s’
  • make predictions
  • make requests
  • write an informal email
  • assess my own written work
  • understand and use adverbs and adjectives correctly

Week A

I can…

  • talk about fashion and my identity
  • talk about lifestyles and possessions
  • use make comparative and superlative sentences which include adverbs and modifiers, eg slightly, much, a great deal
  • use relative clauses to add information
  • structure an argument
  • use linking words to add information, contrast information, and describe cause and effect, eg furthermore, although, due to
  • express opinions, agreement and interrupt
  • notice and record vocabulary, especially collocations

Week B

I can…

  • talk about education and traditions
  • talk about memories and work
  • tell stories using past simple, past continuous and past perfect
  • understand the differences in use between the past simple and present perfect
  • pronounce –ed endings
  • use linkers to show time, eg first of all, then, following that, when, while
  • describe skills and abilities
  • show that I know what type of learner I am and if I learn in a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic way

Week C

I can…

  • talk about fame and fortune
  • talk about news and entertainment
  • use reported speech including reported questions
  • use passives
  • understand the rules of and use punctuation in direct speech
  • recognise and use connected speech
  • check my understanding of others and that they have understood me correctly

Week D

I can…

  • talk about the natural world and tourism
  • talk about trade and environmental issues
  • use the future continuous and future perfect
  • show that I have learnt how to use articles in a wider range of situations
  • complain and show that I am worried
  • give advice and make suggestions
  • describe a process or procedure
  • write a formal letter or email, eg a letter of application or an email of complaint
  • use linking words to describe a sequence of events, eg first, after that, next, lastly
  • tell the difference between fact and opinion

Week E

I can…

  • talk about special occasions and going out with friends
  • talk about shopping and my hobbies
  • understand the difference in use of gerunds and infinitives
  • use question tags and make indirect questions
  • stress different words in a sentence to emphasise different information, eg ‘I thought you were bringing the cake’ vs ‘I thought you were bringing the cake’.
  • say question tags with the correct intonation
  • record vocabulary
  • invite and persuade people to do something
  • use filler phrases when I need time to think, eg ‘What’s the word? Well, I suppose…’
  • show that I know how to listen for gist and specific information

Week F

I can…

  • talk about making important decisions
  • talk about different times and generations
  • talk about my family and friends
  • use the second and third conditionals
  • use must, have to, make, let and allow
  • describe your feelings and emotions
  • use skimming and scanning techniques when I am reading
  • show that I know about spelling rules
  • use online dictionaries effectively

Week A

I can…

  • talk about food and the senses
  • talk about feelings and popular culture
  • understand and use relative clauses, including defining and non-defining relative clauses, without making mistakes
  • use extreme adjectives
  • show that I know about adjective and nouns that commonly go together
  • write an article
  • describe feelings and emotions
  • record vocabulary

Week B

I can…

  • talk about dilemmas and communication
  • talk about mysteries and inventions
  • use modals of speculation to talk about the past and present
  • speculate and discuss different hypotheses
  • build vocabulary using affixes, eg anti-, –ness
  • read aloud and use pauses and change in intonation
  • paraphrase and reiterate what I want to say
  • read a text and identify detailed information and arguments

Week C

I can…

  • talk about relationships and describe people
  • talk about cities and design
  • use gerunds and infinitives accurately
  • describe things with compound adjectives, eg English-speaking, densely-populated
  • understand number and agreement (everybody has, people are, one of my friends is)
  • analyse, build and evaluate arguments so I can reach an informed opinion
  • show that I know about sounds which appear between words
  • reflect on my learning

Week D

I can…

  • talk about achievements and topics connected to behaviour
  • talk about life stages and time
  • talk about past and present habits
  • use narrative tenses
  • tell stories that describe personal experiences and anecdotes
  • correct myself or clarify what I mean if I make a mistake
  • respond in an appropriate way to someone telling me a story
  • write a story
  • use punctuation including parenthesis, commas and apostrophes

Week E

I can…

  • talk about work and finance
  • talk about topics connected to rituals and learning
  • use hypothetical language to show that I can use zero, 1st, 2nd and 3rd third conditionals correctly
  • use reporting verbs and understand that different verbs have different grammatical structures
  • use language of discussion
  • recognise and apply the rules of sentence stress to help make my pronunciation clearer and help me understand spoken English better
  • deduce meaning of vocabulary from context
  • listen for gist and specific information

Week F

I can…

  • talk about science and social issues
  • talk about health and development
  • use future forms including future continuous and future perfect
  • show that I know about word families and word building
  • describe trends
  • show that I know about shifting syllable stress
  • take notes
  • use linking words to describe cause and effect, eg because of, consequently
  • use skimming and scanning techniques when I am reading

Week A

I can…

  • talk about current affairs and different cultures
  • talk about technology and creativity
  • use passive phrases, eg it is said…
  • give a presentation
  • interact with others on collaborative research projects
  • organise and structure arguments with signposting language, eg consequently, for instance, besides
  • recognise and use intonation to imply meaning

Week B

I can…

  • talk about the advertising and social media
  • talk about my home and community
  • use future forms without any mistakes
  • distinguish between formal and informal language
  • express degrees of certainty, eg potentially, definitely
  • understand vocabulary about the Internet
  • write an email
  • use online resources to support my studies

Week C

I can…

  • talk about consumerism and possessions
  • talk about dramas and laughs
  • use present forms accurately
  • use concessive clauses, eg ‘I like England, although it’s colder than my country’ and linking words, eg in spite of
  • identify and use common colloquial collocations and idiomatic language
  • give and justify opinions
  • critique and review
  • summarise a text

Week D

I can…

  • talk about adventures and memorable events
  • talk about mishaps and celebrations
  • use a range of narrative tenses accurately
  • understand the difference in meaning between can’t have, needn’t have, must have and didn’t need to, and use these correctly
  • use a range of time expressions and linkers, eg yet, prior to that, afterwards
  • use multiple adjectives in the correct order§
  • respond to speakers by showing a range of emotions including surprise, shock and indifference
  • hear and identify intrusive sounds which appear between words

Week E

I can…

  • talk about medicine and natural resources
  • talk about travel and foreign countries
  • use mixed conditionals
  • express obligation, necessity and permission with ‘time’ phrases, eg it’s (about) time
  • use articles and determiners in a range of contexts
  • give advice and make suggestions in a variety of situations
  • listen for gist and detailed information

Week F

I can…

  • talk about lifestyles and stereotypes
  • talk about topics connected to trends and generation gaps
  • use structures to compare and contrast, including adverbs of degree
  • use skimming and scanning techniques when I am reading
  • use indirect and embedded questions
  • use as and like
  • write a short essay including formal linkers

Week A

I can…

  • talk about the digital age and current affairs
  • tell stories and talk about different types of human connections
  • accurately use reporting verbs with a range of verb structures
  • use narrative tenses including the passive
  • distinguish between and use participle clauses
  • recognise features of a range of accents
  • show that I am aware of silent letters
  • speak for fluency
  • write a summary

Week B

I can…

  • talk about crime and ethics
  • talk about topics connected to social issues and the mind
  • show I am aware of special uses of the past simple, eg ‘did you want to call someone?
  • use gerunds and infinitives
  • use would in a variety of structures eg would rather / prefer / would prefer
  • write an article
  • use language of debate
  • use critical thinking approaches to identify and analyse arguments

Week C

I can…

  • talk about identity and taste
  • talk about topics connected to the written word and images
  • critique and review
  • emphasise what I want to say by using cleft sentences and auxiliary verbs
  • identify where to put the stress in cleft sentences
  • add meaning and description through the use of modifying adverbs, eg terribly, highly
  • recognise common verb and adverb collocations
  • use discourse markers when speaking
  • write a review

Week D

I can…

  • talk about successes and life changes
  • talk about topics connected to freedom and exploration
  • add emphasis using a variety of structures, eg inversion and fronting
  • use modals of deduction to talk about the past and present
  • express permission, obligation and necessity using modal verbs
  • use whoever, whenever and wherever
  • speculate
  • show that I am aware of multiple intelligences and of how this can help me study more effectively

Week E

I can…

  • talk about well-being and inspiration
  • talk about topics connected to globalisation and co-operation
  • use ellipsis and substitution
  • use a range of conditional language such as wish, if only, supposing
  • deduce meaning from context when reading and listening
  • recognise characteristics of connected speech and demonstrate this in controlled practice
  • listen for gist and specific information
  • paraphrase

Week F

I can…

  • talk about education and business
  • talk about science and power
  • use the passive voice in a variety of structures accurately (including with modal verbs and infinitives and phrases beginning with it…)
  • talk about the future seen from the past and use phrases such as was/were going to and supposed to
  • use have/get something done
  • use a range of future forms accurately
  • use skimming and scanning techniques when I read
  • understand and use technical language

General English Levels

Elementary (A1)
Pre-Intermediate (A2)
Intermediate (B1)
Intermediate Plus (B2.1)
Higher Intermediate (B2.2)
Advanced (C1)

Levels are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

What Do the Levels Mean?

Speaking Listening Writing Reading
Elementary (A1) Can use simple phrases and sentences to describe people and places. Can interact in a simple way when the other person repeats or rephrases
sentences slowly and provides help with formulating sentences. Can ask and answer simple questions on very familiar topics.
Can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases on simple topics, such as family and everyday objects, when people speak slowly and clearly. Can write simple isolated phrases and sentences. Can write a short, simple postcard. Can fill in forms with personal details, for example name, nationality and address on a registration form. Can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues. Can begin to understand and find information in very short, simple texts.
Pre-Intermediate (A2) Can communicate in simple and routine tasks on familiar topics and activities. Can handle very short social exchanges. Can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms people, living conditions, educational background and work. Can understand phrases and the most common vocabulary related to everyday topics. Can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements. Can write a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with basic connectors. Can write brief, simple notes and messages Can write a short personal letter, for example thanking someone for something. Can read short, simple texts such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and find specific, predictable information. Can understand short simple personal letters.
Intermediate (B1) Can deal with most situations likely to happen whilst travelling in an English-speaking country. Can enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics. Can connect phrases in a simple way. Can describe experiences and ambitions. Can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Can understand the main points of clear standard speech in conversations on familiar
topics such as work, school and leisure. Can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes when the speech is relatively slow and clear.
Can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions. Can understand texts that consist mainly of frequently-used everyday or job-related language. Can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.
Intermediate Plus (B2.1) Can present clear descriptions on a range of subjects. Can take an active part in discussions in familiar contexts. Can narrate a story coherently. Can follow extended speech where the structure is clear. Can identify feelings, attitudes and opinions and begin to engage effectively in conversations with native speakers. Can write on a range of topics, conveying feelings, communicating opinions and describing events in detail. Can describe simple data and trends. Writing shows signs of effective organisation. Can read a variety of texts, understanding the general meaning and identifying key points. Can sometimes deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words.
Higher Intermediate (B2.2) Can present clear, detailed descriptions and participate effectively in discussions. Can communicate with an appropriate level of formality. Can interact with a degree of fluency and accuracy that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible. Can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. Can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes. Can understand the majority of films in standard dialect. Can write clear, detailed text without serious grammatical error. Can produce different types of text in an appropriate format with the correct level of formality. Can relate the personal significance of events and experiences. Can read and understand authentic material such as short stories and magazine articles. Can follow long and complex sentences. Can select appropriate reading strategies and deduce the meaning of unknown words.
Advanced (C1) Can converse skilfully on complex subjects, maintaining a rapid flow of conversation and managing interaction effectively. Demonstrates an ability to use intonation, rhythm and connected speech appropriately. Can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. Can understand TV programmes and films with little effort. Can comprehend subtleties of intonation. Can produce clear, well-structured text on complex subjects, expressing opinions at some length. Can write different kinds of texts in a style appropriate to the reader in mind. Can convey ideas precisely, flexibly and effectively in an assured personal style. Can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. Can understand specialised articles and longer technical instructions, even when they relate to unfamiliar topics.

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