There is no age limit when it comes to learning English. Being able to engage with peers and colleagues in English gives you an an enormous advantage both as a student or on the international employment market, opening up to a wealth of opportunity.
There is quite a gap between the English you are tested on in school and English as a communication tool in the workplace. According to the Center for Applied Linguisticsdeveloping good communication skills that allow you to participate effectively in your profession is paramount for adult students of English.
Perhaps you always wanted to experience UK education? As an adult learner going abroad to learn English, you are surrounded by the language and very motivated to learn. Chances are you will be more focused on learning than younger learners, as you’ve had the time to figure out what your priorities are, and exactly what you want to learn English for.
If you are a foreign student and want to go to an English speaking university in the UK or US, you will need to take a TOEFL or IELTS test. You can find courses that will prepare you specifically for these exams, both in your own country as well as abroad.
A good place to start for more information and to assess your English level for free is the British Council website. These pages also give you good advice on how you can get started with your English learning as an adult.
Say you are an au pair in London and are struggling to get by with your English level. There may be a language school just around the corner, and most language schools offer flexible hours as well as individual tutoring. A good teacher will assess your needs and tailor the English lesson to what you use day to day; the English needs of an au pair will be different to those of a nurse, for example.
Many English language schools in London as well as other major cities offer courses designed especially for certain professions, for nurses, doctors or lawyers; subjects that demand a specialist vocabulary.
Going abroad to study is a rewarding experience, no matter your age. You can find English classes for adults offered all over the UK, offering a wide range of courses. These vary from school to school, and some offer specialised courses including accommodation. Make sure that you check what is included in the course price before committing. Accommodation can be both in residential halls as well as homestay with an English speaking family. The host family option can be a great advantage in having a family to practise with after class, who will include you in their day to day life and give you a taste of British culture.
Adult classes for English are composed of highly motivated individuals with a desire to learn, and can be a very stimulating atmosphere. Rather than just testing your academic knowledge in written and spoken exams, these courses work on your communication skills. Your teacher will use situations relevant to your profession or interests to make sure that you get the most out of your course.