General English

The programme

General English courses are our most popular programmes. You can choose from three different options of 20, 26 or 30 lessons a week. 

Our General English courses give you choice and flexibility so you can start an amazing learning journey every week of the year. Start your journey and learn English as a second language while exploring Galway, one of Ireland’s most attractive cities.

Choose from short-term and long-term flexible programmes. We offer all levels from Elementary A1 to Advanced C2 with all three course options starting any Monday.

  • Minimum Course Length

    2 weeks +

  • Lessons a Week

    20, 26 or 30 lessons
    45 minutes per lesson

  • Minimum English Level

    Beginner A1 - Advanced C2

  • Cost

    from €215 per week

  • Start Dates

    Any Monday
    (on bank holidays, courses start on Tuesdays)

  • Maximum Class Size

    12 in winter
    14 in summer

  • Minimum Age

    17 in winter
    16 in summer

  • Lesson times

    Mon - Fri 9.00 - 12.30 / 15.00
    (in summer, classes begin at 8:30)

Please note that if you score less than 15 questions correct out of 80 questions (less than 18%) in the online English test, you will need to book one to one classes before you begin your General English classes.
In order to be able to start your General English classes any Monday, your level must be minimum Elementary A1.

Who is the course for?

Imagine being able to communicate freely and confidently in English!

Our General English courses can help you achieve real fluency and prepare you for further study or a successful career. 

Whether you’re a student applying to university or a professional looking to brush up on your English skills, we’ve got something that’s just right for you.    

These courses are the best option for international students who wish to improve their English language skills. Does that describe you?

We want you to get the results you need. Think about what you want to study and, more importantly, what you want to achieve before you start. With your dedication and our expert help, you can progress from one level to the next in as little as six weeks.      

What are the benefits of studying a General English course?

You’ll enjoy many benefits from learning another language and many more from learning English. Learning English is not only for academic achievement - it equips you with a life skill that will help you develop both personally and professionally. 

  • Gain the necessary confidence in English and make friends with people from all over the world
  • Choose from three different course options – 20, 26 or 30 lessons a week, depending on how intensively you want to study.
  • 20-lesson classes are morning only and 26 and 30 lesson classes are in the morning and afternoon. You’ll receive your timetable on your first day.
  • General English courses give you choice and flexibility so you can start your learning journey every week of the year
  • Improve your core communication language skills whether for work, study or pleasure
  • Enjoy a technology-enhanced environment that helps you become a better learner

General English course objectives

Our main aim is to ensure you feel confident and prepared to use English in any setting. We want you to enhance your communication skills so you can interact with English speakers effectively outside the classroom in the real world.  

  • You’ll develop your English language skills in a dynamic student-centred learning environment
  • You’ll focus on the practical aspects of language and facilitate your everyday communication during your English experience
  • You’ll learn through task-based activities specially designed by our professional, enthusiastic teachers: the emphasis is on communicating effectively and developing your confidence in using English in real-life situations      

The weekly syllabus guides are based on core course books and supplementary material developed by the expert teaching team at GCI for the morning classes. We choose our course books, materials and digital resources from the latest research into the English language.

Our General English courses are designed to develop all areas of your English language skills:


  • Your vocabulary, listening, speaking and confidence will all improve      
  • You’ll improve your reading and writing
  • You’ll explore English language grammar structures 
  • You’ll have time to develop and improve your pronunciation and intonation      – in fact, everything to help you excel and gain fluency     

In the 20-lesson General English course (G20) you can enroll for a short time (2+ weeks) or a longer period (up to 50 weeks). The choice is yours. You’ll be in classes studying with students from all over the world and at your level of English. 

The 26-lesson General English course (G26) is one of our newest programmes and is quickly becoming one of our most popular courses. It’s affordable and designed for those seeking an English language course with more class contact time. It combines our G20 morning programme with 3 afternoons of lessons focusing on projects, fluency and your communication skills outside the classroom.

Our 30-lesson General English course (G30) is the best option for those who want to make maximum progress. With your commitment and hard work, as well as our expertise, you can move from one level to the next in as little as 6 weeks.  

The G30 General English Course is our most comprehensive General English programme. It has 30 lessons and a combination or morning and afternoon lessons – 20 morning lessons with 10 afternoon lessons. If you choose this programme, you’ll experience afternoon classes focusing on key themes or situations so you can gain confidence and immediately put learning into practice in your daily life in Galway.

The afternoon classes centre on student interaction and are a combination of individual, pair and group work. There’s also an emphasis on debates, presentations, listening exercises, teacher-led discussions, written tasks and reading.  This perfectly complements the structured course book syllabus of the 20 morning lessons.

The 26-lesson General English course offers the same format as the General English 30 for the afternoon part over 3 days a week.

 You’ll see your level improve and monitor your progress each week with the end- of- week test. Your teacher will discuss your progress with you and make personal recommendations. Homework is part of your learning journey, and this is assigned by your teachers every day. The library is open every afternoon, and there is a teacher there to help both boost your confidence and motivation as well as direct you to appropriate resources for your needs.

All our General English courses give you time to enjoy the social and cultural activities in GCI and explore the picturesque city of Galway.

Course content

Here at GCI we use only the most modern and up-to-date materials and our course book choice reflects this. Your course is structured around an excellent 12-week syllabus. The syllabus is linked to the Common European Framework (CEFR) 'Can Do Statements'. Our talented teachers make changes depending on your specific needs and requirements, and introduce you to additional materials as appropriate.

Your progress is assessed weekly with a review test every Friday. This gives you the opportunity to decide if you need to practise more in any area. Your teacher will regularly discuss and analyse your progress with you. Homework is part of your learning journey, and every day your teachers assign specific tasks to help you improve your skills and progress towards fluency.      

Learn English in Galway

What support does Galway Cultural Institute offer me?

When you arrive, you’ll get your own course book, which you’ll use every day in your lessons and for some of your home study tasks. 

You’ll have two different teachers who’ll help you develop your English skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening, in addition to your language skills: grammar, vocabulary and communication.

You’ll also have lots of opportunities to practise in your groups and you’ll meet new people from all over the world!

Our academic staff members (DOS and ADOS) are available every day in the library during break time for any help or guidance. The library is open in the afternoons,      and the teacher there can guide you to the most appropriate materials that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of English language.

Why should I choose Galway Cultural Institute to study English? 

  •   You’ll learn real English in a beautiful place – Galway – and also in a multicultural environment, using the very latest resources and technologies.
  • You’ll have fun and be challenged to succeed so you can communicate successfully with native English speakers and with people from all over the world.
  • You’ll get more out of your learning by receiving feedback from your teachers and doing weekly review tests. They’ll monitor your progress and help improve your confidence speaking English.