All year round we run a programme of friendly, fun and informal language classes. The classes are taught by our team of dedicated volunteers.
There are English classes at various levels and a wide range of other languages including Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Korean, Russian, Japanese and more on offer.
WHY LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
Studies have shown that bilinguals tend have bigger brains, better memories, are more creative and better problem solvers.
See The World
Travellers who know more than one language are more easily able to navigate outside the tourist bubble and connect with the locals.
Make New friends
Knowing another language allows you to connect with native speaker and understand each other better.
Our classes will take place online – details about the learning environment will be sent later.
You will need a laptop, tablet or phone which has a functioning camera and microphone. You will also need a pen and paper so that you can make notes during the class.
If you are interested in volunteering to teach, please apply below.
English Conversation (10 week course)
Wednesdays 11am – 12.30pm| 05/05, 12/05, 19/05, 26/05, 02/06, 09/06, 16/06, 23/06, 30/06, 07/07
£45 Members | £55 Non Members
Mandarin Beginners (8 week course)
Thursdays 5.30pm – 7pm | 06/05, 13/05, 20/05, 27/05, 03/06, 10/06, 17/06, 24/06
£36 Members | £44 Non Members
Mandarin Elementary (8 Week course)
Fridays 5.30 – 7pm | 07/05, 14/05, 21/05, 28/05, 04/06, 11/06, 18/06, 25/06
£36 Members | £44 Non Members
We use the European Language Levels as a rough guide to help you self-select your class. Unfortunately with so many different languages available we are unable to offer a testing system. Once you’ve joined a class, if you feel that you need a higher or lower level, then get in touch and we can move you to a more suitable class (if one is available).
(equivalent to European Language Level A1)
The student has had none or little contact with the language though the student might be familiar with a few words, expressions and grammar basics.
(equivalent to European Language Level A2)
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
(equivalent to European Language Level B2)
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
(equivalent to European Language Level C2)
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Volunteer to teach
The International Society has up to 70 volunteer teachers teaching classes at any one time; and 100’s over the course of a year. Often teachers teach with us for many years.
Some of our teachers are students at the universities in Greater Manchester who want to share something of their language and culture and get some teaching experience; some are teachers who are recently qualified and are looking for some practical experience and some are qualified teachers with years of experience.
As a teacher you would be responsible for the content of the lessons that you teach and for checking the register with your students.
In return for teaching a class at the Society you can attend the other classes for free. In addition, there are teacher meetings, feedback sessions and free teaching training workshops where you can meet the other teachers, share experiences and learn something new.
We welcome new applications and recruit new teachers throughout the year. To volunteer click the button below to complete the volunteer form.
Testimonials from our volunteer teachers
Teaching at the International Society has been fabulous; I’ve met so many great people, had fun sharing my own language with them, and learning so much about others – highly recommended!
For me it was a beautiful experience to volunteer for the International Society. I met other people, taught them as well as learning better English from others which was very important for me. I enjoyed it a lot, and I would love to do it again in the future
Have any questions about our classes? Find out more below.
Tell me more about the classes.
The classes usually consist of 10 lessons of 90 minutes each; with the lessons taking place once per week. This can vary depending on the class – these details are listed alongside each class in the list above.
How do I register for a class?
You can either register online, or you can drop into our office on the ground floor of the University of Manchester Students’ Union on Oxford Road and register there. Please be aware that our more popular classes can fill up very quickly so make sure to register as early as you can to avoid disappointment.
When can I register for a class?
As soon as the details of a class are confirmed with the volunteer teacher, we will post them online. Online registration will generally close when the first lesson starts; some classes will always be open for registration; please get in touch to clarify. If online registration has closed with the first lesson, and you would still like to register, you will need to come into our office (ground floor UMSU) before the second class where we may be able to allow you to register depending on space in the class.
Where do the classes take place?
Update Aug 2020: Due to the pandemic and social distancing guidelines, all our language classes are now online.
Most of our classes will take place on the University of Manchester campus. You can find a map and our full address here. When you arrive for your first class, report to our office on the ground floor of the UMSU and a member of staff will inform you of the exact location of your class and help you to find it.
How much does it cost?
Classes cost £45 for members and £55 for non-members; this is the standard price for ten weeks of lessons, with one lesson of an hour and a half per week. Some classes may have more (or less) lessons and the price would be increased or decreased to reflect that. The full payment must be made in order to join a class.
Can I try a class (NO!)?
You must register in full for a class before you are able to attend. It is extremely disruptive for both students and teachers if people try to attend lessons without registering first. Our volunteer teachers will require students to show a confirmation and photo ID so anyone found trying to attend lessons without registering will be removed from the class and may be banned from attending classes at the International Society in the future.
How old do I have to be?
Our classes are strictly for adults (over-18’s) only. Unfortunately we are unable to provide classes for younger students.
Can I change class?
If you find the class you have joined is not suitable, you can be transferred into a different class with available spaces before the second class has taken place.
Do I get a qualification?
We are not an accredited language school and cannot provide a formal qualification. However we are very happy to provide you with an official letter of attendance from the International Society.
Who are the teachers?
All of the language teachers at the International Society are volunteers. In many cases they have qualifications and/or experience as a teacher but also many may be teaching for the first time in order to gain experience. Please be supportive of the teachers as they are giving their time and energy for free.
How do refunds work?
A refund can be claimed before your second class if you no longer wish to attend. In this instance a refund will be given for the remaining classes. Alternatively, if the class you have joined is not suitable, you can be transferred into a different class with available spaces before the second class. A cancellation charge of £1.00 per class is applicable.
If by the end of term a teacher has been absent and has been unable to offer replacement classes a refund will be given for each class that didn’t take place. Please note that replacement classes may not take place at the original day and time of the classes.
Refunds will not be given for classes that you have missed.
Can’t find what you were looking for?
get in touch!
Want to know more about our classes? Drop us a message.
0161 275 4959
c/o UMSU, Oxford Road,
Manchester, M13 9PR
Our offfice is located at the ground floor of University of Manchester’s Students’ Union.
The International Society is a registered charity. Our Charity Commision number is 521248.
© International Society 2020