Teaching English podcast: What is the difference between academic English and general English?

Download the fourth episode, activity booklet, show notes and transcript from series 2 of our podcast 'British Council Teaching English'.

British Council: TeachingEnglish - series 2 overview

In our second series of this ten-part podcast series from the British Council, we try and provide solutions to some of the key questions being asked by English teachers around the world. Each episode explores a specific topic through interviews, a focus on recent developments and reports on British Council initiatives in English language teaching.

For each episode, an activity booklet, practical show notes and transcripts in English and Arabic are available to download at the bottom of the page.

Episode 4: What is the difference between academic English and general English?

Just the phrase ‘academic English’ can sometimes make students – and teachers - feel nervous and afraid. In this episode, in the company of Tracey Costley from the University of Essex, we show that academic English doesn’t have to be quite as scary as it sounds, and that academic English can actually be accessible for everyone.

In the field report, we find out about a fantastic joint initiative between the University of Leicester and the University of Leeds for refugee-background students, who receive online support to develop their academic English skills so that they can access degree programmes at UK universities.

Show notes

Each episode contains downloadable show notes. These include the following:

  • Ideas for how you could use the podcast in your teaching
  • Detailed notes with extra information about the contents of the episode
  • Useful links

Using this podcast for lessons or training 

  • You can download a transcript of the episode from the podcast homepage. To help you and your learners with preparation and language analysis, all words at the B2, C1 and C2 CEFR level have been highlighted.
  • There is an ‘activity booklet’ for this episode, which contains activities you can use in your classroom. The activities focus on speaking, listening, grammar and language. They are available in both pdf and in editable PowerPoint format, in case you wish to edit them to make them more relevant for your specific classroom.

How to listen or subscribe to the podcast

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast in the following ways:


  • Episode 4 audio file
  • Episode 4 Show notes
  • Episode 4 activity pack
  • Episode 4 Transcript

Production team

  • Hosts: We'am Hamdan and Chris Sowton
  • Producer: Elizabeth Dyer
  • Executive producer: Kris Dyer 
  • Arabic language consultant: Sawsan Abu Qare


Youtube Video


Submitted by Mustafa Atef on Mon, 02/13/2023 - 22:43

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