Adelaide is a popular destination for tourists and students alike, and a lovely place to live for those wanting a break from the hectic pace of life in Melbourne or Sydney. It has a population of only 1.3 million and with it's relaxed beaches and many beautiful old churches, it can feel like a big, friendly country town by the sea.

Keen wine enthusiasts can take advantage of the surrounding wine regions and Adelaide's thriving food scene, whilst Adelaide's universities consistently rank amongst the best schools in the world. Flinders University, in particular, is a hub of medical innovation.

But whether you're moving to Adelaide for work, following family members or hoping to travel there, you'll need to know some English to get around this beautiful city and take advantage of all it has to offer.

“Summer in Adelaide: the nourishing and destructive golds, the soft fruit and the fire.”

— Kerryn Goldsworthy, Adelaide

Some 25% of Adelaide households primarily speak a language other than English at home - so it's no surprise that there is a high demand for English lessons in Adelaide.

There are plenty of different English language learning opportunities in Adelaide, whether you are seeking English conversation classes, basic English phrases for tourists, business English classes or preparation for an IELTS exam.

You can take classes in English learning institutions or at the English school within a local university.

No matter your level - whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced English learner, there's an English class in Adelaide for you!

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English Classes In Adelaide For Anyone!

Adelaide is a great place to visit, work or study.

Depending on why you're in Adelaide, what you're looking for in an English course may vary, and so will where you should look for lessons.

Adelaide library
Practice your English grammar (in silence!) at the breathtaking Adelaide State Library.

Working In Adelaide or Migrating to Adelaide

If you're coming to Adelaide to work from overseas, you'll first need the relevant visa. There are lots of types of work visas - anything from temporary or working holiday visas to permanent long-stay visas, so make sure you apply for the right one.

Depending on the type of visa you're applying for, you may need

  • sponsorship from your employer
  • a document proving your competency in English (this is not usually necessary for temporary or working holiday visas)

Even if you work or visa doesn't require a certain English qualification, you'll need good English skills to get around and communicate at work.

Some employers will offer to pay for business English lessons to upskill their staff or give you time off to take ESL classes.

Many different places in Adelaide offer English language courses. Let's take a look at just a few of them...

  • TAFE SA, located in the heart of Adelaide has a dedicated English language centre offering a range of English courses at their English Language Centre. If you already have some English, but want to polish your English for work or employment opportunities, you can take short 8-week courses 'Advanced English Speaking And Listening' or 'Advanced English Writing And Grammar'
  •  Thebarton College offers a New Arrivals / Intensive English Study program for migrants over the age of 17 who wish to improve their English.

If you need help getting a snappy English resume drawn up, you can check out TAFE SA's Career Services page.

If you're finding you need more one-on-one help with your English classes, you can also check out the tutors and teachers over at Superprof to book in for one-on-one, personalised assistance with your language learning.

Studying In Adelaide

Perhaps you're interested in studying at a university in Adelaide, or you're moving to Adelaide to enrol in an English course and improve your language skills. 

In either case, if you plan to study in Adelaide, you'll need a student visa.

If you're hoping to further your education at an Australian university, and English is not your native language, you'll need a TOEFL or IELTS ranking. The good news: you can get either of these by taking a bridging course.

There are plenty of pathways that help you prepare for the IELTS or TOEFL tests in Adelaide. You can enrol in a school, take an online course or employ a private teacher to guide you through Superprof.

TAFE SA offers intermediate and advanced courses designed to help students with their academic English and get the most out of studying in Australia.

Additionally, the three major higher education institutions also offer dedicated English language departments to help students from international backgrounds master academic English. You can find out more information about each department by following the links below...

Living and Holidaying In Adelaide

Perhaps you're only in Adelaide for a short holiday, or to learn English during your gap year.

In addition to the intensive and academic courses we've already covered, there are plenty of places you can turn for more casual or general English classes. These are designed to fit in around your work schedule or to be taken whilst on holidays.

You can take shorter English courses at private schools such as The South Australian College of English. There, you'll benefit from a range of different class levels, small class sizes and flexible study options.

For a more formalised introduction to everything that the beautiful city of Adelaide has to offer, there are also English Study Tours offered by The English College Adelaide. The idea is that you take English classes in the morning, and then enjoy group outings to museums, beaches, markets and wildlife parks, as well as fun sporting activities such as swimming, tennis, soccer and evening mini-golf! These tours are offered for groups of 10 or more participants and the idea is that the fun afternoon activities will help support what you've learnt in the morning classes.

To meet new people and widen your social circle whilst practising your English, you may also like to download the Meetup App and join an English conversation or language exchange group.

English Courses in Adelaide... For Free?!

If you know where to look, you can improve your English in Adelaide without spending a cent!

Take English conversation classes at the library
Your local library may offer free or cheap community English classes!

Firstly, if you're a migrant or refugee arriving in Australia with very little English, you may be eligible for up to 510 hours of free English courses through the government-funded Adult Migrant English Program, also run through TAFE SA. They even offer free childcare for migrant parents who are learning English.

There are often free or very cheap English classes offered through public libraries or neighbourhood community centres.

These free programs are typically run by volunteers and might include beginner and/or intermediate ESL sessions, English for adult beginners, English resume help and casual conversation classes. Many of these classes are listed on Eventbrite or you can simply Google "English classes library" or "English classes community centre". Don't forget to include the name of your home suburb!

You can use these free meetups and community conversation classes to supplement formal lessons at a reputable English language institution.

Private Teacher or Group Class?

Are you hesitating between hiring a private teacher, or taking English lessons in a group classroom environment?

When making your final decision, you should take into account two major factors:

  • your budget
  • your learning goals

With group classes - whether these are in a language institution or organised through your local library or neighbourhood centre - you'll benefit enormously from the group atmosphere. There will be more opportunities to practice your conversation skills with your classmates, motivate each other to succeed, and make friends in your new city. Some may even speak your language - which can be very helpful if you don't understand something.

Improve your English with group English classes!
Group English classes can be a lot of fun - you can meet new friends and study together!

If you're learning through a school or institution, there will also be a set curriculum to follow, and accreditation that can help you enrol in university or land a great job.

A private English tutor will be more expensive, but they can truly tailor each class to your individual learning needs and desired outcomes. There's no risk of getting bored or struggling to catch up - each lesson will meet you right where you are.

Many private tutors offer lessons from the comfort of your own home or might be open to teaching lessons in a mutually convenient library or coffee shop. You could also opt to have your sessions online, or even at a park! You can do fun activities together, like cooking or sightseeing, all whilst practising your English. These kinds of lessons won't even feel like work!

But why not make the best of both worlds and enrol in a group class, whilst also practising with a private tutor every week?

Are you ready to experience all the amazing things Adelaide has to offer? Whether you've been learning English for a few weeks or many years, enjoy Adelaide to the fullest by taking advantage of all the English learning opportunities available there.

On the Superprof platform, we have nearly 200 differently ESL tutors to choose from in Adelaide alone. Or perhaps you need someone in Brisbane, Perth or Canberra?

We have fantastic English tutors all over Australia - and to make things easy, we've even published a guide on how to find an English tutor near you!


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Erin is an Australian musician, writer and francophile living in France.