English Conversational Skills for Beginners (2)


About this course

Do you want to improve your spoken English? Would you like to be able to hold simple conversations, to talk about yourself and where you come from? A little bit of English can go a long way.

Whether this is your first time you would like to study English, or you are one of the many who took ‘Learn English: Conversational Skills for Beginners’ , this second free course in the series will provide you with English you can use practically, immediately. The focus is on the kind of language you need to communicate and talk about yourself, your interests and your experiences – from learning how you can manage simple conversations in English to talking about your education.

As with the first course in this series, you will benefit from the British Council’s long experience in English language learning and teaching for free. Each week, the content you learn is related to the studies of a group of Arabic-speaking learners on an English course with their British Council teacher, Alan. You will watch extracts of their lessons, which will be commented on by Ismail – another experienced British Council teacher. Ismail will guide you through important aspects, highlight language, and give you practical tips about English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. As in the first course, you can then practice all of this in quizzes, discussions and in the use of a special software to help you remember new words and phrases.

What You Will Learn

  • Language you can use in common situations, such as describing places, or talking about your educational and professional experience.
  • Useful areas of English vocabulary, including descriptive adjectives, food and drink, and numbers and prices.
  • Pronunciation tips, as in the first course, to help with difficult sounds in English, as well as aspects such as stress and the way sounds link together.
  • Examples of how English differs from Arabic, which can be useful for your understanding.
  • Tips on how to be a better speaker of English, and how to best manage your learning.



Edraak, is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, that is an initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF). QRF is determined to ensure that the Arab world is at the forefront of educational innovation. As such, QRF has capitalized on regional Arab talent to leverage technology developed by the Harvard-MIT consortium, edX, to create the first non-profit Arabic MOOC platform. The new MOOC platform will present the Arab world with unique and vital opportunities that can be part of a necessary revolution in education and learning.

First, the platform will broadcast the best Arab professors to the region, offering original Arabic courses – developed by QRF – to further enrich Arab education. Through its partnership with edX, the platform will also give Arab learners access in Arabic to courses taught and developed at top tier institutions like HarvardX, MITX, and UC BerkelyX. All courses are delivered at no cost to the learner.

Second, QRF envisions the use of the platform to showcase Arab role models by broadcasting short online courses by practitioners and professionals from a variety of fields spanning the arts and sciences.

Finally, QRF believes that the platform will enable the Arab world to take advantage of the international interest in regional affairs to tell its own story to the world. Arab university professors and regional experts can use the platform to give courses in English about the region and its history. This will serve to inform a global audience that is interested in the region’s development.

The British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.


Alan Keenan

Alan Keenan is an English Teacher at the British Council in Amman, Jordan. He has a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Queen’s University Belfast. He has been teaching English for ten years, mostly in the Arab World. He has taught English to people of all ages. He currently teaches courses in General English for adults and young learners as well as Preparation for IELTS courses. He has learned both Modern Standard Arabic and the Levantine dialects. He is married and has three young children.

Ismail Alsmail

Ismail is an English teacher at the British Council in Amman, Jordan. He has a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) from Al Baath University in Syria, and a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from the University of Cambridge. Ismail has over seven years of teaching experience in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan. He has experience of teaching students at different language levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.

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