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Totnes School of English United Kingdom

Cross-cultural communication through the learning of English is the ethos of the Totnes School of English and since its foundation in 1980, the school has promoted English language learning through its excellent tuition, unique Thursday afternoon workshops, full social programme and weekly trip, friendly local host families and productive Tandem partnerships. The success of our courses is shown by the fact that more than half of our students come to Totnes School of English because they have heard about us from friends, work colleagues or relatives, or because they are coming back themselves for another visit- you can't find a better recommendation than this!

Totnes School of English is situated in the historic Gate House building in the heart of Totnes, a lively market town set in beautiful countryside in the south-west of England, near Dartmoor and the coast. Torbay, the English Riviera, with its glorious beaches, cliff walks and exhilarating night-life, is only 12 km away and the cities of Exeter and Plymouth for nights out or good shopping are only 30 km away, and easily accessible by bus and train.

We are a small school and we pride ourselves on our friendly personal approach and well-run courses, as well as our unusual sparetime activities, such as aromatherapy, shoemaking, Conga drumming, abseiling and caving on Dartmoor, and more.

"Totnes School of English is a small school but has a big heart and wonderful teachers, offers plenty of sparetime activities, all fun and really useful to practice the language in a different and original way."

Cinzia Petranzan, Italy

Totnes School of English is British Council accredited and is inspected regularly by the British Council for the quality of its premises, management, resources, staff, welfare and teaching. It is also a member of ARELS, the Association of Recognised English Language Services in Great Britain, and Tandem International, an association of quality language schools throughout the world.

We offer General and Intensive English courses for adults (17+) and Intensive Mini-Group courses for mature adults ( 25 years +) all year round at the Gate House, summer Courses for Teachers of English and Cambridge Exam courses.

Our core course is our General English Course:

This course forms the basis of our timetable. It offers:

    15 hours (15 x 60 minutes) tuition per week in a group at your level in the mornings (from 09.00-12.30, Mondays to Fridays)

    All levels except absolute beginners*

    Minimum age 17 years

    Start on the first Monday of the month if possible

    Maximum 10 students per class

* Absolute beginners must take one-to-one lessons until they are ready to join a group.

Our most popular course for more mature adults, professional and business people is our Intensive Mini-Group Courses for mature adults:

This course is for more people who want to study in small groups. The course offers:

    19 hours (19 x 60 minutes) tuition per week in the mornings (from 09.00-12.30, Mondays to Fridays) and in the afternoons (from 13.30-14.30, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

    Intermediate level and above

    Minimum age 25 years

    Start on the first Monday of the month if possible

    Small groups (2-4 students)*

    Course length 1-4 weeks

The course is customised as far as possible to the needs of the individual participants and we do a detailed needs analysis with you on the first day of the course.

*If we do not have a mini group at your level or you are the only student booked for this course, you will receive tuition in our General English class in the mornings, with 4 one-to-one lessons in the afternoons.

Course fees include a full social programme including:

Weekly Saturday trip to either Dartmoor, the South Devon coast or place of interest

Weekly badminton sessions at the local sports centre

Weekly pub visits

Weekly Thursday afternoon workshops in English culture, art, singing, drumming, sport and natural health

Regular video evenings and pub quizzes

Regular school parties in a teacher's house

"A nice place to have fun and to learn English- a good mixture"

Madlen Bialas, Germany

We also offer summer courses for teenagers (12-16 years) at our extra premises in Totnes. The course includes lessons in the mornings and fun activities in the afternoons.

Totnes is in Devon in the South West of England- 3 hours by direct train from London Paddington and 5 hours by direct coach from Heathrow airport or to nearby Paignton. We are also about 2 hours by car from Bristol airport and 40 minutes by car from Plymouth and Exeter airports. For more details, please ask us!

Totnes School of English promotes language learning in the form of exchanges and partnerships between two people of different nationalities in their free time. If you are in Totnes for 3 weeks or longer, we may be able to arrange for you to meet an English person who is learning your language for informal conversation practice in both languages. Please ask us for more information.

We offer students homestay accommodation in walking distance of the school with friendly English families in a safe community which welcomes foreign students and integrates them into its daily life.

We arrange:

  • Comfortable half board accommodation with English families, mostly within walking distance of the school

  • Full board accommodation for all teenagers (12-16 years)

  • Reductions for long-term students (subject to availability)

  • Pay your host family in advance direct or through the school

  • All rooms single unless otherwise requested

    (except for teenagers who sometimes share)

  • Hotel, B & B and self-catering accommodation usually available if requested (early booking recommended for high season)

Totnes School of English- the small school with the big heart!

Totnes School of English

Gate House,

2 High St,

Totnes TQ9 5RZ



+44 1803 865722



A member of ARELS, English in Devon and Tandem International.

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The small school with the big heart - and small classes- maximum 10

students per class all year round!

Totnes School of English

Gate House,

2 High St,

Totnes TQ9 5RZ



+44 1803 865722



A member of ARELS, English in Devon and Tandem International.