ELTC Spring Orientation: English language and culture lectures

Two young women in an art gallery. The woman on the left is pointing at a wall containing example images and details about the Ruskin Collection, a 19th century collection which aimed to inspire the people of Sheffield by providing access to art and insights about natural wonders.

Event details

Weekly from Friday April 26 until Friday June 7
9:30am to 11:00am (UK Time - BST)
Attendance is free and open to all offer holders for degree programmes at the University of Sheffield.


Moving to the UK is a new and exciting part of your student experience. Knowing what to expect can help you settle into life sooner.

To give you a better idea, the University's English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) is hosting a 7 week programme of free English language and culture lectures which will help you learn about the language, cultural and social aspects of living in the UK.

These workshops form part of the ELTC’s Spring Orientation programme for 2024 applicants, along with our series of English Language and Culture workshops.

Who are the lectures for?

The English language and culture lectures are open to all undergraduate and postgraduate offer holders. The lectures will allow you to:

  • Connect with future students: Meet fellow coursemates coming to Sheffield
  • Improve your English: Lectures are led by our expert team of English language tutors
  • Dive into UK culture: Discover the traditions that make Britain unique
  • Explore Sheffield: Learn about the city’s past, present and future
  • Uncover university life: Find out more about Britain's higher education system
  • Ask anything: Get detailed answers to your questions

Upcoming lectures

The lectures will take place every Friday from 9:30am to 11:00am UK time (BST) between April 26 and June 7 2024 on a different topic each week (tap / click on each lecture for a synopsis):

Friday April 26: The City of Sheffield

Sheffield is a vibrant city, constantly changing. It expanded during the industrial revolution, as the raw materials from the area allowed for the mass production of steel; Sheffield is known as the steel city. This lecture looks at the geography and history of the city and the surrounding Peak District National Park, as well as looking at the people who called Sheffield home. 

Friday May 3: British Etiquette

British manners have perhaps been made famous by the many period dramas that the country has produced. But what is the truth about how you should and shouldn't behave in the UK. This lecture takes a lighthearted look at British etiquette and will give you some tips on what you should do in various situations, such as in a restaurant or at a party.

Friday May 10: British Culture

The University of Sheffield is a diverse environment where people from different cultures and backgrounds come together. This lecture will explore some similarities and differences across cultures and consider what we can do improve intercultural communication.

Friday May 17: British Food

British food gets a bad press, but is it as bad as people say? Also, what is British food? Why are there so few British restaurants? This lecture explores the history of British food, it focuses on some classic dishes as well as looking at some of the more unusual fare to be found around the UK. 

Friday May 24: Evolution of the English Language 

The English language can be thought of as a recipe with many ingredients. These ingredients are the people, over the centuries, who have invaded and shaped the modern English we speak now. This lecture looks at the influence of the Celts, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Normans, as well as exploring how we went from old to middle to modern English.

Friday May 31: English Language Idioms

Every country has its idiomatic language and Britain is no exception. This hilarious lecture by ELTC Tutor Sarah Carratt explores the meaning behind some of Britain's more unusual idiomatic phrases. Hold on to your hats!

Friday June 7: British Education

This lecture looks at the beginnings of education in Britain. It explores how education for the elite evolved over more recent centuries to be an education for all. It looks at what students study and how various educational institutions are run.

How to join

You can sign up to attend the lectures by completing the sign up form:

Sign up now

The lectures will take place on an online platform. After signing up, we will send you an email with detailed joining instructions for each lecture around 1 week before it takes place.

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International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.