Malta: The number one destination to study English
“Why should I study English?”
This is a question often asked by many people wishing to improve their English language. Thanks to globalisation and international business, the English language has become the world language, with more than 1.5billion speakers in the whole world. English has become a must in many universities and colleges worldwide, therefore some people require English to have the opportunity to further their studies, with the prospects of having a higher paying job. Many others want to expand their business circles, especially since a lot of companies are adopting English as their official language. While many express the need to perfect their English to travel around the world and welcome new cultures.
The Maltese Islands
Malta is an archipelago of little Mediterranean islands, bursting with a very rich history and over 300 days of sunshine. The Mediterranean blue sea is more than enough to tempt a visit, but there is more. Malta also boasts of having the oldest free-standing temples in the world, older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge, which were declared as UNESCO Heritage sites. Other UNESCO world heritage sites include Valletta, which was also the European Capital of Culture in 2018, Mdina and other beautiful historical places. Malta’s sister islands, Gozo and Comino, are brimming with crystal-clear waters and stunning green landscapes. If history is not your cup of tea, the bustling Maltese nightlife is another dimension in itself.
The beautiful weather
Many tourists associate Malta with warm temperatures, sunny weather and beautiful blue seas. Malta should be on everyone’s bucket list any time of the year. With milder temperatures in spring, it is the perfect destination for tourists who prefer a cooler climate, without having to experience grey skies and British rain. With language students visiting Malta all year round, language schools do not close their doors. Malta enables learners to study, with time to relax and enjoy a holiday while perfecting their English language skills.
An ex-British Colony, a Bilingual gem in the Mediterranean
Although Malta has a typical cool and relaxed Mediterranean culture, elements of British zealousness are common among the locals. Having been a British colony for nearly 200 years, Malta is still a member of the Commonwealth and has adopted English as one of its official languages. This gives the opportunity to English language learners to be fully-immersed in English, making communication in English a must. In fact, children learn English together with Maltese from a very young age at school, making them bilingual. A vast majority of locals also study other foreign languages at school, and their experience as students in foreign language classes makes it easier for those who want to pursue a teaching career. Teachers in Malta come from all parts of the world, with English as their natural communicating tool.
English language schools
There are many English language schools in Malta and Gozo, the majority located in the central parts of Malta. All schools in Malta are required to be licenced by the ELT Council, a government organisation that falls under the remit of the Ministry of Education and Employment. The ELT Council is the first English language organisation in the world to compile a list of standards and regulations that schools must comply with. It also ensures that teachers continue to develop professionally, by offering workshops and lectures as well as a conference that takes place annually. International speakers are invited to these conferences, with the intention to provide teachers in Malta with the most current teaching methods.
High quality is a must in this thriving industry. Teachers in Malta must go through a vetting process before being issued with a teaching permit. Local and international qualifications issued by Cambridge ESOL or Trinity College are also a legal requirement. Teachers also sit for an oral examination to ensure fluency, accuracy and correct pronunciation. Teachers who regularly attend a substantial number of hours of continuous professional development sessions or who further their studies in the field, are rewarded with a teaching permit by the ELT Council.
International, communicative and interactive classrooms
Malta welcomes students from all the corners of the world, making English language classrooms very diverse in culture and lifestyles. Nations join for one common motivation – the English language. In English language classrooms, friendships are formed and barriers are broken, and having to use the English language all the time, makes communication more real. Lessons are planned with one goal in mind: ensuring students learn a useful element of the English language, in a stress-free environment. Interactive whiteboards are one example of modern technology used in today’s classroom, making learning more interactive and fun, as well as close to reality. With the introduction of tablets and other mobile devices in the modern classrooms, it can be said that language teaching has stepped away from the more orthodox approach, and is keeping in line with current world technologies. One of the long-standing schools in Malta, ELA, said that it has seen English language teaching evolve throughout the years, irrelevant of the different generations sitting in class.
“What can I do to see an improvement in my English language skills?”
As with any other endeavour, practice makes perfect. The longer students stay in Malta, the more opportunity they have to improve their English language skills. Lessons, leisure activities and self-study are the perfect combination to the recipe of English language success. As they say in English, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. So why not study while having a holiday in sunny Malta?
What about underage students?
It is commonplace to find young learners in Malta all year round. Some attend with their families, others are sent to study alone. Minors are provided with 24-hour care, and are put in classes of similar ages and levels. Being the safest country in Europe reassures parents that Malta is the best choice for their children to learn this beautiful language. A family-like atmosphere is very common in schools with a heart.
Most language schools in Malta also organise students’ accommodation and provide them with the option to choose from self-catering apartments, hotels or host families. Host families give the students a proper idea of what a typical Maltese family is really like. Modern self-catering apartments are the best solution for those who prefer to be more independent, and like to mingle with other students, therefore making friends whilst constantly practising their English.
Do I require a VISA?
There are many countries whose nationals do not require a visa to come to Malta. These include European countries, Brazil, Colombia, Japan to mention a few. For a full list of countries that do require a visa we suggest you visit https://identitymalta.com/unit/central-visa-unit/#Who-Requires-A-Visa.
Good news for all Turkish citizens who would like to study English in Malta! As from 2020, schools can apply for a study VISA for a prospective student directly with the Maltese Central Visa Unit. With a minimum requirement of a 90-day stay, and 15 hours of tuition per week, the process is easy and straightforward – just leave it in the hands of the schools, while you prepare for the experience of your lifetime.
Many students who come to Malta, also opt to extend their stay, either because they are enjoying it so much or would have found work opportunities. In fact, students in Malta can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week whilst also following an English language course. The school also assists students in this process and helps them prepare all the documentation they need to submit.
Malta should therefore be the go-to destination for an English language experience! What are you waiting for? Book now!
Written by: Katrin De Fex