Interview with Darran Cairns, Centre Manager of EC Manchester: “Full immersion in the culture of the language is the best and fastest way to learn a language””



Why should a student choose your school?

I believe our main strength at EC Manchester is in the quality of the education we provide. I started as a teacher here and academic excellence is central to everything we do. We push our students when they need it and support them when they need that. Our teachers don’t stop when the class finishes – they are constantly looking for ways to help students succeed both as a group but also by understanding the individual needs of each student they teach.


In your opinion, which are the main benefits for a student to study abroad?

Full immersion in the culture of the language you are learning is far and away the best and fastest way to learn a language. Of course we can learn from a book or on the internet, but languages are alive, they are more than grammar rules and word lists – by understanding the culture you understand the language. It then becomes a part of you, permanently attached to the memories of the time you spent here. That way, you will be able to use what you have learnt for the rest of your life.


How do you see the future of language tourism?

I think the core part – face to face classes with a teacher who gets to know and understand you as a student – will always be there. But, technology will be exploited more to support and prepare the students before they arrive in the UK and to continue to assist them after they have left.


What types of courses do you think will be most in demand in the future? 

There have always been 3 core reasons for learning English – business, academic and social. I think these are not going to change. The content will continue to evolve – e.g. business English adapts to the ever-changing global picture – but in general they will remain. The important point is always to personalise these general principles for each individual student based on their needs.


Name of school

EC Manchester

Country / City

United Kingdom / Manchester


The most significant things the school can offer

At EC Manchester, we believe that teachers make the school special. Our teachers are constantly learning and updating their skills. They care about their students and take an active role in each student’s journey through regular tutorials where they can advise each individual on how to progress faster.
Our cyclical curriculum allows students to maximise the time they spend here and make as much progress as possible. The curriculum is designed to enable the students to produce the language and increase their ability to communicate effectively.
One of our core beliefs is that when a student leaves EC Manchester, they should be a better student, not just better at English. We give them the skills to continue their English learning journey long after we say goodbye to them.


Types of courses taught at the school

General English, Business English, IELTS preparation.


Attractions in the school’s surroundings and in the city in general

The first thing to mention about Manchester is football – we are home to Manchester United and Manchester City. Liverpool and Everton are 1 hour by bus. And because Manchester is a smaller city than London for example, many of our students return home with selfies with their favourite football players and memories of amazing matches.
Secondly, the geographical location of Manchester is perfect as a base from which to travel around the UK. We have weekly trips to beautiful locations such as the Lake District, the Peak District, Yorkshire and North Wales – all are around 1 hour away. London is 2 hours on the train, Edinburgh is 3 hours. There are 10 flights per day to both Dublin and Belfast for a weekend trip to Ireland. From Manchester city centre, you need travel only 20 minutes to be in beautiful countryside.
The final reason to come to Manchester is the people. The north of England has a proud reputation of being home to the friendliest people in the country.

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