9 great tips for learning English at home

  • January 31, 2024

As an overseas doctor, preparing for any English Language Test, whether you have chosen IELTS or OET, requires learning a huge amount.

IMGs have told us that one of the most effective ways to improve their general level of English, and help them on their journey to improving their test scores, is to study at home. So, we have put together a handy list of IMG Connect tips for studying for the English Language Tests at home, enjoy! 

1. Start devouring podcasts

If you don’t already listen to podcasts, you should! They are great! You can access these at home, or on your commute to work. On your laptop, or even better, on your phone. If you have an Apple Iphone, simply open the podcast app already installed. 

If you have Android, then try Stitcher, RadioPublic, Podbean or Pocket Casts. 

Here are a few of the IMG Connect Team favourites:

  • In our time, science
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage
  • Today in Focus
  • Happy Place
  • Woman’s Hour
  • Ted Talks Health
  • Dan Snow’s History Hit 
  • Thinking Allowed
  • BBC Inside Science
  • The Guardian’s Science Hour
  • Ted Talks Science and Medicine 
  • Discovery

2. Speak to native English speakers

There really can be no substitute for regularly speaking to native English speakers. In most cities across the world there will be a community of English speakers, seek them out online or go say hello! 

The IMG team are always happy to have a chat with you, so if you can’t find anyone, then give us a ring! 

3. Speak to everyone!

We know that sometimes in this modern world, people would rather turn to their computers, but to learn English is to share English! Whether a colleague at work, a fellow student, a friend or family member, speaking English about a range of topics, medical and general, will help you to practice what you learn. Be sure to apply your recent learning of vocabulary and grammar.

It is widely known that students who speak and listen to people every day, learn quicker. 

4. Get down with the kids… and watch YouTube! 

There are millions of videos on YouTube, with thousands of great channels and shows to subscribe to. And of course, they are mostly all free! But don’t get stuck watching cute cats and dogs, stick to the task at hand – learning English!  

IELTS and OET have their own official channels, full of useful resources. 

Instead of randomly watching topics, think about your exams and search YouTube for suitable resources. 

At IMG Connect we have found a few great suggestions to search for: 

  • OET
    • Medical lectures
    • Nobel Lectures 
    • Oxford University lectures – medical 
    • Cambridge University medical lectures 
    • Parliamentary debates, UK
    • BBC, Sky, Channel four News 
    • National geographic
    • Ted Talks

But don’t take our word for it, search for your own topics of interest. 

5. Binge on your favourite movies (in English)

What could be better than sitting back after a day at work and watching a movie? Well, watching a movie and learning English at the same time! The rule here is to not just sit back and relax, you have to do some work too, put the subtitles on, and follow the dialogue. If you don’t understand, then pause, rewind and watch again. 

Try to choose the right type of films, with lots of dialogue, so apologies to all those blockbuster fans, you may have to watch something else. Documentaries are excellent, with topics for everyone! 

Listen to the way that words are said, how the actors or narrators stress the sounds. And copy it!

Even better, take a note of all new vocabulary, and when the film is finished, find out what they mean. 

6. An article a day gets the doctor to the UK!

This doesn’t have to be test related, you can choose something that you really are interested in. It can’t all be boring! 

Blogs, news outlets, organisations – you choose. 

Reading an article a day, short or long, can dramatically improve your confidence. 

7. Tweet, tweet, twooo! 

Twitter isn’t just about a tweet, but there are plenty fantastic articles and up-to-date topics that are shared daily. 

Find someone you are interested in and follow their articles. 

Many news groups share excellent articles daily. 

But remember don’t just read the headline! 

8. Write as much as you can, to anyone you can.

Practicing writing English in different contexts will help you to cement your learning and get you into the habit of writing to a high level of structure and grammar. 

You could write a blog online for your colleagues, this is free on WordPress. It is your blog, so you choose the topic! 

Of course, you should practice writing the essays for the tests, but if you know anyone that reads English why not also write to them…in English of course!

9. Consider working with an accredited tutor

As an International Brand dedicated to helping international doctors to register with the GMC and find work in the NHS - we have lots of partnerships in place with trusted companies in many areas. One of these key areas is English Language Testing and IMG Connect works closely with a company called Specialist Language Courses. You can take a look at their website here.

Specialist Language courses work very professionally and are the UK's leading provider of online courses and tutoring. They are also one of the few accredited providers of OET and have provided consultation and guidance to the GMC on English language testing. 

Success rates are 70% + for those who sign for their tutoring and you can receive a discount if introduced by IMG Connect.

Register with IMG Connect to request your discount on English Language Courses or get in touch with one of our IMG Consultants to discuss.

IMG Jobs 

Search and find live NHS doctor jobs in the UK

IMG Resources

Read more useful articles on finding an NHS trust doctor job, pay scales & doctor’s salary in the UK, relocation and much more!  

Get in Touch

Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) to discuss doctor job options in the NHS, including discussions regarding a typical doctor salary in the UK and the most suitable hospital locations for you.

For regular news and updates, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below: 



Relevant Jobs

110,257 - 164,372

An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Acute Medicine Department. They are looking to appoint an Acute & General Internal Medicine Consultant, a great opportunity to further your medical career in the UK. This NHS job offers CESR Portfolio Pathway support, and international applications from IMGs are welcome.

The successful candidate will be the clinical lead and will drive the development and transformation of acute medicine, where patient-centered care is at the heart of the services. The role involves working within the Acute Assessment Unit, which consists of a 25-bed inpatient area including a 5-bed enhanced care area and an adjacent 6-space Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit.

Health Service

Working for this health service is professionally rewarding, offering high-quality, patient-centered care. Their clinicians lead in developing and managing services, supported by strong links with UK specialists. With a generous study leave budget, doctors are encouraged to pursue further education. Exciting developments include a new general hospital and a new mental health inpatient unit. They foster strong relationships between mental health, primary, and secondary care, promoting joint learning and teaching in their modern education center.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department. This is a unique opportunity to help shape an integrated care system with closer political engagement than in the UK.

Department & Team

Medicine in this health service is fully integrated by age and specialty, with three medical wards: . The EAU has a 5-bedded Enhanced Care Area and a separate intensive care unit led by intensivists. The AEC Unit is supported by a SAS doctor and consultants. The department comprises a 16-bed EAU, staffed by 11 consultants, 8 SAS doctors, 7 FY1 doctors, 2 FY2 doctors, and 6 Clinical Fellows, organized into 8 medical teams and the EAU team.

The specialty of Acute Medicine is based within the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU). The service includes a 25-bed Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) featuring 5 enhanced care beds and an Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Unit. The post holder will work across both the AAU and the AEC.

Continued Professional Development

The health service offers further training & accreditation within psychiatry, including CESR Portfolio Pathway Support, access to specialty training, and the opportunity to develop sub-specialist interest. The post holder will have ample opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and experience through attendance at relevant courses, conferences, and locally organized CME events. Health & Community Services supports Continuing Medical Education with time and financial support, offering study leave of 30 days in 3 years, and an annual study leave allowance. 

Life in the area

Living in the area presents significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate is notably advantageous compared to the U.K., and they provide a generous public sector pension scheme that isn\'t constrained by U.K. lifetime or annual contribution limits. The Consultant Contract closely mirrors the U.K. model but offers higher incremental levels. Incremental progression is automatic from points 1 to 17 on the pay scale based on satisfactory performance, while formal applications are necessary for points 18 to 20.

Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:

•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine

EEA candidates: 
•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine
•    European Specialist Qualification

Non-EEA candidates:
•    MRCP
•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine

99,532 - 131,964

A Northern English NHS Trust is looking for a Consultant Histopathologist to join their team at. They are considering either UK or overseas-trained doctors for a permanent contract type. The trust will support with CESR support for those who are looking to attain CESR and Specialist Registration. This is a high performing and friendly department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK-based doctors looking to further careers in the UK.

This is a great job for any overseas Pathologists looking for CESR-support and great career development in a beautiful part of England.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust offers top-notch hospital and community healthcare services to a population exceeding 400,000 individuals across several areas/ With two primary hospital locations boasting a combined total of 553 beds, and their hospitals situated approximately 15 miles apart - along with a community hospital, the Trust ensures comprehensive care coverage. Its extensive range of services and specialties includes Bariatric Services, Orthopaedics, Urology, Cardiology, Diabetes Care, Elderly Care, Emergency Care, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Respiratory Medicine, Rheumatology, Stroke Care, Critical Care, Neonatology, Pain Services, and Pathology.

What is the department & team like? 

The Histopathology Department is staffed by a dedicated team of consultants and junior doctors committed to delivering outstanding patient care. The team comprises experienced consultants and supportive junior doctors, ensuring comprehensive coverage and expertise in diagnosing a wide array of cases. The department is actively involved in the diagnosis and management of diverse histopathology and cytology cases, encompassing oncological, gastrointestinal, dermatological, and respiratory conditions, among others.

They offer a range of treatments tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient, with a focus on delivering timely and accurate diagnoses to support effective treatment plans. Equipped with advanced facilities and state-of-the-art technology, the department boasts modern laboratory equipment and diagnostic tools. These resources enable them to efficiently process and analyze histopathological specimens, facilitating prompt and precise diagnoses.

On average, the histopathology department handles a substantial volume of cases each year, covering a broad spectrum of pathology types. Through the collaborative approach and commitment to excellence, they strive to uphold the highest standards of patient care and contribute to advancements in diagnostic medicine.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The Trust and Histopathology team are dedicated to supporting their doctors career development through. For example, the new appointee will have the opportunity for the development of teaching experience as they would be expected to undertake formal and informal teaching of trainees within the department, and participate with other consultants in teaching/lectures as part of the Trust’s postgraduate education program. There will also be the opportunity for the development of personal research interests through the Research and Development Department. Research is highly encouraged at this trust and is undertaken during SPA sessions. The new consultant will also be able to increase their experience in MDTs, as these are regularly held within the department. 

Life in North East

The North East of the UK offers a diverse blend of rural and urban settings, providing both tranquility and vibrant city life. Residents can explore scenic landscapes such as the Northumberland Coast or enjoy cultural attractions in cities like Newcastle upon Tyne. The region boasts esteemed universities like Durham and Newcastle, along with quality schools. Transportation links are well-established, connecting the area to major cities and airports. Housing options vary from historic properties in market towns to modern developments in bustling urban centers, catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Histopathology
  • Specialist European Qualification in Anatomic Pathology
  • Full and Specialist registration (and with a licence to practise) with the General Medical Council (GMC), or be eligible for registration within six months of interview.
  • An understanding of Clinical Governance

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • FRCPath
  • Full and Specialist registration (and with a licence to practise) with the General Medical Council (GMC), or be eligible for registration within six months of interview.
  • An understanding of Clinical Governance

UK based applicants

  • Full GMC registration
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
  • An understanding of Clinical Governance
50,00 - 80,000

IMG Connect are proud to be representing NHS England in the recruitment of a paediatric & perinatal fellowship role, providing overseas pathologist the access to specialist registration / CESR in their field, without the need to enter specialty training. With the opportunity to work in either one or multiple of the UK\'s largest and most established NHS pathology departmetns, this Fellowship in Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology is ideal for either paediatric pathologists with extensive overseas experience, or young-aspiring pathologists with a strong interest and desire to train further in paediatric & perinatal pathology.

The Fellowship is designed as an 18 month training programme for international medical graduates who are experienced paediatric/perinatal foetal pathologists who are willing to work as consultants in this field in the UK. You will work and train in one or two of the NHS\'s largest and most renowned institutions.

Am I eligiible?

  • Full FRCPath Histopathology is desirable
  • FRCPath Part 1 is essential
  • Current active duties in adult autopsy
  • 5-years histopathology experience, including some performance of perinatal autopsies as well as adult autopsy.
  • Pass in either IELTS or OET

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a full-time Consultant in Acute Medicine within this ambitious new medical inpatient model. A leading healthcare provider is seeking a dedicated individual keen on embracing recent technological advances in patient care, contributing to their evolving vision for the future of the multi-specialty medical team. This position offers support for CESR. Join them in shaping the future of acute and general internal medicine in the UK healthcare system.

This is a high performing and supportive department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK-based doctors looking to further careers in the UK.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust, a leading healthcare provider in East Anglia, serves a population of nearly 800,000 residents with hospital and community health services spanning a wide geographical area. Operating two main hospitals in Colchester and Ipswich, alongside six community hospitals, clinics, and home-based care, their extensive network ensures comprehensive healthcare coverage. With a dedicated team of nearly 10,000 staff and an annual budget exceeding £650 million, they are the largest NHS organization in the region.

Committed to delivering exceptional care and enhancing patient experiences, the Trust has allocated £100 million over five years to upgrade hospital facilities, prioritizing optimal environments for both patients and staff. Emphasizing a supportive workplace culture, they offer diverse opportunities for development, innovation, research, education, and training. Their patient-centered philosophy revolves around the value of time, aiming to reduce stress and optimize care delivery while empowering staff to utilize their skills effectively.

What is the department & team like?

The Department of Acute Medicine, nestled within the Division of Medicine, operates as a vital component of their healthcare ecosystem. The team of seven dedicated consultants collaborates within the recently refurbished Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU), equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. With a primary focus on providing efficient and compassionate care for their local community, the department remains committed to adapting and expanding their acute services in response to evolving emergency care strategies.

As a Consultant in Acute Medicine, the successful candidate will play an integral role in their interdisciplinary approach, working closely with Specialty Medicine, Surgery, and Diagnostic Imaging departments to ensure comprehensive assessment processes for all medical emergencies. Effective communication and seamless collaboration with allied health professionals and consultant colleagues within EAU are essential components of their mission to deliver excellence in emergency care.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The Trust supports the consultants with opportunities to support the multi-professional teaching and development along with active participation in teaching programmes for Foundation, IMT, GP, Higher Specialty Training. Consultants on the specialist register will be given autonomy and will freedom to develop their special interests, with access to additional leadership, research and teaching duties available for those that want it. 

All consultants will receive a full induction process and will be involved in clinical audit and governance.

Life in East England

East England offers a diverse landscape, blending urban centers with picturesque countryside. Residents can explore historic landmarks like Cambridge University or unwind in scenic areas like the Norfolk Broads. The region boasts esteemed schools and universities, including the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University. Transportation links are robust, with efficient train services connecting to major cities like London and airports such as Stansted Airport. Housing options range from charming cottages in rural villages to modern apartments in bustling towns, catering to varied preferences and lifestyles. East England provides a perfect balance of urban amenities and rural tranquility.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • European Specialist Qualification 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP or equivalent
  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
99,532 - 131,964
Step into an exciting NHS job opportunity to become an integral part of the NHS Acute Medicine team at this Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. With the Hospital boasting 570 beds and the sister Hospital offering community beds, the trust is a cornerstone of healthcare in the region. The bustling Acute & Emergency Department caters to over 310,000 individuals annually, providing round-the-clock care to 85,000 new patients. Their facilities span a wide range of specialties, ensuring comprehensive medical services, and their recent \'Good\' rating from the CQC underscores their commitment to excellence in care. Join them in shaping the future of healthcare.

This NHS vacancy is ideal for overseas Consultants, Specialist Grades, or Specialty Doctors seeking to establish themselves in the NHS. Suitable for EEA specialists or experienced IMGs aiming for CESR completion.

What is the NHS Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust epitomizes compassion and innovation, dedicated to ensuring optimal patient outcomes and fostering a supportive environment for our staff. Their vision extends to excellence in patient care, community service, and staff satisfaction, making them a premier destination for healthcare, employment, and education. Their hospitals serve a combined population of over 330,000 residents, strategically positioned to meet the evolving healthcare needs of their communities.

One of the NHS Trust\'s main site serves as the epicenter of their emergency and critical care services, alongside women\'s and children\'s health, including maternity care. Their other hospital, on the other hand, specializes in elective procedures and houses an Urgent Treatment Centre, complemented by shared services across both sites and community hubs within their catchment area. Having garnered a \'good\' rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with notable \'outstanding\' attributes, they are on a trajectory toward university hospital status, having achieved teaching hospital status in 2019.

Their diverse workforce, representing over 50 nationalities and comprising nearly 5,000 individuals across both sites, underscores their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. Recognized as a trailblazer in these areas, they strive to maintain an equitable and inclusive environment for all staff, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation.

The Acute Medicine Department and Team

The Acute Medical Unit (AMU) serves as the primary gateway for all medical admissions, with exceptions for those requiring direct admission to specialized units such as ITU, HDU, CCU, or Stroke Unit. Recently reorganized, AMU comprises an Assessment area, an ambulatory area, and short-stay beds with a maximum duration of 48 hours. The unit is staffed by three consultants, who provide flexible coverage throughout the day, gradually reducing to two consultants in the afternoon and one in the evening. A goal is to ensure all patients, barring overnight admissions, are seen by a consultant within 4 hours of arrival, with a further consultant review within 12 hours of admission.

The Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit, inaugurated in July 2022, aligns with national guidelines, facilitating the swift evaluation and management of patients within a single day. The unit, jointly serving surgical and medical specialties, promotes collaborative care. Plans within the initial year involve optimizing patient throughput. Consultants allocate one day per week to the unit, which also offers rapid access Acute Medicine clinics to support early discharge from the Acute Medicine department.

In terms of consultant medical on-call responsibilities, the medical team admits an average of 50 to 75 patients over a 24-hour period. Consultants conduct reviews of medical admissions in the afternoon of their on-call day, commencing with a post-take ward round around 1:30 pm. The following morning, acute physicians review admissions to AMU from the previous evening and overnight, with the on-call consultant attending the 9 am handover and completing reviews of any remaining admissions on outlying wards.

Life in the Cheshire

The area offers a blend of urban convenience and nearby rural escapes, catering to varied lifestyles for doctors. Residents enjoy scenic walks along the rivery or exploring historic landmarks. The area boasts a range of quality schools and accessibility to nearby universities such as the University of Chester. Excellent transportation links via train and bus networks connect the area to neighboring major cities like Liverpool and Manchester, as well as to airports such as Manchester Airport. Housing options range from modern apartments to traditional suburban homes, accommodating diverse preferences.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The NHS Foundation Trust provides a myriad of career development and advancement opportunities for Acute Medicine consultants. Firstly, consultants can benefit from ongoing professional development programs tailored to their specific needs, including access to training courses, workshops, and conferences to enhance clinical skills and knowledge. Additionally, the Trust fosters a culture of innovation and research, encouraging consultants to engage in academic activities, publish papers, and contribute to advancements in the field of Acute Medicine.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT

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