9 great tips for learning English at home

  • February 01, 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.

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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.

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Relevant Jobs


We are currently looking for an experienced Clinical Oncologist, who works with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for a large acute hospital in the Midlands, England.

You\'d be joining a team of 8 clinical and 2 medical oncology consultants at the modern Oncology Centre (opened in mid 2010\'s), to help support and develop site-specific services in outpatient and chemotherapy as part of the development of the centre. 

There are 3 Elekta LINACS with VMAT and IGRT, using Mosaiq and Raystation for RT planning on site, along with 35 chemo day chairs used across 3 hospitals under this NHS trust.


  • FRCR Clinical Oncology or equivalent
  • Excellent english language skills
  • Extensive experience as a consultant oncologist (UK or overseas experience)

12 - 24 months fixed term (subject to be renewed)


  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process

Locum Consultant

Specialty & Special Interests:
Clinical Oncology with primary interest in Gynaecological and Upper GI cancers

93,666 - 126,281

A unique opportunity awaits Histopathologists, especially Consultants, to join a dynamic team of 35 professionals at the Histopathology Department within a prestigious NHS Foundation Trust. Engaged in diverse diagnostic tasks, the department encourages research and teaching, offering a platform for career growth. This role is ideal for overseas Histopathologists interested in the UK NHS, with a focus on those specializing in the EEA or experienced IMGs aiming to fulfill CESR requirements.

The Histopathology Department boasts a skilled team of consultants and junior doctors, equipped with cutting-edge facilities for accurate diagnostics. Handling a wide range of cases annually, the department ensures timely and precise reports, contributing to patient care.

The department is part of an NHS Foundation Trust that is considered as a leading healthcare institution, emphasizes staff well-being, inclusivity, and equal opportunities. With 23,500 staff, the Trust is dedicated to creating a compassionate work environment where every team member can thrive. The commitment to inclusivity is deeply ingrained, driven by diverse staff networks and a Fairness Taskforce led by the CEO.

The career development opportunities at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust extend to research and development initiatives. Actively participating in regional and national research programs and clinical trials, the Trust supports staff in project planning and submission. This role presents a compelling prospect for experienced international histopathologists pursuing CESR and specialist registration in the UK NHS.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential) 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • FRCPath or PLAB (essential)

  • Experience of working for Histopathology (essential)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential)

88364 - 119133

A compelling opportunity awaits a Consultant Histopathologist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, renowned for its \"good\" overall rating by the CQC. This pivotal NHS job offers the chance to contribute significantly to pathology services within the Tees Valley Collaborative Service. Collaborating with a skilled team of 12 consultants, the role involves delivering a comprehensive cellular pathology reporting service to a diverse population across several towns, and totaling 1.6 million residents.

This role is particularly advantageous for overseas Consultant Histopathologists aspiring to establish themselves in the NHS. Suited for candidates with specialization in the European Economic Area (EEA) or experienced International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking completion of the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR), it provides a unique pathway for professional growth.

The Histopathology Department at The James Cook University Hospital stands as a beacon of diagnostic excellence, equipped with a dedicated team of consultants and junior doctors. With a robust staffing quota, the department handles a diverse caseload, offering comprehensive care ranging from routine diagnostics to complex pathology. State-of-the-art facilities, including a modern operating suite with 20 theatres and a 33-bedded critical care unit, underscore the commitment to precision and cutting-edge diagnostics.

The department is part of an NHS Foundation Trust that oversees a diverse healthcare landscape, including their main hospitals that is a major teaching and trauma center with 1,024 beds, a 24-hour acute admissions unit, and an emergency department. The NHS Foundation Trust has another hospital, integral to community care, complements the trust\'s commitment to excellence across Middlesbrough and Northallerton.

The Trust\'s dedication to research and development is evident through active participation in regional and national research programs and clinical trials. The Research and Effectiveness department within the Trust facilitates project coordination, supporting innovation. A specialized member of the research staff brings expertise in managing the pathological aspects of clinical trials.

It is part of the Middlesbrough, the urban hub, offers residents a dynamic living experience with access to scenic parks, cultural attractions, quality schools, and Teesside University. Robust transportation links connect Middlesbrough locally and to major cities and airports. Housing options, from historic residences to modern developments, cater to diverse preferences, ensuring a vibrant urban lifestyle with green spaces and educational excellence.

This opportunity, tailor-made for experienced international histopathologists, aligns with the aspiration to achieve CESR and specialist registration within the UK NHS. It not only offers a stimulating professional environment but also serves as a gateway to making a meaningful impact on healthcare.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential) 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • FRCPath or PLAB (essential)

  • Experience of working for Histopathology (essential)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential)


Experienced Pathology Consultants from around the globe are encouraged to apply for consultant roles in one of the largest Foundation Trusts in the South East of England. The trust actively seeks experienced consultants, whether or not they are currently on the specialist register, with a commitment to supporting those not on the register for CESR if that is their preference. This Trust, boasting nearly 10,000 staff and an annual budget exceeding £715 million in 2019/20, operates two large general hospitals in the East of England that consistently perform well according to their CQC reports.

The Histopathology department at this Trust is on a trajectory of advancement, aiming to incorporate the latest technologies and innovations to meet the current and future challenges of the modern NHS. An exciting collaboration with a large teaching hospital and tertiary center in China is underway, promising extensive opportunities for research and teaching within the Histopathology department. The post holder will play a crucial role in surgical pathology and cytopathology, engaging with a dynamic and multidisciplinary team.

The work environment within the Histopathology department is characterized by surgical cut-up performed by Consultant Pathologists, Specialty Registrars, and Biomedical Scientists. Two biomedical scientists have completed the Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological dissection (cut-up), with ongoing training for another. Technical staff handle small biopsies, while Consultant Pathologists report all FNA and non-cervical cytology specimens. Although there is no sub-specialization in surgical histology or diagnostic cytology at present, lead pathologists for each cancer site act as contact points within the department, actively participating in multidisciplinary meetings. Importantly, there is no on-call commitment, and the post holder has the option to undertake coronial post-mortem examinations by direct agreement with local coroners services.

Currently, there are six consultant pathologists, with capacity for two more, including the current vacancy. The Histopathology and Blood Science services are fully accredited by UKAS, participating in both interpretative and technical EQA schemes. The hospital itself holds HTA approval as an institution.

Beyond the professional realm, life in the region offers an enviable quality of life in a historic town. The area features a wealth of affordable housing in one of the most attractive parts of Britain, while remaining in proximity to one of London\'s major airports and all the facilities of the capital. Families will find excellent schools and a range of leisure facilities to enhance their living experience. Relocation support, including detailed information through a relocation document, is available for those interested in exploring this exciting opportunity further.

Are you eligible for this role?
To be considered for this role you must meet the following requirements:

  • Specialist Registration in Histopathology or
  • FRCPath and extensive consultant experience or
  • GMC registration with reporting experience in a similar healthcare system
Experience from similar healthcare systems with similar reporting methods will be considered for these roles. Any consultant pathologists not on the specialist register for histopathology will be supported for CESR if that is their desire.

An exciting opportunity for a dedicated Consultant Histopathologist to join their premier Cellular Pathology Department. Focused on delivering exceptional clinical care, the consultant team is committed to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and upholding high service standards. You will be a part of an NHS Trust that actively embraces changes, incorporating initiatives like large volume slide scanning and remote frozen section macroscopy to enhance digital capabilities. This role is ideal for those seeking a fulfilling NHS job in Histopathology, offering opportunities for Consultant-level positions and support through the CESR program. Join in contributing to outstanding healthcare services in the UK.

The department sits within an NHS Trust that was formed in 2012, and it is the largest NHS trust in Britain, boasting a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of 16,000 employees. Its hospitals provide high-quality clinical care to over 2.5 million residents in east London and beyond. With a vision for excellence, innovation, and compassionate care, the Trust has earned a favorable Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating.

The Histopathology Department operates with a dedicated team of consultants and junior doctors, maintaining a strategic staffing quota. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the department excels in diagnostic procedures and pathology reporting. Handling a diverse range of cases, the team\'s commitment to excellence is evident in their significant annual reporting of histopathology and cytology cases.

It is situated in London, a vibrant metropolis, offers an urban setting with green spaces like Hyde Park. Renowned for world-class educational institutions, the city provides diverse housing options and an extensive transportation network. The Trust is committed to workforce development, offering learning opportunities and encouraging compliance with mandatory training.

This role is particularly appealing to overseas histopathologists aspiring for a consultant career in the UK, with experience in CAMHS in the EEA or for experienced IMGs seeking CESR completion. Barts Health NHS Trust, with its commitment to education and workforce development, invites professionals to be part of its journey towards excellence in healthcare provision.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential) 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • FRCPath or PLAB (essential)

  • Experience of working for Histopathology (essential)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Histopathology (essential)

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