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What is Academic English?

If you want to to work in the UK, or another English speaking country, within professions such as Medicine, Accounting or Law, or want to enter a course of Higher Education, you will need to demonstrate some knowledge of Academic English.

The most common proof of competence in Academic English in the UK is the IELTS Academic Test, which we will be teaching again at Richmond English School from January 2022.

But what is Academic English? And how does it differ from the type of English we use day to day? That’s a complex question to answer fully, but here are a few simple ways in which it differs from everyday usage:

· Academic English, also known as English for Academic Purposes (EAP), has a more formal register than normal day to day English.

· The words used are technical, and specific to the subject matter being discussed. If you want to see an example of what this means in reality, then take a look at an an academic article, or one in a magazine such as The Economist or The New Scientist.

· The words themselves often look Latin or Greek. While early English was a mainly a Germanic language, most advances in European understanding across the centuries were brought in via Latin and Greek texts, or Latin and Greek via French. The result, as you would expect, is that many academic words adopted into English are Latin or Greek in origin.

· In Academic English, the language is being used to inform, not to entertain (per se) and language should therefore always be used in ways which express ideas in the clearest, most precise way possible.

If you want to learn more about Academic English courses at Richmond English School, then contact us via

or call Tom Lockhart +44 7808 765 243

We look forward to hearing from you.

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