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Language Courses

Families must allow time for their au pair to attend a suitable language course and help them find one.

Adult education centres, colleges of further education, universities and private colleges may all run courses for foreign students.

Learn Direct (telephone 0800 100 900) is a free national learning advice line which will also tell you some of the courses available in your area.

The website has information on many language courses and you can search by area.

Courses suitable for au pairs are often called 'English as a foreign language' EFL or 'English for speakers of other languages' ESOL. There are many different levels of these courses ranging from basic to advanced.

University of Cambridge (UCLES) courses run all over the UK and are very popular with au pairs, who can do the course and choose whether to sit exams at the end. The au pair will have to pay extra to sit the exams but will have an extra qualification to take home. The different course levels are pre-intermediate, intermediate, first certificate, advanced and profiency.

Most au pairs attend language courses once or twice a week while they are in Britain as it is a way to improve their English and make new friends at the same time.

Students from non-European Union countries have to pay a higher fee for their classes than European Union students. Most au pairs will fund the cost of the language courses themselves although some families may choose to make a contribution to the cost. The au pair will also have to pay for any course books and any exam fee.

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