(Grahamstown | South Africa )

Acorn Institute: English Language School

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26 Lawrence Street , Grahamstown (view map)
86% (4 reviews)

About Acorn Institute: English Language School

A small, family-owned school in Grahamstown, South Africa - the Acorn Institute English Language School – offers world class English Language courses with individual approach. Our school is ready to meet our students' language learning needs.

Our courses are held in small classes, with a maximum of six students per class. This gives us opportunity to get to know our students personally and pay more attention to their progress.

The Acorn Institute is located in a historical farmhouse built around 1860 and it is close to the centre of the town with its shops, nightclubs, museums and restaurants. Moreover, not far from our school students can have a walk or a picnic in the Botanical Gardens.

Grahamstown is the educational centre of the Eastern Cape, home to a world renowned university and top government and private schools. Students come from all over Africa and around the world to take advantage of this ideal learning environment. Rhodes University currently host students from 70 different countries. The vibrant student life offers many opportunities for language practice.

The Eastern Cape is also known as the adventure province of South Africa. This means that there is much to keep students active and entertained when they are not busy with their studies. We are close to beaches, forests, mountains and game reserves. Tours and excursions are an important part of our students’ learning they practice their language skills with native speakers in exciting new environment.

We hope that our students fall in love with the beauty of South Africa and enjoy the hosptality and warmth of her people while they learn English.


  • Geography
  • History
  • Hiking
  • Literature
  • Historical sightseeing
  • Volunteering
  • Dancing
  • University student social events
  • Film
  • Rock climbing
  • Music
  • Culture Shock presentation
  • Theatre
  • On campus events
  • Local cultural events (festivals, etc.)
  • Cultural tourism (theater, museum, etc.)
  • Photography

Work and Further Studies

  • Work experience / internship with local companies


  • On campus
  • In hotel/guesthouse
  • Host family accommodation without students of same native language
  • Host family accommodation


  • Golf
  • Mountaineering
  • Riding
  • Dance
  • Swimming
  • Climbing
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Chess
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Diving

Additional Services

  • Visa support
  • Student counselling
  • Facilities for students with disabilities
  • Airport/Station transfer
  • Water sports


General English

88% 1 Review

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Class Sizes: Small, 2-5 students, One-to-One, Medium, 6-10 students

Levels: Advanced, Intermediate, Basic

Weekly Hours: General 15-25 hrs/wk

Location Type: University campus, Town/City , Seaside, Rural/Countryside, Mountains

Our General English course develops the language skills you need for academic purposes, the workplace and everyday use.

We offer classes across four levels from Beginner to Advanced.

Mornings are spent in class while afternoons are for extra English practice, excursions, school and business visits and adventure experiences.

We offer students many opportunities to practice their English skills in real life situations.

Hard work, intense practice and lots of fun make this a highly successful and popular course.

English Exam Preparation

0% 0 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Location Type: Rural/Countryside, Mountains, University campus, Town/City , Seaside

Class Sizes: Small, 2-5 students

Levels: Advanced, Intermediate, Basic

Weekly Hours: Intensive 25+ hrs/wk, General 15-25 hrs/wk

Prepare to write English language exams (IELTS and TOEFL) that are recognised worldwide. We will teach you the skills and exam techniques you need to achieve high grades.

English Academic preparation

0% 0 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Prepare to write English language exams (IELTS and TOEFL) that are recognised worldwide. We will teach you the skills and exam techniques you need to achieve high grades.

Business English

0% 0 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Weekly Hours: Intensive 25+ hrs/wk, General 15-25 hrs/wk

Class Sizes: One-to-One, Small, 2-5 students

Location Type: Seaside, University campus, Rural/Countryside, Town/City , Mountains

Levels: Advanced, Intermediate, Basic

English is a global business language and improving your English skills will improve your career prospects. Learn the language skills needed for meetings, telephone calls, presentations, correspondence and reports.

We focus the course on the needs of your own work environment (such as government, manufacturing, medicine, aviation, retail, banking and so on). Courses build on the General English course and are intensive.

Tailor made English courses

0% 0 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

English Summer Courses

0% 0 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Levels: Advanced, Intermediate, Basic

Weekly Hours: Intensive 25+ hrs/wk, General 15-25 hrs/wk, Relaxed 10-15 hrs/wk

Location Type: University campus, Town/City , Seaside, Rural/Countryside, Mountains

Class Sizes: One-to-One, Small, 2-5 students, Medium, 6-10 students

Our programmes offer you the opportunity to:
• Learn about a new country with a complex and fascinating history
• Practise your English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in an English-speaking country
• Interact with South African teenagers of a similar age
• Take part in outdoor activities, games, treasure hunts and historical trails, where they can practise their English language skills
• Experience the vibrancy of the South African National Arts Festival, which takes place in Grahamstown from 30 June to 10 July

The National Arts Festival is an annual ten day celebration of art, dance, theatre, film and music which brings together local and international performers. Thousands of people gather in Grahamstown to enjoy a diverse range of offerings from comedy to drama, jazz to classical music, street theatre, experimental theatre and more. A market on the Village Green provides delicious refreshments and an opportunity to shop for handcrafted products.

The Acorn Institute undertakes to provide six hours of formal language tuition per day as well as organising a programme of afternoon and evening activities which will offer informal opportunities for language practise and interaction with South African teenagers.

English Teacher Training

85% 3 Reviews

This course is for students aged: 16-70

Weekly Hours: Intensive 25+ hrs/wk

Location Type: Town/City , University campus, Seaside, Rural/Countryside, Mountains

Levels: Advanced

Class Sizes: Medium, 6-10 students

Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

The TEFL course offered by The Acorn Institute is intensive, bringing together theory and practice to equip graduates in teaching English to Foreign Learners.

Our 120 hour course is recognised internationally and is endorsed by GoldKey Education, a fully accredited placement agency which places South African TEFL teachers in South Korean government schools to teach conversational English.

The TEFL course offers 120 hours of in-classroom input, of which a minimum of 6 hours is spent observing lessons and 6 hours teaching.

You will be assessed continuously during the course. Assessments are designed to be formative and guide your development as a teacher. Lesson plans, teaching practice and a final exam carry the most weight in calculating a final mark.

Course requirements:
o Competence in both written and spoken English
o Willingness to work hard
o An interest in teaching English
o The Acorn Institute does not require that you have completed a degree. However you may need a degree for employment purposes. Different employers have different requirements and we encourage you to investigate the requirements in the country where you wish to teach.

The maximum number of students in a class is ten, allowing for personal attention and maximum opportunity for learning.

All tuition is provided at The Acorn Institute, located at 26 Lawrence Street, Sunnyside, Grahamstown.

Course fees include:
o Course manual
o Registration and tuition
o Practical teaching and assessment
o Certificate and teaching report
o Letter of recommendation
o Tea and coffee

You will receive a TEFL certificate from the Acorn Institute when you pass with an aggregate of 70%. Reports and letters of recommendation will also be provided.

Job placement guidance will be provided to students and we have a memorandum of understanding with Teach Korea/GoldKey Education who place teachers in Thailand, Korea and China. Students who have completed the TEFL course at The Acorn Institute are interviewed for a post in Taiwan.



4 Reviews

What students are saying

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Acorn Institute: English Language School


studied English Teacher Training


The TEFL Course that l completed under Acorn Institute was very informative and constructive. We were taught how to conduct classes as prospective teachers. 70 percent of our classmates are on their way abroad. We had numerous teaching practicals and we were evaluated by old and young former English teachers. A big chunk of the assessors had taught English language abroad. They assessed our performance as teachers after each and every lesson we had with learners. They gave us constructive and detailed feedback. However, constructive as this course was, the course was a bit challenging and daunting. One needs to be determined and prepared before enrolling for this course. Overall, l would recommend this course to anyone who wishes to teach English as a second language, including those who have degrees in English. I enjoyed the course, and would like to see more prosperity active teachers doing the course.

posted 3 years ago

Acorn Institute: English Language School

South Africa   

studied English Teacher Training

Great TEFL course at Acorn Institute

Having just completed my TEFL course at the Acorn Institute in Grahamstown, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Before enrolling for this course, I had accumulated 7 years of teaching experience in South Africa. I took the course as a formality to get a job in Korea, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I gained from this course having already been teaching for the better part of a decade. The structure of the course is well organised and the teaching pracs are hugely beneficial with a steep learning curve. The teachers at Acorn are experts at their trade and are brilliant educators I felt that I received solid value for the money I spent to enroll at Acorn. If you are wanting to go somewhere like South Korea, this course will trump most online courses as you require a certain number of "in-class" hours, which most online courses don't provide. This TEFL is 120hrs In-class.

Something to consider: This course is over 3 weeks and is VERY intensive. The content is not difficult but the time is demanding. If you do this course, or any TEFL for that matter, don't go in there expecting to 'breeze through' on the bare minimum. You might also feel a bit tired by the end so just make sure you clear your evenings over the 3 weeks. You will need them for lesson plans and a good night sleep! :)

This course is very engaging, so I have no doubt that maintaining motivation an interest will be a problem.

A solid 4 or 4 1/2 stars.

Well done Acorn Institute!

posted 3 years ago

Acorn Institute: English Language School

South Africa   

studied English Teacher Training

Ruth Woudstra

I can't think of a better setting to learn not only English, but how to teach it! The Acorn Institute is located in charming historic building in a tranquil area in Grahamstown, and is only five minutes away from the center of town. It is not only the location that makes the Acorn Institute one of its kind - it is the dedication of the teachers who are characterised by their professionalism and warmth. If you want to learn English or English teaching in order to open doors for you, and to meet great people, you will not regret coming to this unique school in the Creative Capitol of South Africa.

posted 3 years ago

Acorn Institute: English Language School

South Africa   

studied General English

Quality services

Dedicated and involved lecturers with many years of tertiary academic experience apiece provide and in-depth and comprehensive TEFL certification. Well worth the cost of the course, with guest spots and evaluation by actual, qualified TEFL teachers throughout. Intensive theoretical and practical teaching is packed into a very short but by no means lacking 4 week period. Staff are friendly, field-tested, and took a direct interest in furthering my teaching career. 10/10 would recommend.

posted 3 years ago



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