Oil & Gas English

Designed for those working in the energy sector

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Introduced in 1939, the Lower Certificate in English (LCE) was the second English language exam developed for speakers of other languages by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, the organisation that would later be known as Cambridge Assessment. The arrival of thousands of refugees from the Spanish Civil War and occupied Europe into the UK had created a growing need for language assessment. The LCE was intended to meet a demand for the certification of an English proficiency level below that of the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

One hundred and forty-four students sat the first LCE exam on 21 June 1939.[4] The exam was divided into three sections:

  1. Oral (Dictation, Reading Aloud, and Conversation)
  2. English Composition and Language (2 hours for a free composition on a choice of subjects and various tests on the correct use of simple English)
  3. Prescribed Texts (2 hours on Dickens, Swift, Shaw and/or the Oxford English Course book).[5]

By 1943, LCE included a choice between ‘either prescribed texts or a paper in translation from and into English’. By 1944, 18 languages were catered for in the translation paper, including Polish, Arabic, Hebrew, Czech, Persian and Swedish.[6]

Many of those who took LCE served on active duty during World War II: the LCE December 1943 Pass List includes candidates from the Polish Army, the Polish Institute of Air Force Technology (RAF), the Netherlands Fleet Air Arm, and the Czechoslovakian RAF Squadron. On one day in 1948 over 2,500 men and women of the Polish Resettlement Corps took LCE.[7] A special version of LCE was also made available to prisoners of war detained in Britain and in occupied Europe. The test was made available to 1,500 prisoners of war in Britain, 900 of them Italians. In Germany, the test was offered at seven prisoner of war camps, with Indian prisoners of war encouraged to take LCE or School Certificate exams. After the war, LCE proved to be the most popular Cambridge English exam of the time, with over 4,000 candidates in 1947, compared to 2,028 candidates for the Certificate of Proficiency in English, now known as Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE).[8]

In 1975, driven by evolving principles of communicative language teaching and testing, LCE was revised and renamed as the First Certificate in English (FCE). The exam was updated to have five compulsory papers: Composition (free writing task); Reading Comprehension; Use of English (testing grammatical structures and vocabulary); Listening Comprehension (multiple-choice items); and an Interview (oral tests).[9]

The qualification was further updated in 1984 and 1996. Following the 1996 revision, FCE covered a greater range of writing, listening and speaking micro-skills. Its Speaking test format used two candidates and two examiners and the five papers were equally weighted, each representing 20% of the available marks.[10]

In January 2015, another set of revisions were introduced. The main changes are: the overall exam is now 30 minutes shorter; there are four exam papers, instead of five; and the Reading and Use of English papers have been combined into a single paper. Further information can be found in the revised Exam Specification.

In addition, a new way of reporting results has been introduced (effective from January 2015), with Cambridge English Scale scores replacing the standardised score and candidate profile used for exams taken pre-2015. The Cambridge English Scale was developed to provide exam users with more detailed information about their exam performance than was previously available.[11]

The Energy and Oil and Gas industries form a key market sector in today’s globalised economy. English is the international language of co-operation throughout large parts of the sector. New technologies, climate change, resource depletion, the rapid growth in demand from industrialising countries in Asia, energy security and the liberalisation of markets are all issues which are both widely discussed in society and underpin the framework within which the energy industry operates. This course will give you the language and the confidence, not only to discuss such issues coherently but also to operate more effectively in your specific role in English.

Standard (10 lessons per week) or Intensive (30 lessons per week)

Why choose an Oil & Gas English Course?

  • Improving your English language skills in contexts relevant to your role
  • Developing your ability to communicate information across sectors in English
  • Benchmarking your knowledge with other oil and gas industry professionals
  • Discussing oil and gas industry case studies
  • Building on your skills in presenting technical information in English related to the
    oil and gas industry
  • Increasing your confidence when dealing with clients and colleagues in English
  • Fast tracking the development in your overall language ability


Do I need to take an entry test before I book?
No, you’ll be tested on arrival to make sure you’re in a class that’s just right for your level.

About the course

Course structure

20 General English lessons + 10 Oil & Gas English lessons


30 Energy English lessons

NB. Available to closed groups only by prior arrangement.

Entry level

B1 (Intermediate)


Morning and/or afternoon classes according to the school timetable, Monday-Friday
Standard: 10 hours O&GE + 20 hours GE per week,
Intensive: 30 hours O&GE per week

Lesson Length

45 minutes

Course duration

1 – 4 weeks.


In addition to your official exam result you will receive an Oxford English Centre certificate and progress report, profiling your language level.

Assessment and progress

Stay focussed with personal learning plans, a portfolio of your work, entry/exit test, weekly test/review and a monthly test/report on longer courses.


What will be the focus of the course?

Practical language skills will be developed in the following areas:


Understanding the vocabulary of the Energy and Oil and Gas Industry

  • Power generation
  • Energy sources (hydrocarbons, renewables, nuclear)
  • Sectors and markets
  • The legislative and governmental framework
  • Competition and deregulation

Oil and Gas Industry Issues

  • Environment
  • Health and safety
  • Sales, marketing and service
  • HR (recruitment, secondment, retention, development)
  • Supply and demand, energy security, strategy

Talking Technical

  • Grids, transmission and distribution
  • Energy efficiency processes and technical issues
  • Trends and technological developments

Language Development

  • Fluency and vocabulary development
  • Feedback on accuracy and pronunciation

Business Language Skills for Use in the Oil and Gas Industry

  • Presenting information
  • Forecasting
  • Describing trends
  • Describing processes
  • Negotiating
  • Taking part in meetings

Historical Oil and Gas Case Study

  • A detailed analysis of conflict and compromise between industrial and environmental interests in the oil and gas industry

Book your place now



Class duration: 1 – 3 weeks

Class size: maximum 12

Lesson duration: 45 minutes

Lessons per week: 10 – 30

Learning materials: Included

Start: See Course Dates below

Minimum age: 20



Registration Fee: £90.00

Tuition & Accommodation Deposit: £490.00

Tuition Only Deposit: £290.00

Payment by cash, debit or credit card

Payment by bank transfer: See Bank Details


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