English Literature 1

English Literature 1 is the first course designed and developed by The English Course Madrid. We designed the course with the intention of providing a comprehensive, high-quality English course for learners of the English language. Each week a short story, long-form article or personal essay is read for homework. During each lesson we discuss, analyse and focus on the language of the stories. Authors read on English Literature 1 include, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin and John Simpson. Levels B2/C1/C2.


English Literature 1 is a 10-week, 20-hour course, consisting of a 2-hour lesson per week.

In addition to the 20 hours of classroom time, 1 hour of reading homework is completed each week.

The readings are a mix of fiction and non-fiction, written by some of the best authors of the English language.

The readings have not been graded or adjusted, however, specifically designed exercises, classroom analysis and the discussion stage of each lesson help our students to get an in-depth understanding of the readings and to retain new language.

Materials provided each week include a story, a glossary, an emerging-language worksheet and an exercise about the author.

English Literature 1 also focuses on literary concepts such as plot, imagery, and characterisation, and the characteristics of the text types.

Maximum 10 students. Average class size 6-8 students.

The cost of the 10-week course is €200, which includes all the materials for the course.


Literature writers


A lot of the readings are in the first person, describing events such as the emotions George Orwell felt while shooting an elephant,

Our (very organised) bookshelf

or an acclaimed journalist reporting on the massacre of Tiananmen Square, or a narrative about a family affected by the Spanish Civil War, or a young writer describing her experience of living in New York, or a young Irish man hopelessly in love.

Most of the readings are between ten and fifteen pages long and do not usually take more than an hour for upper-intermediate students to read.

The readings have been chosen for their direct and ‘to-the-point’ use of language, their accessibility to learners of English, and the interest value of their stories. They have also been chosen because they are brilliant pieces of writing.

English Literature 1 is for whom?

Bronze student
The Student, Calle del Pez, Madrid

English Literature 1 is for everyone with a level of B2+ and above in English. Many of our students are teachers, journalists, people working within the arts, university students and retirees. Our students want a different approach to learning and practising English, students who love to read and want to be motivated to read more in English.


A lot of language students who read to increase their English level choose the wrong book or are recommended the wrong book. The first-person fiction and non-fiction narrative, which is predominatly focused on in English Literature 1, is an excellent genre for upper-intermediate and advanced-level language students to increase their English level by reading.


Brian is a highly experienced, CELTA qualified, English language teacher. He has worked extensively around the world, teaching multiple nationalities. He studied print journalism in college and a series of his articles about Madrid has been published in the Madrid Metropolitan newspaper. He also writes the blog for this website. His inspiration for designing English literature courses for learners of English comes from his love of reading, writing, travelling and ultimately teaching language while using inspiring and brilliant materials.


The cost of the 10-week, 20-hour course is €200, which includes all the materials.

To reserve a place on English Literature 1, half the fee is to be paid before the course start date (can be paid on the day of the level test) and the remainder is due on the 1st day of the course.


Start: September 26th 18:00 – 20:00 (Thursdays)

Finish: November 28th


If you have not studied with us before, you have to do a level test.

The level test for English Literature 1 is a 20-minute speaking test. This can be done by phone or in person.

To be accepted on English Literature 1, a minimum level of B2+ is needed in speaking.

To book a level test call or send a WhatsApp to 087 6055939 or fill in the contact form and we will reply promptly.  The level test is free.



Classes are held in

C/O Travelling Languages,

Docklands Innovation Park, Unit14G

128-130 East Wall Road, Dublin

This course is designed and run by Brian Collins and is independent from Travelling Languages.  


Isabel December 26, 2016 at 6:58 pm A highly recommended and enjoyable course: a great selection of writers, a fantastic teacher and wonderful colleagues.   Read more testimonials

English Literature 1

JEONGWON CHOE January 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm I have taken and taught many types of English lessons myself, but this was the most fulfilling and interesting one. The professor is knowledgeable and the lesson is well-organized. I quite enjoyed our coffee break and a day trip to the exhibition as well. 🙂

English Literature 1

enrique pastor andre (@enripastand) December 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm I have enjoyed a lot the class. Every day you read a different author, all of them among the most recognized writters of english literature. The plot of the stories vary from one author to another and the way the class is structured with a … Continue reading English Literature 1

English Literature 1

Laura Rodriguez December 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm If you like and enjoy practicing the english language and want to extend your english boundaries with a course that goes beyond the standard or ordinary level training out there, this is a great option. I personally love english and reading non-fiction so this was a no-brainer … Continue reading English Literature 1

English Literature 1