The College – Category 1

SLEC-buildingSouthern Lakes English College is a modern Category 1 school in the heart of beautiful Queenstown. Our status of Category 1 is the highest possible classification for an English as a Second Language school, and it has been given to us by the New Zealand Qualification Authority. Southern Lakes English College is also a member of English New Zealand and Quality English (QE).

Southern Lakes English College offers a wide variety of top-quality English Language courses. Our most popular courses are General English and General English Plus Examination Preparation, as well as our range of English Plus courses which include English Plus Skiing/Snowboarding (June-Oct), English Plus Adventure, and much more. We also customise group timetables to include English Language and a variety of activities.

Our staff are well-qualified, experienced and caring. We pride ourselves on our supportive ‘family’ atmosphere where students make lifetime friendships as they study, play sport and have fun together.

On their first day, students are given a placement test so we can ensure that they are placed into the most appropriate class. We then monitor students’ progress carefully, to ensure they are maximising their own learning potential.

About Us

blaiseMr Blaise Barham, Principal of the College, has a Master’s Degree in TEFL and over 25 years’ experience of Teaching English as a Second Language in different countries. He is responsible for all the students’ welfare and directs the College’s academic programme.

“I feel that our College is really special because it is a very caring and friendly college where our students receive a great deal of individual attention. We have an excellent team of administrative and teaching staff who are dedicated in helping students achieve their individual aims.”


sarahMrs Sarah Barham, Administrative Director, is a Diploma-qualified teacher with over 20 years’ experience in TESOL. She directs the organisation and administration of the wide range of courses that the college offers.

Find out more about Our Team

Key Points

  • Location

    Situated in the centre of Queenstown at 57 Shotover Street

  • Facilities

    13 modern classrooms
    Library and self-access materials available
    Student lounge with views of the Remarkables Mountains
    Queenstown Gymnasium next door
    Use of free wireless Internet

  • Levels

    We cater for beginners to advanced.

    On their first day, students are given a placement test, so we can ensure that they are placed into the most appropriate class.

    Students are then tested every Monday to review what they have learnt the week before and to check their level.

  • Minimum age

    16+ for most courses

    11+ for youth groups and special programmes

  • Accommodation

    Host Family / Student Residences. Please visit our Accommodation page for further details.

  • Exams

    IELTS, PET, FCE, CAE, TOEFL + TOEIC – a high pass rate achieved

  • Internet

    Free wireless Internet in the school

  • Self Study Options

    Small library and self-guided after school sessions with a SLEC teacher.