English for Speakers of Other Languages

Course overview

Our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses are for you if your first language is not English.

On an ESOL course, the main focus is helping you to live, communicate, and work in an English-speaking country. You will be encouraged to practise your English skills with other students and native English speakers. You will do this in a safe and supportive classroom environment. You can study in the daytime or evening.

Our teachers use our award-winning Learning Philosophy to make sure your studies are fun, relevant to you and practical.

You will study:

  • speaking and listening
  • reading and writing
  • grammar
  • vocabulary
  • pronunciation

Depending upon your level, you could gain a City & Guilds qualification in speaking and listening, reading, or writing.

Please note: these are NOT international exams and are not recognised in other countries.

The teaching staff will let you know when you can take these exams. The cost for these tests is included in the course fee.

View full cost and timetable details.

What’s the difference between an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course?

In an ESOL course, our focus is on helping you communicate in English for life in the UK, or other English-speaking countries.

Our EFL courses prepare you for English exams such as Cambridge First, the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Courses are divided into three terms and the cost for each term depends on your personal circumstances.

ESOL courses will help you with:

  • talking to doctors, teachers, or shop assistants
  • applying for jobs
  • filling in forms
  • helping your children with their homework
  • making telephone calls
  • taking part in conversations

Depending upon your level, you could gain a City & Guilds qualification in speaking and listening, reading, or writing.

Please note: these are NOT international exams and are not recognised in other countries.

The teaching staff will let you know when you can take these exams. The cost for these tests is included in the course fee.

Teaching can include:

  • instruction from a teacher
  • group discussion
  • working in pairs
  • role plays

Also, you will be helped to develop your English skills according to your own needs. You will learn through reading, writing, listening, and speaking in authentic situations. Assessment is ongoing, with your teacher providing regular feedback on your progress.

You must be 16 years old or over to study on this course.

English MUST be your second language.

You do not need qualifications to join. There are different levels of ESOL classes. When you apply, you will come for an assessment to check which level class would be the best for you to join.

When you first come to the college, you will need to bring:

  • your passport, EU ID card, valid visa or residency permit
  • your spouse’s/relative’s passport, if you entered the UK to join a spouse or relative
  • proof of any state benefits, such as Job Seeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (if relevant to you). You may not need to pay fees

There may be additional fees for this course, such as school trips, textbooks or exam costs. Textbooks are not provided and are not essential for the course but can be purchased by students should they wish.

When you finish an ESOL course, you could:

  • study at the next level of ESOL
  • join an EFL course and prepare for a recognised English exam, such as IELTS, CAE or CPE
  • study another subject at college

To join an ESOL course, you must speak with a member of the teaching team first and complete an initial assessment.

Go to this page to register: adult.activatelearning.ac.uk/esol-efl

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Alternatively enrol by phone quoting BE14LP1A015P or ask a question

Meet the tutors

We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.