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English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

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Key information

Course code

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

Our English for Speakers of Other Languages course improves your English skills and gives you the confidence to use the language fluently!

Our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are for people whose first language is not English.  

ESOL courses can help you live and work in UK.

You will study speaking and listening, reading and writing, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The courses include lots of practice with the teacher and classmates. 

You can study in the day time or evening. The maximum class size is 25 students.

When you finish the course, you could:

  • study at the next level of ESOL
  • OR, study another subject at college 

To join this course, you must speak with a member of the teaching team first. They will check that this is the right course for you. 
To speak with us, complete the form here. You DO NOT need to complete a college application form.

Improve your English, make new friends, learn about British culture and enjoy yourself! 

*Please note: Course fees and exam entry fees may be subject to change. This course does not run during school holidays or bank holidays. See the timetable and fees list here.

What I'll learn

Our ESOL course will help develop your English skills so that you can:

  • talk to doctors, teachers or shop assistants
  • apply for jobs
  • fill in forms
  • help your children with their homework
  • make telephone calls
  • take part in conversations

We offer courses from Pre-entry to Level 2. We will give you more information when you visit us for your assessment.

Depending upon your level, you will 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.

Also, as an Activate Learning student, you can speak free of charge to our Student Support teams for advice and guidance on your course and student life in the UK. Click here for details.


How I'll learn

Teaching can include:

  • instruction from a teacher
  • group discussion
  • working in pairs
  • one-to-one instruction
  • 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.

You also get access to our leisure and learning facilities such as: 

  • Learning Centres and beauty salons
  • libraries
  • Virtual Learning Environments


How I'll be assessed

You can take exams to test your speaking, listening, reading and writing. The teaching staff will let you know when you can take these exams. The cost for these tests is included in the course fee.

These tests can be used to help you see your strong and weak areas and study accordingly.


If English is not your first language and you need to improve your English language skills so that you can study or find work, we can help you."

ESOL teacher

Entry Requirements

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. However, you must speak with a member of the teaching team first. 
They need to check your level of English and maths. They will then put you with other learners of a similar level.

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.

Please contact the college for further details.


How to Apply

Please see this page for details on how to apply.