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English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Learning & Skills offer free ESOL courses for those who speak very little to no English or English is not their first language. We currently offer Entry Level 1 - Level 1 ESOL courses and ICT for ESOL courses. We have previous experience of using these courses to help integrate Syrian, Ukrainian and Afghan Refugees and others from around the world. If you know someone who may benefit from this course, please contact us.

Please navigate this page for all of the ESOL information you need.

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Entry Requirements and Initial Assessments

Entry onto the course depends on the individuals situation (for example if you/they are a refugee or asylum seeker). This will be established during initial contact. However, at the moment the entry requirements are as follows:

Non-UK/EU/EEA Residents

  • Aged 19+
  • They have been in the UK for at least 6 months
  • They are a refugee
  • They are an asylum seeker currently applying for asylum, or have already obtained asylum

UK/EU/EEA Residents (including Ukrainian refugees)

  • Has been a UK, EU or EEA resident, or is a family member of a UK or EEA national, continuously for the previous three years
  • Has the right to live and work in the UK, or has permission granted by the UK government to live in the UK
  • Aged 19+

Our ESOL courses, including initial assessments, are free of charge providing you or your client/s meet the criteria listed above.

Initial Assessments

You must sit an assessment in order to join an ESOL course. These take approximately 30 minutes and are held every Friday between 1pm-3.30pm at the Coleridge Centre. Due to the nature of the assessments, they cannot be held online away from the centre. Assessments are not held on bank holidays or during school holidays.

The level at which you join an ESOL course is dependent on your results of the initial assessment. You may incur a waiting period in between completing your assessment and starting lessons due to availability on our classes.

To book an initial assessment please contact us.

ESOL Pre-Course Information

ESOL are entry-level English language courses for people whose first language is not English. This will help you/them with living, studying, communicating and working in the UK. The courses cover all elements of communicating in English: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

You can progress up the various ESOL levels before moving to a higher level Function Skills English course (Pre-Entry, Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2). After completing ESOL and Functional Skills English you may be able to study for a GCSE in English and other Further or Higher Education courses.

ESOL is held on various days, times and venues to suit everyone's schedules. Please bring a pen, paper and if you have one, a smart phone or other device with translation software.

ICT for ESOL Pre-Course Information

This course will help ESOL learners learn vital IT skills needed to look for jobs and training, book appointments, contact organisations such as schools, use translation software if needed, apply for Asylum in the UK, create a CV and lots more. Learners will be referred to an ICT course through their ESOL course. 


Learners must take a mandatory exam to achieve their ESOL qualification. There is one exam per level. Exams take place at one of our venues. Learners cannot take their exam at home or remotely.

There are no nationally set dates and times for ESOL exams. Learners will only sit an exam after a period of study when the tutor and the learner mutually agree they are exam ready. ESOL learners sit their exams with their tutor in the class, there are no pre-determined set dates. Entry level learners carry out exams in an informal environment with appropriate support and Level 1 learners will sit a more formal exam.

Exams are paper based. No exam is required for the ICT for ESOL course. 



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