• ESOL means English for Speakers of Other Languages. 
  • ESOL learners may be residents or visitors who want to learn English for many different reasons. 
  • ESOL providers offer a range of courses and some reward the learner with ESOL qualifications.


  • Anyone who does not speak English as a first language can be an ESOL learner.
  • Someone who lives or who wants to settle in the UK and needs to know the language to be able to communicate, access services, get into education or to find employment.
  • Someone who wants to study or work temporarily in the UK but will go back to their home country when they have finished.

Why go to an ESOL class?

  • ESOL classes specialise in teaching English to speakers of other languages.  There are different levels to start at, depending on how much English you already know.  You can be a complete beginner or an improver.
  • General communication: Whether you are going to the shops, visiting friends or seeing the doctor, you will need some English speaking and listening skills.
  • Employment: You will need some English if you are looking for work because in many jobs you have to speak to people and write things down.  Also, you will need good English if you want to get a promotion or to get a better job.

  • Progression:  If you want to study on a course which will give you a certificate for getting professional skills, such as a hairdresser or a car mechanic, you will need to have a good level in English.
  • Higher Education: If you want to get a degree, you will need a very good level of English in speaking, listening, reading and writing and will probably have to do an IELTS examination or similar before entry.


  • UK Citizenship: If you are taking the Life in the UK test to get UK citizenship.