English for speakers of other languages in Buckinghamshire

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

What is ESOL?

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes are for people who do not speak English as their first language. ESOL classes are designed to help learners improve their ability to talk, listen, read and write in English and settle in the community.

Your ESOL Learning Journey

The Learner Journey


Introducing yourself

Reading and writing a few words

Entry 1

Talking to the doctor

Making an appointment

Filling in a short form

Entry 2

Listening and talking to your child’s teacher

Telling a friend what you did at the weekend

Reading and writing an email

Entry 3

Discussing a problem with a friend

Reading and writing a formal letter

Level 1

Discussing ideas and opinions confidently

Filling in an application for a job or college course

Level 2

Giving a short presentation

Reading and writing reports

ESOL Frequently Asked Questions

What will I learn?

On our courses you will improve your Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing skills and develop your vocabulary and grammar. Our courses are carefully designed to take into consideration your individual learning needs, educational and employment aspirations. Our tutors encourage independent learning and use communicative language-teaching techniques to help you achieve your learning goals.

Some of the things you will learn on our courses are how to:

  • greet people and talk about feelings, likes and dislikes
  • ask for and give personal information, directions and travel arrangements
  • ask for information in shops and make an appointment with the doctor
  • fill in job application forms, write invitations and letters of complaint
  • make polite requests, apologise and ask for permission
  • describe and compare places and people
  • understand and take part in formal and informal conversations and discussions
  • talk and write about the future and things that happened in the past.

Can I join an ESOL class?

You can join an ESOL class if:

•                English is not your first language

•                you are living in the UK long-term

•                you want to speak and understand everyday English

•                you want to improve your reading and writing skills

•                You want to gain an ESOL qualification

Where and when can I study?

Subject to demand you can join a morning, afternoon or an evening class in one of our Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Centres. We currently run ESOL classes in the centres in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham.

Will I gain a qualification?

We offer Ascentis ESOL Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3 qualifications in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. You can progress to ESOL Functional Skills Levels 1 and 2. Before starting a course your tutor will discuss with you your individual needs and assess your language skills. This will help the tutor allocate the most suitable course for you.

How much do I need to pay?

Courses cost £4.10 per hour if you:

  • hold a British or European Union passport and have lived in the EU (including UK) for three years
  • hold a passport from outside the EU but have lived in the UK for the last three years

Courses are £12.00 per hour if you do not fit into any of the groups above.

Examination fees

ESOL Speaking and Listening £34.00
ESOL Reading £18.00
ESOL Writing £18.00
GCSE Maths £45.00
GCSE English £42.00

You may be able to get some help towards the cost of your course and exam fees if you are on certain benefits.

How do I enrol?

You can join most courses throughout the year. If you would like to enrol, please book an appointment to see us.  At your appointment, you will complete an informal assessment to help us find the best course for you. Please call a member of the ESOL team to book an appointment. We will also be able to tell you how much your course will cost. 

For more information, please email us on albs@buckinghamshire.gov.uk or contact a member of the ESOL team on:

• Aylesbury – 01296 398957

• High Wycombe – 01494 475975

• Chesham – 01494 586560