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What is ESOL?

An ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) course is for you if English is not your first language and you want to improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

ESOL courses focus on language skills but also include cultural orientation, employability and citizenship skills. ESOL training courses can use a range of activities and resources to make learning interesting and relevant.

There are accredited courses and conversational classes at different levels available for ESOL learners in Northern Ireland. It is important that you complete an official assessment and start at the right level for you.

Please note that this web page provides information mainly to ESOL learners who are 18 years of age and over.

Alternatively, there are also online platforms and resources you can access as a complementary learning tool:

Online general English language classes available to anyone:

 - Learn English Online for Free - Build Your English Skills - FutureLearn

 - The world's best way to learn English - Duolingo

 - BRIDGES Project - BRIDGES to ESOL Flyers

 - Free English Lessons | OI Digital Institute

 Online resources for ESOL/ESL students:

 - Materials - The English Hub for Refugees

 - ESOL Resources | Skillsworkshop

 - Home | Onestopenglish

 - 10 Best, Shockingly Good Apps for ESL Teachers | FluentU English Educator Blog

 - 8 Best Language Learning Apps for ESL Students (linguasorb.com)

 - ESL Games and Apps for English Language Learners (preply.com)

 - Learn English Online | British Council

Online classes and resources specifically developed for Ukrainian learners:

 - Ukrainian Refugees English Language Programme - Klik2learn

 - Free online resources for Ukrainians settling in the UK and Ireland - OpenLearn - Open University

 - Free English language courses for refugees from Ukraine - eTalk (etalkschool.com)

 - Babbel ??? ??????? | Babbel

 - EnglishWithUkrainians - ?????????? ? ?????????? - YouTube

 - Free language lessons for Ukrainians – Busuu Blog


All 6 Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland deliver accredited ESOL courses. Please see link below for the College in your area:

ESOL – Part-time – Belfast Met

The ESOL Belfast Met accredited provision is starting again in September 2022.

ESOL bookings for assessment and enrolment at the Belfast Met opened on the 21st July 2022 and are now fully booked for the start of this academic year (2022-23).

Assessment and enrolment bookings for ESOL at the Belfast Met shall open again in January 2023.

ESOL Assessment and Enrolment (belfastmet.ac.uk)

Other Colleges links:

ESOL (src.ac.uk)
Search Results | NRC Northern Regional College
ESOL classes at the North West Regional College, please email arnold.mcateer@nwrc.ac.uk
ESOL (swc.ac.uk)

Community providers and private schools also offer ESOL classes across Northern Ireland and, via this website, you will be able to search for additional English language provision available in your area. The majority of free classes delivered within the community setting, are only available to adults (over the age of 18).

Further Education ESOL provision delivered by colleges can cater for anyone over the age of 16 (subject to availability of spaces).

Searching for English language training providers and courses:

On this same page, beside the information about the Further Education Colleges, you will find the searching box and different options.

We recommend you start your search by selecting a ‘City/Town’ and scrolling down the options available. Select the location closer to where you live.

To achieve the wider range of results possible per location, you should then click directly onto the blue button called ‘Search Providers’.

DO NOT TRY 'Searching Courses' as some providers listed here don't update their course details regularly and results may not appear.

If you wish to translate the website into another language, you will find this feature below the ESOL NI logo and just above the searching fields, on the right-hand side of the screen.

You should then be directed to a page with a list of providers available in your selected city or town.

You will be able to find out further details on each of the providers listed by:

·         Clicking on each profile name of the ESOL provider /organisation.

This will direct you to the profile page of each English language provider and should give you:

·         Postal address

·         Contact name

·         Email address

·         Phone number

·         Website

·         Image of the building or the organisation’s logo

Below this information, you will see a link to Google maps on the screen showing you the location where you are and the directions to the address of the ESOL providers’ building where the classes take place.

To visualise the map and accurate directions, you should enable location services on your device by following the instructions below:

-          On Windows, enable via Settings > Privacy > Location > Location Services

-          On Chrome, enable via Settings > Advanced > Privacy and Security > Content Settings > Location

In addition, you can like the ESOL NI social network pages where you will find regular updates about English language training opportunities and news in Northern Ireland:

ESOL NI | Facebook

ESOL NI (@esol_ni) / Twitter

Contact Us

    If you wish to enquire about anything, please feel free to contact us at:
  • Ligia Parizzi
  • LParizzi@belfastmet.ac.uk
  • 10 Girdwood Avenue
  • Belfast
  • BT14 6EG