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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.

The focus of ESOL classes is to:

  • Equip you to participate in daily life in Northern Ireland, help you talking to your neighbours, organise transport, go shopping, visit a doctor, talk to teachers in schools, help your child with homework, develop your skills through training and achieve a qualification. 
  • Give you employability/enterprise skills particularly CV writing and interview skills.
  • Teach you about local culture, democracy, the rule of law, equality and diversity and sustainable living.

There are courses at different levels so it is important that you complete an official assessment and start at the right level for you.

Why should you learn English?

The ability to understand and speak English is critical to both interacting with the community and securing employment.

ESOL courses provide the language skills that are essential to enable better communication in all aspects of life in Northern Ireland. This will help you to deal with things like the health service, schools, social security benefits, housing, banking, employment and even public transport and driving. As well as all of these direct practical benefits to you, learning English will also help you and your family integrate better into your local community


You will find details of English classes all over Northern Ireland using the search system above.

Apart from the mainstream FE ESOL provision and other funded community-based opportunities available in NI, please see below a few FREE online training and resources accessible to ALL learners. 

There are online classes through local providers such as BURC and Maximpact Training and learners may be able to access these (subject to places available).

Details can be obtained by contacting the respective organisations at:

BURC: esol@burc.org


Maximpact: carolinek@maximpact.com – MAXIMPACT.COM | REFUGEE REGISTRATION FORM - Maximpact.com

These alternative options below could also be particularly useful to anyone wishing to complement their English language studies or to address issues of accessibility.  

FREE links to courses:

Free classes by Kings College  London on Future Learn elementary classes


Free classes by Kings College London on Future Learn pre-intermediate classes


English for the Workplace


A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study


An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study


English for Academic Study


Dominion Training Free English courses online (different levels)

https://dominiontraining.org.uk/page/id/47/ e-learning---english-online

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