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Further Education - ESOL Provision

Colleges in Northern Ireland offer a mixture of part-time accredited and non-accredited ESOL provision which recognises the need for flexibility to support progression. The focus on accredited learning enables students to progress through the different language levels which has an impact in terms of their employability skills (if they are looking for work) and their study skills (enabling them to progress to further learning and vocational courses).  Learners also have the benefit of being able to access wider college services offered to all students. Consideration is also given to delivering a range of levels and a range of modes to ensure classes are accessible and are appropriate to the learners.

More information on the ESOL classes available through the 6 different Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland you will find by clicking into their respective websites (links below).

Belfast Metropolitan College - https://www.belfastmet.ac.uk/part-time/esol/

South Eastern Regional College - https://www.serc.ac.uk/Course/ESOL

Southern Regional College - https://www.src.ac.uk/courses/part-time-courses/esol

North West Regional College - http://www.nwrc.ac.uk/esk/

Northern Regional College - http://www.nrc.ac.uk/part-time/esol/

South West College - http://www.swc.ac.uk/learn/esol

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 and the UK – talk to your neighbours, organise transport, go shopping, visit a doctor or talk to teachers in schools, help your child with homework, develop your skills through training and achieving 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 I learn English?

The ability to understand and speak English is critical to both interacting with the community and securing employment. While there should be an onus on migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to ensure they can understand and speak English, central and local government must ensure they are playing their part by supporting the provision of English language courses.

Partnership between colleges and ESOL community providers is essential when developing learning and teaching materials together as well as team teaching classes. This approach helps bridging gaps between community and college provision giving the learner an opportunity to become familiar with those involved in ESOL delivery in college and helping to promote a smooth progression pathway to college provision.

You will find details of English classes’ provision in Northern Ireland within the community setting via our search system above.