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What is ESOL?

ESOL stands for English for speakers of other languages. ESOL students come from all sorts of backgrounds and begin learning at all ages. 

ESOL classes are mainly aimed at those who have come to the UK to settle and live permanently and for whom English is not their first language.

How could ESOL help you?

ESOL courses aim to improve speaking, listening, reading and writing skills and can help you to:

  • Get a better job
  • Participate more fully in life in the UK and your local community
  • Talk to doctors and teachers
  • Do homework with your child
  • Keep yourself and your family healthy
  • Use computers to access services
  • Understand the laws and customs of the UK
  • Find work
  • Gain a qualification (subject to eligibility)

Most ESOL classes take place in groups. You will normally be in a group of people who are at the same level as you.

What type of classes are available in Tower Hamlets?

Our ESOL classes take place at Idea Stores across the borough in Tower Hamlets from Pre-Entry to Level 1.

All our courses are part-time (4 - 5hours per week) with most classes running within school hours (9am - 3 pm).

Courses are normally 10-12 weeks long, with three terms over the year.

ESOL Qualification Courses

These courses are offered from Entry 1 to Level 1, and you will work towards Skills for Life ESOL qualifications, accredited by Ascentis. Priority for these classes will be given to unemployed learners who are actively seeking employment.

ESOL First Steps to Learning

If you are a complete beginner, this course will help you to learn the basics of the English language. You will learn to say simple sentences and to write the alphabet.

ESOL Literacy and Phonics

If you have spoken English at Entry 2 or above but struggle with your literacy, this course will use phonics to help you improve your reading and writing skills.

Develop Your English, ESOL Entry 1-Level 1

Suitable for all levels, this course will help you to improve your grammar and literacy skills and build your confidence using English in everyday situations.

Contact us

To find out more about learning English in Tower Hamlets, including booking an appointment with our friendly ESOL tutors, please visit the Idea Store Learning website.

You can also contact us by email: ESOLAdvice@towerhamlets.gov.uk