ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Languages

What is special about this course?

Is English not your first language? Do you want to learn to speak English or do you want to improve the Englsh you already have?

This course could really help you whether you are a beginner or an improver. You will study reading, writing, listening and speaking so you can apply your growing knowledge of language in practical and relevant situations.

Once you have started on the course, are feeling relaxed and you have got to know your fellow students and your lecturer, you can decide whether or not you want to sit exams. Some students want to sit assessments and can do so. Others don't want to sit assessment and that is fine too. We welcome all learners who want come to class to practise their English in a supportive and friendly environment.

If you choose to be assessed, you will study for SQA ESOL units at levels N2 – N6 (depending on how good your English is). Each unit takes about 36 hours to complete.

Entry requirements

We are willing to work with any student wishing to improve their English. If you are unsure of your level, please contact your nearest college learning centre to find out more. We can arrange for you to talk with a tutor.

If you are chosing to work towards formal qualifications, you will study these units:

ESOL for Everyday Communication develops the language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) needed for everyday life in personal, social and transactional contexts. For example: providing personal information, talking to friends, and shopping.

ESOL in Context develops the language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) needed for work- or study-related contexts. For example: Writing CVs, emails, or study skills.

Each year we offer either ESOL for Everyday Communication or ESOL in Context at levels 2 - 6.

At level 4 there is also an opportunity to do an Added Value Unit (a mini project).

If you are not working towards qualifications you can attend class and there will be some choice in what you study. For example, you may want to focus on grammar or speaking. Quite often students start the term not planning to sit qualifications but then change their minds and move on to studying for a SQA unit. If you're not planning to sit a qualification, you can join the class at any point in the year.


What equipment you need to study will depend on the level you study at.

If your language skills are below N4-5, then you will be able to join class using a mobile phone or other internet connected device.

If your language skills are N5-6, then it will necessary to have Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec). 

Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.



How will I study my course?

  • Evening
  • Online

We will learn together online.

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers and other students. It may include: 
•    tutor presentations
•    group discussions
•    sharing ideas
•    small group or pair work 
Connected learning will take place at the same time each week in an online classroom.

Flexible learning will be set weekly and can be completed at a time that is convenient for you. Flexible learning could include: 
•    completing a quiz
•    practising a task or activity
•    watching a video or reading
•    researching and gathering information
•    completing an assignment

How long will my course last?

18 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

Start date

These courses usually start in the autumn and take place one to two nights a week.

It will take at least 18 weeks full attendance.


Funding is available to cover the costs of this course.  Please ask our Admissions team for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Other ESOL units at N2 to N6. If you complete a unit at ESOL N4 or higher you can apply to study courses other than ESOL. You must have an ESOL qualification equal or higher to the course you are considering. For example: if you want to study professional cookery and hospitality NC level 5 you must have ESOL N5 or higher.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I have moved to live in the UK. I want to know English like a native language. Christine is a wonderful tutor because English lessons with her are easy to understand.

When I have just come to the UK, people could not understand me. Now I still have a lack of English knowledge but can participate in social life without big stress. For example, I can make a call and answer the phone. I translate for people different things. I continue my education.

Ilona Katkovska



Apply for ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Languages

To apply for this course, please contact your

local college centre.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. UHI West Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.