English and ESOL courses

Find and apply for an English course

Good English skills help us communicate at work and at home. All of our courses look at the practical application of English in everyday life.

These courses are free for learners aged 19+ subject to meeting funding criteria.

Upcoming courses

This timetable shows upcoming English and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and qualifications. Select 'Next page' under the timetable, where applicable, to find a course.

Short English courses (non-accredited)

We offer courses over 2 to 6 weeks to develop your confidence in reading, writing and speaking English. These short courses will prepare you to progress onto a Functional Skills qualification course.  

Our courses are delivered to small groups in different ways to suit how you prefer to learn, with daytime and evening sessions available. Choose from:

  • class-based sessions in local community venues
  • virtual classes on Microsoft Teams
  • independent study with regular tutor support

Accredited English qualifications

A Functional Skills qualification evidences your ability to apply practical English skills to real-life situations. A level 2 qualification is widely considered equal to GCSE grade 4 or C (and equivalent qualifications) by employers, allowing you to access higher level training and unlock new job opportunities.

Functional Skills courses take around 31 weeks to complete. This is based on 2 hours of learning plus around 1 hour of homework per week. 

We offer:

  • City & Guilds Functional Skills level 1 in English – equal to GCSE grade 3 or D
  • City & Guilds Functional Skills level 2 in English – equal to GCSE grade 4 or C 

At the start of the course, an online assessment will identify your starting level.

You can choose from attending tutorials in a local community venue, virtual tutorials on Microsoft Teams or studying independently with regular tutor check-ins.

Your tutor will make sure you know the exam dates you are working towards. If you don’t pass your qualification, we’ll offer further support sessions to build confidence and resit opportunities.

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

If English isn’t your first language, ESOL courses can help you improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. ESOL will help you build confidence with the English language in everyday life, education and employment. Our ESOL courses are delivered by the Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Academy (BESA) and our partner training providers, ranging from pre-entry level up to level 1.

Short ESOL courses focus on getting started with basic English skills, and you can progress onto completing an accredited ESOL qualification when you are ready. Initial assessments will help to identify which level course you can enrol onto at the beginning of your journey. If you hold a good level of English already, you may want to apply to study an English Functional Skills course to achieve a higher level qualification.

Find and apply for an ESOL course

For parents helping children with reading

Would you like to be able to support your children’s education more confidently?

We offer a course to support parents and carers to build confidence helping children in primary school with reading skills.

This course looks at building practical skills and exploring activities to make reading fun every day for children, and the different ways you can support them.

Attend a 4-week course of 2-hour sessions in a small tutor-led group and complete homework. We deliver this course through our local schools, in community venues or virtually on Microsoft Teams.

This course covers:

  • building practical skills and confidence to support children with reading and language development, as well as helping with spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • looking at ideas for practising reading skills in everyday activities with children
  • exploring activities and games to make reading fun every day

Register your interest 

Interested in getting started with an English course or qualification?

Register your interest

Feedback from learners 

The tutor provided lots of useful information in a clear and insightful manner. The style of teaching was extremely friendly, casual and open which made the entire course a very enjoyable experience.

The course was very interesting, and the tutor is kind and approachable. I enjoyed the lessons; they were well prepared and interesting.

The online learning experience was good and being able to take lessons online from home was helpful.