English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
Improving your English can help you get more out of your life in the UK. It will also help if you want to study, improve your CV, or apply to become a British citizen.
Improving your English
If English isn't your main language, you can do a course to help you improve your English. These courses are called ESOL or English for Speakers of other Languages. Improving your English will make it easier to:
- talk to doctors and teachers
- understand the laws and customs of the UK
- do a course and get a qualification
- help your child with homework
- pass the Life in the UK test and become a British citizen
What an ESOL course involves
ESOL courses cover:
- speaking and listening
- reading and writing
- punctuation and grammar
There are courses at different levels so you'll be able to start at the right level for you.
Where you can get advice
There are ESOL courses throughout Northern Ireland.
Courses are run through Further Education (FE) colleges and a number of voluntary and community organisations also deliver informal English classes to speakers of other languages.
Advice is available to help you choose the right course. You can search for ESOL classes in your area here: ESOL NI
You can also contact your local careers office for free advice.
'Life in the UK' test
You take the 'Life in the UK' test if you're applying to be a British citizen and your level of English is ESOL Entry 3 or above. If your level of English is lower than ESOL Entry 3 and you wish to apply for naturalisation, you will need to do English language (ESOL) and citizenship classes together instead.
To talk to someone about the 'Life in the UK' test, call the: