English skills

English skills for fluent and first language speakers

Do you need to improve your communication skills? Would you like to express yourself more effectively in speaking or writing? Do you need to develop your workplace communication in meetings, in emails, in reports and presentations? Are you at the beginning of your journey in learning to read and write?

Everyone - whether you are unemployed, a front-line worker or a manager -  can benefit from developing their English for both inside and outside work and also their wider in-demand workplace skills such as problem-solving, analysing, decision-making, team-building and seeing the bigger picture.

Whether you need help forming and sounding out letters or gaining a GCSE, we have a course for you. You can join classes that specifically improve your workplace English, or focus on certain areas such as spelling, vocabulary or grammar, or develop all your skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening. And you can choose whether you want a course with a qualification or not.

From English for Life to Functional Skills Level 2, our experienced and dynamic tutors will ensure you learn at the right level and pace with all the support you need.

To make sure the course is the right one, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Choose a course from the list below and click on ‘Start Assessment’ or contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 for a face-to-face assessment at these times:

Our courses are FREE to most learners. They are either in the City Lit building or live online interactive classes. For online courses, you will need a computer with a microphone, a camera and the internet. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

If you are interested in an English GCSE course, click here

We also have ESOL courses for students who do not speak English as a first language, click here

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. English for life (level 1)
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you want to improve your communication skills and become a more confident speaker, listener, reader and writer of English? On this course, you will develop all your English language skills so you can act confidently in the most important everyday situations inside and outside work. You will become a skilled communicator when writing, using digital resources and in face-to-face interactions. You will develop your active listening skills so you can understand and empathise better. You will work on how to express yourself when speaking in different situations. And you will practise your reading so you can see the whole picture and the details, make effective decisions about what you read, and prioritise matters. By the end of this three-term programme, you will be a competent speaker, listener, reader and writer both at work and home and ready to do exams such as Functional Skills.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  2. English for life (entry 3)
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Do you want to improve your English reading and writing so that you can express yourself confidently and do the most important and common everyday tasks? Join this course and develop your reading and writing, while also talking about your own life events and key issues such as news stories, public figures, health and culture. You will learn how to read and write paragraphs and short texts about topics that interest you and important events. You will practise filling in forms, writing formal and informal letters and emails and you will improve your spelling, vocabulary and use of punctuation. You will also become more confident in expressing your thoughts and feelings and dealing with difficult situations, for example, at work or in your personal life.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
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  3. English and maths for life (pre-entry)
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and Onsite) (other locations are available)

    Do you need help with reading and writing English? Can you write the letters of the alphabet or do you need to practise? Do you need to improve your spelling? Can you use numbers and count up to 100 or do you need help? On this course we will help you with your English and maths. You will learn how to write individual letters, spell whole words, write simple sentences, read whole words, read simple sentences and understand notices. You will become confident in your speaking. And you will also practise the maths you need for everyday life so you can shop, use money and measure things correctly.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online and onsite. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  4. English, maths and digital skills for life (entry 1-entry 2)
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Do you want to improve your reading and writing of English and develop your communication skills? Would you like to practise your computer and digital skills at the same time? And work on your maths? In this class you will develop all of these skills so you can express yourself confidently when talking, writing and using the computer. You will learn how to read and write full sentences in English about important events and topics that interest you, how to fill in forms on paper and on the computer, how to understand and write important letters and emails land make appointments. You will become confident in your spelling, vocabulary, using capital letters, full stops and expressing your thoughts and feelings. You will practise searching for information on the Internet. And you will learn the maths you need for everyday life such as adding up your shopping costs and calculating your weekly budget.This course will help you learn all the most important skills you need in life.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  5. Workplace skills: how to write an impacting CV and covering letter
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Are you sure your CV is influencing employers in the way you want? Is it enticing them to know more about you? Does it contain the right content and is it written to maximise its impact? Do you know how to write and structure a covering letter? The vast majority of applicants write ineffective poorly worded CVs, person specifications and covering letters. Don't be one of them. Join this course and improve your chances of finding the work you want.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £4.00
  6. Develop your writing and reading: by using grammar (entry 3-level 1)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to write more expressively and understand in more detail what you are reading? One way to do this is to understand the meaning of grammar. How does the choice of grammar change the meaning of what you write? How can you use your grammar knowledge to better understand what you are reading? How can you use your grammar awareness to write richer, more interesting texts? This course will enable you improve your reading and writing by helping you understand key grammatical features and how you can use these to add authority to writing, change tone, add emphasis, make arguments more persuasive, change pace and make the information and ideas clearer.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  7. Develop your reading and writing for inside and outside the workplace: read well, write well - analysing, evaluating and making decisions about what you read (level 2)
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you have to read and process a lot of information at work? How do you judge the quality and reliability of a piece of writing? What features is the writer using to convince you of their point of view? This course will help you write well by helping you improve your reading. The more you improve your analytical skills about texts, the more you will be able to this knowledge to develop your writing. You will learn how to compare and evaluate different types of texts, those used at work but also fiction pieces. You will practise identifying implicit and explicit information and meaning, learning how to read multiple texts to identify, select and process relevant information or ideas. You will focus on different ways in which writers influence the reader and you will learn how to identify contradictions and inconsistencies within texts. You will take what you learn on the course to improve and develop different types of writing both for inside and outside the workplace.



    This course is ideal if you are wanting to do an English GCSE or Level 2 Functional Skills course but do not have the time for a full qualification or you are wanting to prepare for these qualifications.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £42.00
  8. Skills in English: developing your English for the workplace (entry 3-level 1)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you need to improve your English so you can work in an office or be self-employed? Would you like to be an administrator but want to develop your email writing, speed of reading, your spelling and your punctuation? This course will improve all your communication skills so you can feel confident at work You will work on how to speak well when working with the public or other clients, how to show empath and respond calmly to difficult situations. You will practise how best to write emails and messages, how to organise them, use paragraphs and write good introductions and conclusions. You will develop your sentences using appropriate grammar and vocabulary, plus correct spelling and punctuation. Throughout the course, you will work on your reading so you can understand the overall meaning of work-based texts, see the bigger picture, find details and specific information, and make decisions based on your reading. By the end of the course you will have the range of expression and accuracy in English to work with confidence.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  9. Develop your English for the office: with digital skills (Level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you want to develop the English skills needed for office work? Would you like to improve your formal work emails? Your phone manner? Your digital skills for essential administration? This course will help you with all the English you need to work successfully in an office environment such as answering the phone professionally, taking and leaving messages, writing clear and concise emails and letters on a PC, spelling common words correctly and using good punctuation. By the end of this course, you will confident you can work successfully in an office environment.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £22.00
  10. Workplace skills: getting your point across (level 2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you feel you sometimes cannot get your point across at work meetings? That you cannot persuade and influence colleagues at work? Or that your presentations, emails, reports are too wordy? This course will focus on how your voice and your message can be heard and recognised in the workplace. You will practise how to articulate your point of view, intervene in meetings, challenge work colleagues effectively, use data and evidence to exemplify your point, how to sequence your arguments and be concise but detailed. By the end of the course you will have developed some of the most in-demand workplace skills and become an accomplished communicator, challenger, enabler and influencer!



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £91.00
  11. Develop your confidence in writing: finding the right tone and improving your style (level 1-2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    When you write an email at work or letter to a friend, do you wonder how you come across? Have you ever looked at someone else’s writing and noticed how their words and phrases seem just right; that the formality is appropriate for the reader and level of detail suitable and fit for purpose? Just as your style of clothing can set the tone of an occasion, be more or less appropriate and create different impressions, so can your choice of words and a good writer considers these different aspects. This course you will help you analyse pieces of writing and apply what you learn to texts both inside and outside the workplace so you can adapt your style, tone and register to impact and influence the reader in the way you think best.



    You will need to complete a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skill@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on the webpage. Please log in with your email (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £45.00
  12. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    What’s the difference between a verb and a adverb, a subject and an object, a main clause and a subordinate clause? What is a compound sentence? What does a determiner do? Understanding and analysing grammatical structure is a key component in developing your English skills whether speaking, writing or even reading. This course will provide you with all the grammar knowledge you need to become familiar with the language you use everyday and will be a very effective foundation for other work you do to improve your English. It will also assist you when you learn other languages.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £39.00
  13. Develop your English: reading for pleasure (level 1-2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Does reading sometimes seem like a chore and something you had to do at school? It is taken for granted that most people do activities for pleasure – listening to music, watching films, playing sports, going for walks. There are of course additional benefits to these activities – broadening our minds, increasing our fitness, making friends. READING is no different! Most of the time people read books, newspapers, blogs, websites because they enjoy it. But they also gain many other benefits. In this course, we will also be reading for enjoyment. We will read and discuss different types of texts – fiction, biographies, poems, blogs, essays, newspaper article. And we will see what we learn! By the end of this course, you will have become a confident reader and discovered that reading is one of your ‘must do’ pleasures.







    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £39.00
  14. Workplace skills: how to work effectively with other people and be a team person
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Collaborating and working as part of a team are key skills in the modern workplace but the competences required to do this are often taken granted. What does it mean to work effectively with other people? This course will help you develop the qualities needed to work well as part of a team. You will practise seeing the bigger picture and understanding your own role within your team and organisation. You will work on how to listen to alternative perspectives and needs, respond sensitively to others, check understanding where necessary and ask for help and support. You will focus on how to challenge effectively, engage in critical thinking and become an agent of change within a team, a problem-solver rather than a negative criticiser. You will also develop your relationship and network building skills and how to deal with colleagues you find difficult. Finally, you will work on how to manage your manager. By the end of the course, you will be confident in identifying the skills needed to be a team member and that you are on the way to developing them.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £55.00
  15. Develop your writing and reading: spelling, punctuation, vocabulary (entry 3-level 1)
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Do you want to be sure of your spelling? Do you want to know when to use a comma rather than a full-stop? Would you like to increase your vocabulary so you can be more expressive and precise when you write? On this course you will improve different types of writing such as letter-writing, work emails, texts, descriptive writing, essays and stories and you will focus on your spelling, punctuation and vocabulary so that you can confident that whatever you write is clear, accurate and professional.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on the webpage. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00

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