English skills

Free English Skills Courses in London
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.

Which course is right for me?

To make sure you book onto the right course, we'll ask you to do a pre-course assessment. You can:

  • Take a online assessment - Choose a course from the list below and on the next page, click on ‘Start Assessment’.
  • Or book a face-to-face assessment - Contact us by email at universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk or call 020 7492 2511 for an appointment. Face-to-face assessments take place every Wednesday evening between 6-8pm or at the following times:

Thursday 1 September - 1-3pm

Monday 5 September - 3-5pm

Monday 12 September - 12.30-2.30pm

Tuesday 13 September - 2-4pm

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.

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  1. Develop your confidence in writing: sentences, grammar and punctuation in everyday writing (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Would you like to be more confident in the way you write whether emails or reports at work or messages to friends? Do you want to work on how you form sentences, understand grammar and use punctuation so your writing is more creative? It can be tempting to just randomly put a comma in a sentence, avoid adverbs or crumble when it comes to using a clause, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This course will help you be more secure in your professional, academic or creative writing skills and help you improve some of your weak areas around forming and punctuating sentences with appropriate grammatical form. You will develop your confidence in the most essential areas of writing including different sentence structures, writing paragraphs, using punctuation effectively, using active and passive voices and proofreading.



    You will need to do a pre-course assessment before joining this course. Contact universal.skills@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.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £75.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 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 £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £70.00
  3. Professional communication skills: how to make your writing clear, concise and organised (level 2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you find it difficult to organise your writing so it is more professional? Do you need to write to the point, with good flow so your ideas are clear? Being coherent, concise, clear and organised are essential to good writing inside and outside the workplace. This course will use fictional and factual texts to help you develop these aspects of your writing so you can become a confident communicator whether writing emails, reports or presentations in the office, creating blogs or pursuing your wider studies. This course is ideal if you need to write effectively at work or are wanting to do an English GCSE or Level 2 Functional Skills course but do not have the time for a full qualification or want to prepare for them.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. 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).



    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 want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £70.00
  4. English language GCSE (+ AC10B)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Are you excited by the English language? Do you want to engage with fiction and non-fiction? Do you need to improve your writing and critical thinking across a range of topics and themes? An English Language GCSE is an essential qualification for anyone wanting to practise higher-order reading skills and use these to develop fluent and effective writing. It is one of the most commonly required qualifications by employers and universities, and will enhance your job and education prospects. This specification will ensure that you can read fluently and write effectively, demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language, and analyse texts.



    (Assessments including mock tests will take place in the City Lit building and you need to be able to attend these in person as required).



    You MUST pass the Introduction to English Language GCSE course (see website) before you can join this course. You also need to complete a pre-course assessment face-to-face or in person. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page.







    At the same time you complete your pre-course assessment, please also complete our pre-course form and tell us more about yourself.

    . https://forms.gle/2iQBRRsjsuociqVW6.



    This course is free for learners who meet the residency criteria and have not achieved a GCSE grade C (4) and higher in English
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  5. Picture this: develop your English through art and photography (level 1)
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you enjoy art and photography? Do you want to improve your English? Join this course and increase your vocabulary, your expression and your writing in general by describing and using your own photos and those of others. Use images to develop personal expression and as a springboard for language development and creative writing. This is not a photography course - though we will help you develop these skills. It is a unique way to help you express yourself so you can talk and write about feelings, moods, places, people, objects, activities and much more.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face--to-face or online. 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).
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  6. Business Administration (with digital skills): English communication skills for administrators and office workers (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you need to develop your English skills for working in an office and communicating effectively as an administrator? This course will help you become a confident, flexible and successful communicator in writing, face-to-face, on the phone and digitally such as via emails and cloud-based software. You will work on the correct language for written documents and spoken interactions to colleagues, customers, in meetings and answering the phone. You will focus on different levels of formal and informal communication and how to speak and write clearly and concisely, with appropriate tone e.g. in emails and letters on a PC. You will also work on how to lay out key documents, spell well and punctuate correctly. By the end of this course, you will confident you can work successfully in an office environment.



    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 want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
  7. Professional communication skills: effective verbal communication in the workplace (level 2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    High level verbal communication is crucial in the workplace whatever your role. On this course you will explore why spoken communication is so essential as well as how you can develop these verbal skills. You will focus on active listening, effective questioning, how to participate well in meetings, different types of workplace conversations including initiating and closing, presenting and giving elevator pitches, plus coming across well in interviews. You will focus throughout on the different type of language you can use so you grow in confidence, awareness and verbal dexterity.



    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).



    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 want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
  8. English Functional Skills (Level 2)
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Do you want to develop your English skills and gain a qualification? Do you need to show employers you have a good level of reading and writing and can speak well in a variety of situations. A level 2 functional skills qualification is equivalent to a GCSE and often required by employers. The course will develop your analytical skills, ensure you are confident in the most essential areas of literacy, and you will come to appreciate the variety and richness of English language use.



    You must have passed the Getting Ready for English Functional Skills (level 2) course before you do this Functional Skills qualification.



    (Assessments including mock tests will take place in the City Lit building and you need to be able to attend these in person as required).



    You also need to do an initial pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. 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).







    At the same time you complete your pre-course assessment, please also complete our pre-course form and tell us more about yourself.

    .



    This course is free for learners who meet the residency criteria and have not achieved a GCSE grade C (4) and higher in English



    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. Getting job ready: identifying the most in-demand work skills and how you can develop them
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to maximise your chances of finding the work you want? This course will help you identify the skills, behaviours and strengths which are most in-demand across all sectors at all levels. You will then work on recognising the skills you have, how these relate to the in-demand skills, how you can develop them and how you can close any skills gaps you might have. You will practise exemplifying these in-demand qualities to help you with job applications and interviews. By the end of this course, you will know what you need to do to be best placed to find a job that works for you.



    This course is FREE if you are a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £25.00
  10. Workplace communication: using the right language when applying for jobs
    Course start date:  Thu 1 Dec 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Is your CV is influencing employers in the way you want? Does it contain the right content? Is the language effective? Can you write and structure a covering letter? Do you come across well in interviews? Many applicants write poorly worded, ineffective CVs, person specifications and covering letters. Don't be one of them. Join this course to create the right impression for potential employers 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 want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
  11. English communication skills - for life and work (level 1)
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you want to improve your communication skills and become a more confident reader, writer, speaker and listener in 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. You will practise your reading so you can see the whole picture and find details, make effective decisions about what you read, and prioritise matters. You will focus on your writing so you can write whole stories, letters, emails and other expressive texts. 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 Level 2.



    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.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  12. English communication skills - for life and work (entry 3)
    Course start date:  Wed 11 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Do you want to improve your English reading, writing, speaking and listening so that you can express yourself confidently and do the most important and common everyday tasks? Join this course and develop your communication skills for work and personal life. 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. You will practise talking about your own life events and key issues such as news stories, public figures, health and culture.



    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.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  13. English, maths and digital skills for life (entry 1-entry 2)
    Course start date:  Wed 11 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Do you want to improve your reading and writing of English and your interpersonal communication skills? Would you like to practise your computer and digital skills at the same time? Do you want to work on your maths? You can do all of this in this class. This is a holistic course in which you will visit places such as the National Portrait Gallery, the Transport Museum, cafes, libraries, markets as a way of learning how to improve your writing, speaking skills, reading, maths and digital skills.



    You will learn how to express yourself confidently when talking, writing and using the computer, 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.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  14. English and maths for life (pre-entry)
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person)

    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 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 in person. 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
  15. Develop your writing and reading: by using grammar (entry 3-level 1)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This course will help you improve your reading and writing by focusing on the meaning of grammar. How does the grammar you use 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 more interesting texts? You will improve your reading and writing by understanding 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.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face--to-face or online. 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).
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00

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