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.

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.

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.

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

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Oct 2021 (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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Getting ready for English Language GCSE
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you excited by the English language? Do you want to gain an English language GCSE but are not ready yet to achieve this in a single year? Do you need to test your abilities before attempting the qualification course? Then this Getting Ready for English Language GCSE is the course for you. It will prepare you for the accreditation and familiarise you with its content, level and expectation.



    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.



    After you have completed your assessment, please also click on the following link and tell us more about yourself -https://forms.gle/WpjbXEsfBRtByVjz5.



    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 confidence in writing: sentence formation, grammar and punctuation in everyday writing (level 1-2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 12 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to be more confident in the way you form sentences, understand grammar and use punctuation in your writing? It can be tempting to just stick a comma in a sentence, avoid adverbs and crumble when it comes to knowing what a clause is, 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 such as punctuation, word types, sentence structures, writing paragraphs, active and passive voice, 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.



    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

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