Essential skills

Essential Skills Courses at City Lit

Do you want to develop your English, ESOL, Maths or Digital Skills? Do you need to improve these skills to make progress at work, express yourself fully and participate in modern life? Whether English is your first or second language, you haven’t studied maths since school or you need to become confident on the computer, we can help you.

You can study on a wide range of courses from beginner to advanced and learn all the skills you need to do well at work, communicate effectively and become an active citizen. All our classes are taught by highly qualified tutors passionate about their subject.

Most of our courses are FREE if you are on a low income or claiming benefits. You will also usually need to do a pre-course assessment.
For more details contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the links below.

Study at home with our online courses.

The majority of our ESOL, English, maths and digital skills classes are now live online. You will need a computer with a microphone, a camera and the internet. It is best to use Google Chrome.

For ESOL courses (if English is not your first language), click here
For English (fluent speakers) click here
For Maths click here
For Digital Skills (computing) click here
For Deaf English & Maths courses click here
For Deaf Digital Skills (computing) courses click here

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  1. Grammar in practice: upper intermediate (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Apr 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Unsure when to use present perfect or past perfect? Is reported speech still causing you problems? Do you need to practise your conditionals? Join this course and put your grammar into practice in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Gain confidence in using grammar effectively through engaging in contextualised tasks.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Grammar in practice: intermediate (entry 3 -level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Apr 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Confused by verb tenses? Need to know when to use past simple or present perfect? Puzzled by the passive? This course will make English grammar simpler for you and increase your confidence by giving you lots of opportunities to put your grammar into practice.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  3. ESOL pronunciation: stage 2 (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    What are the different ways of pronouncing 'a'? Does 'for' always sound like 'four'? Is 't' always pronounced the same way? Learn the answers to these questions as you focus on fluent pronunciation practising linking, rhythm and stress and discover how context affects the pronunciation of English. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1), who have completed Stage 1. Please contact the department on 020 7492 2511 or universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk for more information. Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £47.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  4. ESOL pronunciation: stage 1 (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tired of people not understanding you? Would you like to sound 'more English'? Do you need to commununicate well with people in your work? Then this specialist course will help you. Learn how to make the individual sounds of English, hear the differences between them, and read and write the phonemic script, a special alphabet of sounds. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1). Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  5. Writing skills in practice: upper intermediate (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 28 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Develop your writing by learning how to plan, structure and write letters, stories, articles, reports and more. Through writing in different ways, you will improve your grammatical accuracy, vocabulary and spelling, as well as your ability to link your ideas and write introductions and conclusions. Aimed at students who are at a good intermediate level or above (level 1-2).

    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.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Develop your writing for inside and outside the workplace: how to make your writing organised, clear and to the point (level 2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you often have lots to say but find it difficult to write your ideas down? Is it a challenge to begin your writing? Do you want to learn how to write to the point, with your ideas clear and organised so they join together and your writing achieves its purpose? Being coherent, concise 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 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.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £35.00
  7. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Apr 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    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
  8. English dialogue: speaking, listening, pronunciation, performance (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 6 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you want to sound ‘more English’ when you speak? Do you want the chance to experiment with becoming expressive in English, playing with how you sound when you speak different dialogues? On this course, you will work on different dialogues from everyday speech and well known plays. And you will also create your own! The chance to work on how to perform and enact this speech will enable you to focus on how to link and ‘chunk’ words, develop your rhythm and stress, work on your fluency and ensure that the meaning of what you are saying becomes expressed. You will also be working with ‘real’ language, not the sometimes artificial language of English course books. Although you will be performing the texts, you do not need to be an actor, just willing to give it a go. By writing your own dialogues, you will also develop your writing skills so by the end of the course you can write and perform together with your classmates your own 5 minute play!.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £85.00
  9. Workplace skills: communicating, negotiating and influencing (level 2+)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 12 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Good communication is the most in-demand work-skill across all job adverts in London. How to influence others successfully and negotiate effectively with work colleagues and customers are also key skills across different sectors and industries whatever the level of work. This course will help you develop these skills for a variety of different work settings. You will work on different types of communication, both written and face-to-face, identifying when to use them. You will practise using inclusive accessible language ('plain English') that is effective and to the point. You will focus on understanding your audience, writing differently for different audiences, and adopting the right tone and style in both speaking and writing so your point of view comes across persuasively. You will role play key meetings in the workplace when you need to understand another's point of view and motives in order to be able to respond effectively. You will also work on giving and receiving feedback. By the end of the course you will be confident you can influence others positively and use your negotiating skills to affect situations and promote change in your workplace.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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
  10. Develop your confidence in writing: sentences, grammar and punctuation in everyday writing (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 14 Oct 2021

    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
  11. Matters of opinion (level 2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 5 May 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you need to improve your fluency, your vocabulary and your pronunciation? Join this course and learn how to express your opinion and talk about important topics: love, politics, films, current affairs, morals. This course will help you develop your grammar and to talk in a more complex way.



    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £85.00
  12. 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)
    Last Few Places
    Course 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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £42.00
  13. ESOL and singing: sing your way to better English (entry 3 - level 2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Fri 28 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Are you learning English? Do you enjoy singing? Why not combine the two? Singing is an excellent way to develop your English. You will improve your vocabulary, listening, reading, pronunciation and fluency. You do not need to be a good singer to do this course. The focus will be on using songs to develop your pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and reading.

    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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Workplace skills: getting your point across (level 2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course 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) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £91.00
  15. Develop your confidence in writing: finding the right tone and improving your style (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course 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

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