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. English dialogue: speaking, listening, pronunciation, performance (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 20 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

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

    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). 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
  2. Grammar in practice: upper intermediate (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Oct 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    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). 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
  3. ESOL pronunciation: stage 2 (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    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). 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)
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    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). 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. Matters of opinion (level 2)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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). 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 £85.00
  6. 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
  7. ESOL and singing: sing your way to better English (entry 3 - level 2)
    Course start 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). 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 £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Reading stories, telling stories: vocabulary, discussion, expression (level 2)
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 6 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you enjoy reading stories and wish to improve your communication and discussion skills? Then this is the course for you. Extend your reading skills by working out meaning, and learn how to express yourself and your opinions across a range of different types of stories. You will find that storytelling is a fantastic way of developing your English and learning how stories are put together, how characters are developed and described and how situations are created will take your English up to the next level.



    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 £85.00
  11. ESOL: Develop your listening skills (level 1)
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Are you tired of asking people to repeat themselves? Do you nod and smile when you don't understand? Do you wish you could understand the TV better or follow phone conversations more easily? Good listening skills are essential to your English language development and students often never learn specific listening techniques. This course will help you change your experience of listening to English. It will change from being a stream of meaningless sounds into one in which you can identify the words and focus on the meaning of what you are hearing. You will be able to relax when you are having conversations and enjoy films without subtitles!



    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 £56.00
  12. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 6 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
  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 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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