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Essential English (Levels 1&2) at New College Swindon

Course description

English isn’t only Shakespeare and stories . . .

You’ll see “good spoken and written communication skills required” in every job advert.

This course is a practical preparation for work and everyday life. You will work to develop your speaking, reading and writing skills in English and brush up on the essential foundations of English such as spelling, grammar and punctuation to create:

  • letters
  • emails
  • reports
  • presentations

Some of your work will be done on the computer, so you will also be able to improve your IT skills.

This course can be a stepping stone to GCSE English.

Course content

  • Brushing up on the basics
  • Using Microsoft Word
  • Group discussion skills
  • Formal/informal letters, e-mails, reports, articles, speeches
  • PowerPoint presentation skills
  • Persuasive techniques – how writers try to influence us; what writers really mean.

Entry requirements

Most people starting the course will have Grade E or F at GCSE English. You will do a short assessment at the beginning of the course to help decide what level you are going to aim for.


Entry Level 3 :  a 40 minute reading exam, writing exam and 2 speaking & listening assessments.

Level 1 : a 1 hour reading exam,1 hour writing exam and 2 speaking & listening assessments.

Level 2 : a 1 hour reading exam, a 1 hour and 05 minutes writing exam and 2 speaking & listening assessments.

Future opportunities

As soon as you are ready, you can take the national Functional Skills exam.

If appropriate you can then go on to take the Functional Skills exams at the next level. You could progress on to Level 2 which requires the same level of reading and writing skills as a grade D at GCSE. This can enable you to progress into many areas of employment, training and further study.

Many students also go on to take GCSE English the following year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact New College Swindon directly.

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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