Below you will find answers to the most common questions we are asked about our ESOL qualifications.

They are broadly grouped by topic covering:

  • Qualifications Structure and Content
  • Assessment Taking
  • Assessment Marking
  • Pricing and Funding
  • Help and Support

If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please contact us and we will ensure it is answered, we may even add to the list below!

Qualification Structure and Content
Are there separate qualifications in each of the skills?

Yes, there are standalone awards in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. There is an overarching ESOL Skills for Life certificate which is awarded free once all three skills area are all achieved.

Are the credit values for the awards all the same?

No, the credit values differ depending on the skill area.

The different credit values are:

  • Reading 6
  • Writing 9
  • Speaking and Listening 12
What is the recommended GLH for each skill?

The recommended Guided Learning Hours for each skill are:

  • Reading: 60 hours
  • Writing: 90 hours
  • Speaking and Listening: 120 hours
What age ranges are the qualifications available for?

The qualifications have been developed for learners aged pre-16, 16-19 or adult learners.

How will the qualifications be assessed?

All qualifications and units are assessed through an assessment externally set by Gateway Qualifications.

Speaking and Listening assessments  at all levels and Reading and Writing level entry assessments can be contextualised.

Where can I find the Qualification and Sample Assessment materials?

The Qualification Specification and Sample Assessment materials are available on the Gateway Qualifications website/by clicking the links.

Assessment Taking
How will the assessments be accessed?

Entry level and level 1 Reading and Writing and all levels of Speaking and Listening are downloaded from a bank of papers in QuartzWeb. level 2 Reading and Writing are allocated on assessment booking and are available to download 5 days prior to assessment sitting.

When are the assessment windows for ESOL exams?

All Gateway Qualifications’ ESOL assessments are available on demand, with no fixed assessment windows. So you are free to schedule assessment to fit within your teaching pattern whenever learners are ready to take the assessments.

What are the recording requirements for Speaking and Listening assessments?

A 10% sample of Speaking and Listening assessments must be audio or video recorded. Guidance on conducting the Speaking and Listening assessments is detailed in the Qualification Specification (section 4.10).

Are dictionaries allowed in the assessments?

The use of monolingual dictionaries or glossaries is permitted during the assessment of Reading. Dictionaries are not allowed in the Writing or Speaking and Listening assessment.

Can assessments be taken online?

All our ESOL assessments are paper based at present.

Assessment Marking
Who marks the assessments?

That depends on the qualification. Level 2 Reading and Writing is externally marked, while all other qualifications are internally marked. Further details can be found in the ESOL Qualification Specification. (pages 28-29)

Pricing and Funding
How much do the qualifications cost?

Our ESOL qualifications are competitively priced and are charged, per learner, as follows:

  • Awards in Reading: £14.00
  • Awards in Writing: £14.00
  • Awards in Speaking and Listening: £20.00

Certificates are awarded at no additional charge once a learner has successfully completed all three components. Certificates are awarded at the level of the lowest achieved component.

How much do resits cost?

There is no charge for resits.

Are Gateway Qualifications ESOL Skills for Life fundable?

Our ESOL Skills for Life qualifications are funded for eligible adults and are included on Find a Learning Aim (FALA). They are also approved by the ESFA as part of a Study Programme.

Help and Support
What training does Gateway Qualifications offer?

Gateway Qualifications provides webinars, on-site training, written guidance, access to subject experts via telephone and email.

What resources are available?

Centres are provided with access to the:

Is there any help for learners with little or no basic English?

Yes. Our Entry Level Award in Introduction to English for Non-Native Speakers (Entry 1) is available for learners who are not yet ready for an Entry 1 ESOL course, including those who:

  • have no or very limited previous or current exposure to English (eg. through work, through films, through social interaction or at home)
  • are newly arrived in the country
  • are not literate in their home language
  • have a home language that does not include a written language
  • have had little or no formal education of any kind
  • have no English at all and cannot follow teaching instructions in English or use English to make themselves understood by teachers or fellow students.