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ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) qualifications are designed to help learners to develop English skills and build confidence in using English in everyday life, education and employment.

Gateway Qualifications’ ESOL Skills for Life qualifications are developed with ESOL experts and tutors to offer the flexibility required to meet your learners’ needs alongside robust assessment.

On-demand assessments with real-life tasks that learners can relate to at every level make sure that your learners are better placed to achieve their goals and progress to higher level qualifications and employment.

Approved ESOL centres can access a set of support materials which include guidance on how assessments can be contextualised, teaching and learning resources written specifically to support tutors, and independent learning resources for learners.


The Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Award In Introduction to English for Non-native Speakers (Entry 1) qualification covers very basic speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

All units are mandatory and the qualification covers the essential English language skills to be taught to the intended target group. However, most learners joining an Entry 1 ESOL course will already have or be able to acquire these skills very quickly.

The Introduction to English for Non-native Speakers (Entry 1) qualification is an accredited alternative to a RARPA-based approach. Achievement of this qualification can be used as an indicator that a learner is ready for an E1 ESOL course/qualification.

If you are working with learners who are new ESOL, the Education and Training Foundation has some helpful resources on their Learners New to ESOL page.

Skills for Life

Gateway Qualifications is recognised by Ofqual to develop, deliver and award ESOL qualifications.

Our ESOL Skills for Life qualifications help you to support your students with their flexible qualifications and accessible assessments.

The key features of Gateway Qualifications’ ESOL Skills for Life qualifications are:

  • Across Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2 and Entry Level 3, Level 1, and Level 2
  • Awards in Reading (6 credits), Writing (9 credits), and Speaking and Listening (12 credits)
  • Overarching Certificate bringing together each skill area
  • On-demand assessment

If you’re interested in running our ESOL Skills for Life qualifications but are not yet a recognised centre, please complete our centre recognition form or give us a call on 01206 911211. If you are a recognised centre and want to apply to run additional qualifications, please complete our requesting additional qualifications form.

*Certificates in ESOL Skills for Life 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.

Please note: Published prices for ESOL qualifications do not apply to providers delivering ESOL qualifications under the terms of our contract with the Ministry of Justice.


  • Full qualification induction with on-going support and regular visits from quality assurance team
  • Certificates turned around within 5 days of receipt of confirmed marks
  • Support from a named account team


  • Assessments are available on-demand and can be booked during evening and weekends
  • No minimum time period between assessment attempts
  • Assessment tasks based on life skills and everyday situations
  • All Entry Level and Speaking and Listening at Level 1 & 2 assessments can be contextualised by Centres
  • Entry Level assessment tasks can be taken on different days and times
  • Each component is available individually as an Award (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) or as an overarching Certificate
  • Learners can ‘spike up’ a level as part of the certificate
  • All assessments internally marked and externally quality assured (with the exception of Level 2 Reading and Writing which is externally marked)

ESOL Sample Assessments


You can claim additional funding for adults when teaching time exceeds the Guided Learning Hours for ESOL

Additional funding for ESOL

Introduction to English for Non-native Speakers

This qualification is for non-native speakers who are seeking to learn English as a second or other language and would not be able to access an Entry ESOL course because of their very low starting point.

Credible qualifications

Gateway Qualifications is the Ministry of Justice’s sole Awarding Organisation for the delivery of ESOL for Prison Education

Gateway Qualifications’ wins ESOL prison contract

A qualification that is adaptable to a learners’ personal and environmental needs

A case study on how HMP Bronzefield use bespoke qualifications to boost confidence and help people become more employable

HMP Bronzefield: Case study

ESOL Teaching and Learning Resources

Gateway Qualifications has developed a set of support materials for those delivering ESOL, which can be accessed through Prism for Centres that have been approved to run ESOL. However, we have also made a few resources available for centres who are not delivering ESOL with us.

Teaching and Learning Resources

Related Webinars

To help you successfully deliver our qualifications and assessments, we make available a variety of support materials including webinars.

Related webinars

Related Whitepapers

Demonstrating good practice in personal development, behaviour and attitudes

Supporting Learners’ Personal Development

Making the most of the Adult Education Budget (AEB)

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications are coming…

Embedding ESOL in Vocational and Employability Contexts