ESOL digital learning success for home learners during COVID-19 pandemic


An English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) project in Walsall has proved successful, giving learners the opportunity to learn English in the comfort of their own homes.

The online course, Digital Learning - Challenge or Opportunity, took place over a period of 12 weeks, between April 2020 and July 2020 with a total of 10 participants.

The course was organised by Teodora Albu, an independent ESOL tutor and has been supported by Walsall Council’s ESOL Intelligence Unit as part of the Walsall for All programme.


Many of the learners who participated had a job or childcare responsibilities; however, they committed to attending as many classes as possible.


Initially, the online course was a challenge for students as most had not even heard of free ESOL courses and had never studied online before. Towards the end of the course, the students embraced the idea and said that studying at home removed significant barriers and helped to facilitate lifelong learning, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


Throughout the course, students gained skills in speaking and listening which included responding, engaging in discussion, speaking to communicate and vocabulary. There were also discussions about everyday life, such as daily routine, shopping, doctor’s appointments and living in the UK.


Teodora Albu, ESOL tutor said: “The students had very good results, showing me that this course helped them to gain a lot of information and even go out of their comfort zone, demonstrating that they can work from home and that the continuous learning of English can be done at any age, in any environment.”


Elena, an ESOL learner who participated in the course said: “The ESOL English course was a great motivation for me, which helped me gain confidence in my own strength. In the course, I studied grammar, speech and listening. It was a well-organised course with a lot of support from our teacher Teodora Albu, who had great patience with all of us. This course opened up many opportunities for me. It helped me to take an important step, which was to enrol for university. I would like to take other courses in the future so that I can develop professionally.”


Free ESOL classes are continuing to take place online or through alternative platforms during the coronavirus pandemic. If you would like to find out more on signing up or becoming an ESOL provider, visit https://www.walsallforall.co.uk/learn-english-for-free or email walsallforall@walsall.gov.uk

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