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Thread: ESOL courses

  1. #1
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    Default ESOL courses

    Hi, what are peoples views on these courses.
    My wife has recently enrolled on these courses, but only to be told she does not qualify as she is from outside europe, afterchecking her passport again. Local ( Suffolk) eastern europeons learn free if on benefits or £50 per course.
    I feel there is much discrimination and inequality against Asian women. The tutor explained after my wife has lived here for 3 years can learn free, I politely explained she wants to integrate into society now.
    I`m so happy we are leaving Europe, and hopefully everybody is given the same equal opportunity in the future and pays the same costs.
    On her passport they pointed out she has no recourse to public funds.
    Any views welcome good or bad.

  2. #2

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    I was looking for one for my wife yesterday. Many are free but I think it depends where you live.

    I also doubt the quality of many of them and I will check very carefully before sending her on any course.

    Specifically the teacher as she needs to learn better pronunciation more than anything else.

    A few years ago one of my part time staff who is English went one a couple of courses and everything was learnt from a book by a guy who had trouble speaking English himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rasg View Post
    I was looking for one for my wife yesterday. Many are free but I think it depends where you live.

    I also doubt the quality of many of them and I will check very carefully before sending her on any course.


    Specifically the teacher as she needs to learn better pronunciation more than anything else.

    A few years ago one of my part time staff who is English went one a couple of courses and everything was learnt from a book by a guy who had trouble speaking English himself.
    Hi,
    The course in Suffolk, they are reluctant or won`t allow unless we pay some stupid amount of money. As they say she has no recourse to public funds.

  4. #4
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leshemp View Post
    Hi, what are peoples views on these courses.
    Nok's experience, first term not too bad but was hard going for her as first attempt to learn English. The second term it was full of Somalis who only had to attend the course to gain some benefit or other. The course was useless as most of the time it catered to their needs rather then everyone in the class.

    My wife has recently enrolled on these courses, but only to be told she does not qualify as she is from outside europe, afterchecking her passport again. Local ( Suffolk) eastern europeons learn free if on benefits or £50 per course.
    Nok had to pay £170 per term (2 attended) and after the debarcle described above, did not return for a 3rd term.

    I`m so happy we are leaving Europe,
    EU (sorry)

    ...and hopefully everybody is given the same equal opportunity in the future and pays the same costs.
    which is likely to be the higher cost that our partners had/have to pay.
    I'm ONE of the 52%

  5. #5
    Premium Member Tom & Nok's Avatar
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    My wife's experiences have been generally positive here in north London. It is clearly different in other parts of the UK.

    Having arrived in UK in May 2015, Nok wasn't allowed to enrol at our local excellent FE college in September 2015 as she hadn't been in the UK for at least one year.

    However she was allowed to enrol at the free ESOL classes operated by our local authority - they checked her passport/visa status before accepting her. This covers two classes per week: two hours for English speaking & listening, and two hours for English reading and writing. The quality is high. How do I know? Ofsted inspected the provision in May of this year and judged it to be "Good with outstanding features" and I am also a volunteer supporting TESOL classes at the centre (I hold a postgrad TEFL qualification as well as having Ofsted training myself). I also like the curriculum content as it is designed to embed "British values".

    Nok was finally able to enrol at our local FE college this September and I paid the fees for her at the UK/EU "home" rate which cover around six hours of ESOL learning per week. The fee was £198 per term. The college checked both of our passports at enrolment to verify that she has "home/EU" student fee status as she has now lived in the UK for at least one year on a UK spouse settlement visa.

    The quality of all provision, including ESOL, at the college has been judged to be "Outstanding" by Ofsted in each of its last two inspections. This is certainly borne out by what Nok tells me about what she learns in class and her class books and the homework which she brings home and shows me. She was also very pleasantly surprised to have two other Thai class mates on her course, an added bonus as they now bring Thai food from home to share at lunch rather than using the college cafeteria... yummy !
    "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men" Sir Isaac Newton

  6. #6

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    That's good to hear. I need to look a bit more to see what is available locally.

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    Premium Member sisaket's Avatar
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    www.wea.org.uk
    Just an idea ... The Workers Educational Association are often over looked , I know they do ESOL courses .
    They have courses across the UK .... Mrs is a member and has done courses with them (not ESOL) she says she really enjoyed studying with them .
    bangkok mags

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    Quote Originally Posted by sisaket View Post
    www.wea.org.uk
    Just an idea ... The Workers Educational Association are often over looked , I know they do ESOL courses .
    They have courses across the UK .... Mrs is a member and has done courses with them (not ESOL) she says she really enjoyed studying with them .


    Thanks very much, never heard of them . I have sent email to enquire about courses.

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Andy R's Avatar
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    My wife passed the 1st part of her ESOL course 12 years ago when she came over.. It was free back then.. But once she found other Thai's to socialise with she gave up learning. But now it costs far too much for us to pay out for her to learn and that's if she was actually to see a course through as boredom would set in.. She wishes that she had learnt and passed it all when it was free.. She is pretty settled into our society now so doubt she'll ever go out of her way to learn. But if you can get your wife to learn and pass it would be a good thing as we are in the predicament that getting visa's is a hassle..So much so that I don't think we'll go to Europe again..
    Andy
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  10. #10
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    We paid just under £500 for my wife to do a ESOL listening and speaking course and a reading course. Keeps her busy 5 days a week and she's making new friends and definitely improving her English. Yes, it seems unfair that we have to pay so much when everyone else on the course gets it for free as they are EU migrants or on benefits here but that's life. Very important for my wife to get out there, make friends, improve her english and have something to put on her cv. Hopefully give her more confidence to progress and find a better job soon. No point complaining about the cost, that's just how it is. I know I always want what is best for her so you got to do what you got to do.

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    ESOL course at Chesterfield College last year £660
    Utter rubbish. Teacher was nice enough but had time off that wasn't made up for. Wife travelled 45 mins to be handed an A4 sheet and be sent home!
    Course was 2 mornings a week and we were the only ones paying. Complained and didn't get charged for half of it.
    Some students coming and going as they pleased because they don't pay anything. Europeans and some Muslim women who had been in the country years and were taking advantage of some Gov't scheme to get them to speak english.
    Good luck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by leshemp View Post
    Hi, what are peoples views on these courses.
    My wife has recently enrolled on these courses, but only to be told she does not qualify as she is from outside europe, afterchecking her passport again. Local ( Suffolk) eastern europeons learn free if on benefits or £50 per course.
    I feel there is much discrimination and inequality against Asian women. The tutor explained after my wife has lived here for 3 years can learn free, I politely explained she wants to integrate into society now.
    I`m so happy we are leaving Europe, and hopefully everybody is given the same equal opportunity in the future and pays the same costs.
    On her passport they pointed out she has no recourse to public funds.
    Any views welcome good or bad.
    The course cost me £800 in Belfast last year. Was rubbish to be honest.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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    My wife has just started one. We have not been asked for any money yet. So far she has had 3 lessons. One night a week


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    Quote Originally Posted by chris117402 View Post
    My wife has just started one. We have not been asked for any money yet. So far she has had 3 lessons. One night a week


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Your lucky, they looked at my wifes visa, and said no recourse to public funds.

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    Also other students were allowed to pay their fees in 3 installments over the academic year where as my wife had to pay all up front.

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    At £600-£800 a few personal tutor lessons would be better value.

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    My wife will be hopefully starting 1 tomorrow in Aberdare, South Wales.
    Just been told to bring some forms of id.

    Will keep you posted on any charge for the course

  18. #18
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    My Thai wife arrived in the U.K. to start her 5 year settlement process in 09/15 and started a FREE Level 1 ESOL course (3 X 2 hours10 mins = 6 hours 30 mins per week) in 01/16 but had to finish 6 weeks later for personal reasons.

    Last month, 09/16, she resumed at the same College but was recommended (after a new assessment test) to go on a Level 2 Course (3 X 2 hours 10 mins = 6 hours 30 mins per week) for the College's three terms, i.e. up to 06/17. This is again is FREE.

    In 09/17 the same College will expect her to start the Level 3 ESOL course which again will be on 3 days per week for 6 hours 30 mins per week for the three terms. The College web site stipulates that ALL these ESOL courses are FREE without any mention or inference of the entitlement being dependent on the Nationality of the person enrolling?

    No "STATE FUNDED" college in the U.K. should be charging even £1 for any such course as these are funded COMPLETELY by the U.K. government? Post #14 comment about access to public funds is OBVIOUSLY NOT applicable to goverment funded ESOL courses.
    Last edited by Lipboy; 13th Oct 2016 at 15:37.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    My Thai wife arrived in the U.K. to start her 5 year settlement process in 09/15 and started a FREE Level 1 ESOL course (3 X 2 hours10 mins = 6 hours 30 mins per week) in 01/16 but had to finish 6 weeks later for personal reasons.

    Last month, 09/16, she resumed at the same College but was recommended (after a new assessment test) to go on a Level 2 Course (3 X 2 hours 10 mins = 6 hours 30 mins per week) for the College's three terms, i.e. up to 06/17. This is again is FREE.

    In 09/17 the same College will expect her to start the Level 3 ESOL course which again will be on 3 days per week for 6 hours 30 mins per week for the three terms. The College web site stipulates that ALL these ESOL courses are FREE without any mention or inference of the entitlement being dependent on the Nationality of the person enrolling?

    No "STATE FUNDED" college in the U.K. should be charging even £1 for any such course as these are funded COMPLETELY by the U.K. government? Post #14 comment about access to public funds is OBVIOUSLY NOT applicable to goverment funded ESOL courses.


    Hi,
    That`s what the college told my wife , she`s not entitled to public funds until she has lived here for 3 years.

  20. #20
    Premium Member Tom & Nok's Avatar
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    I have just been looking through the central government 2016/2017 rules for FE colleges in England in respect of their funding through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). It seems from reading this thread that some FE college admissions staff appear to have an incomplete understanding of the very detailed state funding rules as they apply for our non-EU spouses.

    According to section A122 (page 21) of the SFA rules (2016/2017) published by HM Government in July 2016, the three year residency rule does not apply for non-EU nationals if they are married to a UK, EU or EEA citizen who has been resident within the EEA for the last three years. The table on page 21 is very clear.

    Section A117 states:

    "A117. The learner’s immigration permission in the UK may have a ‘No recourse to public funds’ condition. Public funds does not include education or education funding, so this does not affect a learner’s eligibility, which must be decided under the normal eligibility conditions."

    I note that Leshemp's wife was told by her local college that she has to have lived in the UK for three years. This is clearly incorrect under the government's 2016/2017 SFA funding rules. I would suggest contacting the college principal to draw his/her attention to the very clear SFA funding rules and the college's failure to comply with the SFA eligibility for funding requirements in respect of his non-EU spouse. It might also be worthwhile contacting your MP too.

    "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men" Sir Isaac Newton

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