SQA Higher ESOL
What is SQA Higher ESOL?
A qualification awarded by the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority), Higher ESOL is a course focused on improvement in the four main skills of English: reading, writing, listening and speaking. This is a flexible course consisting of course work followed by a final examination in June of each year. All assessments are graded according to the National Standards of the SQA, Scotland’s leading qualifications body. The modules of the course are:
- ESOL for everyday life: this module is aimed at helping you improve your English for effective communication in personal, social and interactional contexts
- ESOL in work-related contexts: you will practice the skills mentioned above in many different work contexts, ranging from job applications to holding meetings. The skills learned in this module can be used when you enter employment in future
- English in study-related contexts: you will be introduced to English in academia, learn study techniques, analyse texts, listen to and participate in academic discussions. There is a special focus on speaking and writing skills in this module
The Higher ESOL is at a C1 level, which is an advanced level of English ability, therefore students who apply for the course must already have a solid foundation in English. It is suitable for a wide range of students currently in work or education, whether it is a school or college, community-based or work-based. The choice of modules gives students the opportunity to study within the context which is most relevant to their future plans. The course is popular with students who plan to stay in Scotland to live and work, giving them the chance to learn and practice the important skills which enable them to do so. The modules, topics and exercises featured in the course are relevant to Scottish society and culture. If you are looking to apply to university in Scotland, Higher ESOL is recognised as one of the requirements for non-native English speakers.
Some of the skills which you will learn on the course are:
- Understanding and interpreting complex written and spoken texts on a range of topics related to the modules
- Interacting with others, using complex grammatical forms and vocabulary
- Expressing ideas and developing arguments on a range of topics, building your ability to debate and discuss in English
- Producing writing texts which are appropriate in tone to the purpose of writing
- Using different media to improve your strategies of learning
- Applying knowledge of complex language in spoken and written English