ESOL at home during COVID-19

No matter whether you are a pre-entry learner or ESOL functional skills there are some things that all learners can do to improve their English.

Listen to the radio or podcasts

Listening to talk radio or podcasts is a great way to learn English when you don’t have a lot of time or are doing other tasks, like cooking and cleaning. There are stations and downloads covering a range of topics that you can listen to on your radio, through your phone, tablet or smart speaker.

You can find the latest  BBC podcasts and radio stations HERE 

If you prefer to listen to music you can find all your favourite songs with lyrics to read along HERE

Watch English TV Programs

If your children are off school you could sit down with them to watch children’s TV shows or in the evening you can relax and watch a soap opera. This is a great way to get used to regional accents in the UK and learn general conversation. If you switch on the subtitles you can even practice reading at the same time.


There are lots of videos available on YouTube to help you learn English when you have a few minutes free. Whether it is learning your ABC’s practising your greetings or talking about your free time and hobbies  there are videos available to help. Just click on the blue word to see an example. The great thing about watching a video is you only need a few minutes of free time and can watch as many times as you like.

Talking on the phone

If you have a friend who is learning to speak English you could practise together on the phone, or if you have a friend who is a native speaker of English you could practise with them too.

One hour a day

Try to have one hour a day where you only speak English in the house. You can make it a fun game with your family to see who has to stop using English first.

Learn new words 

Try to learn 3 new words every day. It could be words you hear on the radio or television, or you could ask a friend or your support worker to send you a voice note with new words for you to practise.

Language Apps

If you have a smart phone or tablet there are lots of apps you can download for free to help you learn English

Dualingo can help you learn English in bite size lessons, click HERE to register for free.

Memrise, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone are all immersive learning apps that teach you practical English quickly. Click on the name of the app to be taken to their web page for more information and download for free.

Hello Talk and BUSUU are language apps that connect you with native speakers to practise your English. Click on the name of the app to be taken to their web page.


Although your local library will be physically closed most libraries offer online services. If you are not registered with your local library you can generally register online through their website. Once registered with the library you will have free access to e-books, e-audio books and e-magazines.


For further resources to help you learn English download the ESOL study at home guide below.



ESOL at home guide