ESOL students progress in education and employment

17th May 2023

Students from Solihull College & University Centre are celebrating after progressing onto a range of new courses and job roles following the completion of their ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course.

The College offers ESOL courses to suit all levels. For 16–19-year-old students, the Access to Further Education (ESOL) course is a one year, full-time, entry level programme that includes a strong emphasis on developing English and maths skills, personal social development, and vocational studies – prepares students to move on to other college courses or launch their career here in the UK.

Several of the courses’ former students have shared their experience. Congratulations to all on their success!

4 images of students in a collage
Hicham, Marwah, Sara and Zamzama all shared their positive experience at the College


My name is Zamzama, and I’m from Afghanistan. I studied at the College for four years from 2018 to 2022. At the College there are a lot of activities to help you improve your skills. The College arranges trips every year and some cultural parties where you can meet different students from other levels, different cultures and countries. One of the best memories I have is when we had a trip to Drayton Manor Park which was unforgettable. I’ve made good friends who I keep in touch with. When I started ESOL, I couldn’t speak English fluently, and I struggled most with listening and speaking skills. However, my teachers helped me to improve my skills by reading, writing and listening. The teachers that I had were the best, they helped me and gave me feedback.

When I finished ESOL, I started level 2 Science which was quite challenging for me, but I had a goal for my future which was working for the NHS. I became a distinction and outstanding student, which I think is all because of my ESOL course. Finally, I made it to university after 4 years of studying at Solihull College. I’m currently studying Operating Department Practice at Birmingham City University. I want to be able to help and support vulnerable people and I think becoming an ODP will give me the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. Studying at this college was the best experience I have ever had. Now I feel very confident. I want to thank each and every person at the College that helped me through my journey. Where I am today is because of studying the ESOL course.


My name is Marwah and I’m from Yemen. I studied ESOL for two years, from 2019 to 2021. I like ESOL because I have met the best teachers ever. They are helpful, kind and wonderful. They even helped me after ESOL. They gave me references for my jobs and courses. I also like ESOL because it taught me so many things and helped me to figure out more about the UK, not only helping me with my studies. It helped me a lot to improve a lot of skills that I need for my current course and job such as IT skills, communication skills as well as English and Maths.

After ESOL, I studied 4 GCSEs (Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Maths) and I worked as a digital marketer. The skills I learnt from ESOL really helped me in my job and GCSEs. I am currently studying A-Levels (Chemistry, Biology and Maths) and GCSE English alongside working in a hospital. I would like to study Dentistry in the future.


I am Hicham, I’m from Comoros Island, a country located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and the Southeast African mainland. I am the one and only person from that country who is studying at this college, which makes me the first Comorian to ever study at Solihull College. I came to this college in 2019 and I was doing my ESOL Entry 3 that year. I came to this college with less confidence in my speaking abilities and potential as a student. However, I was more than happy to be an ESOL student in my first year of college because it helped me to improve my speaking, listening and understanding skills. I have had an unforgettable time with my classmates but mostly with my lovely teachers who I am very grateful for because they have helped me boost my confidence and become the student I am today.

I had an amazing experience in ESOL. I progressed to Business Level 1 and I managed to pass my English GCSE the following year. I completed Level 2 last year and currently I’m on Level 3. It is not an easy course to do but ESOL has prepared me to tackle any obstacle in my path towards a successful education and I am thankful for all my ESOL teachers for helping me throughout everything. To everyone who is currently in ESOL and those who are willing to join ESOL in the future just know you can do it too.


Hey there! My name is Sara. I am from Palestine and I was born in Italy. I studied ESOL for 2 years. I made a lot of friends from different countries who are my best friends now. The teachers were the best teachers ever. I will never forget them. I learned about life in the UK, I have improved my English, Maths, my communication skills, my listening skills, my writing skills, grammar and much more. We were all from different countries in the class but we always helped and supported each other. The teachers are understanding and that makes it the most comfortable place. I am studying Business Level 1 now. My future career goals are to study at university, learn new things and open my own business.


Hi! My name is Finan and I’m from Eritrea. I studied ESOL for two years. I like ESOL because it supports me to have a fundamental knowledge of the English language. When I joined ESOL, I had a lack of writing skills and I had a lack of speaking skills because English is not my first language. As a result, it helped me to progress. I would recommend doing ESOL especially if English is your second language, it will support you in many ways and will support you to have confidence in your English language skills. I’m studying IT level 2 now and my future career goal is to be a software engineer.

Access to FE ESOL Course Coordinator, Glykeria Theodoulou, comments: “We offer the opportunity for students to improve their English and Maths skills in a supportive and inclusive environment. Our team of friendly and experienced lecturers take pride in helping students to build their confidence and interpersonal skills in order to achieve their future goals. We are very proud of what our ESOL students have accomplished as shown in some of the success stories they have shared!”

Find out more about the College’s ESOL courses: ESOL