Language Support

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department

The ESOL Department exists as a language support for those pupils whose first language is a language other than English. Our aim is to help pupils achieve their full potential in using English for everyday, social, academic and professional purposes in the four key skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). Pupils are usually provided with a minimum of two lessons a week at no extra charge until they have passed their IGCSE ESL or IELTS examination.

ESOL Lesson


This support is provided on an individual or group basis by a dedicated, professionally trained teacher and forms an integral part of Bishop’s Stortford College’s curriculum. The ESOL classroom is a bright and cheerful place to work and learn and it provides a calm and peaceful base for the overseas pupils to gather for their lessons.


The Department also recognises that traditions and cultural awareness are very important in language acquisition and aims to incorporate these aspects into the teaching programme. We aim to make the experience of improving a student's level of English as enjoyable as possible. We are aware that English is the international language and it is therefore essential that every overseas student is able to use it effectively. The English language underpins every mainstream subject, thus giving the Department a unique role in supporting pupils’ academic goals.

The ESOL Department runs courses which are as closely tailored to the individual needs of each student as possible. Depending on his or her age and level, a student will be prepared for the following examinations:

Cambridge IGCSE in English  as a Second Language or English as a First Language and IELTS (the International English Language Testing System).

Overseas students make up around 10% of our Senior School roll and we welcome students from a wide variety of nationalities. As well as teaching ESOL, the Department is very active pastorally and organises the annual International Welcome Party as well as accompanying pupils to Parents’ Meetings and providing them with help for their university applications.

Read Sixth Form student Raphael N's success story here