ESOL Case Studies



Alice Keung Higher ESOL case study

Alice Keung worked for many years as an architect in her native Hong Kong, but when she arrived in Scotland in July 2005 she found that she could not communicate or understand enough of what was said around her. She enrolled on the SQA Higher Course in ESOL, achieved Higher ESOL at grade A, and quickly progressed to finding work as an Architect’s Assistant in Glasgow. Read on to learn more about Alice’s story.

East Lothian Community Learning Case Study

Image: ESOL staff with wall hanging.

With the growing numbers of ‘New Scots’ living and working in the local area, East Lothian Community Learning and Development (CLD) Partnership made the decision to adapt their English learning programme to lead to SQA accredited ESOL qualifications. In less than a year the first group of 15 learners were delighted to receive SQA Certificates ranging from Access 2 to Intermediate 1. The team also supported the delivery of SQA ESOL qualifications in four local secondary schools, enabling six students to gain an ESOL qualification at Higher or Intermediate 2.

Maryam Habibollahi Case Study

IMAGE: Maryam Habibollahi.

Maryam Habibollahi from Iran is an example of a learner who arrived in the UK without the English language skills which would enable her to integrate into English speaking society. You can listen to her inspirational story and hear how undertaking SQA NQ ESOL qualifications at Stevenson College Edinburgh enabled her to progress from being a complete beginner to a Professional Development Award in Medical Administration and thereafter employment as a Medical Receptionist with Riccarton Medical Practice in Heriot Watt University.

The case study of Maryam is available to view by following the link below:


Case Study 1 pdf

An additional case study is also available, featuring Remzie Memeshi, an asylum seeker who arrived from Kosovo in 2001. Remzie was unable to speak, read or write in English but has studied ESOL Units from beginner level to Intermediate 2 at Anniesland College, Glasgow and has progressed to an HNC in Health and Social Care. Read more about Remzie's story by folowing the link below:

Case Study 2 pdf
Also, read how Tsvetomir from Bulgaria studied SQA ESOL and how it helped him with everyday life, move into work and into further study.

Employer/College Case Study

This case study describes how Strathmore Foods, a Forfar based manufacturer of frozen and chilled foods, worked in partnership with Angus College to offer a group of migrant workers ESOL for beginners. The group of fifteen workers from non EU and EU countries including Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Russia and the Ukraine attended classes at Angus College and all achieved  SQA NQ ESOL qualification 'English for Work and Study' at Access 3. The students have now progressed to the next level, Intermediate 1, which is being funded by students’ Individual Learning Accounts.

Dundee City Council Bilingual Pupils’ Support Service Case Study

This case study describes how Dundee City Council Bilingual Pupil Support Service worked with bilingual pupils in two Dundee schools, Morgan Academy and Harris Academy.  The Service coordinated planning and delivery of ESOL teaching and assessment and collaborated with subject teachers, successfully overcoming timetabling challenges to offer SQA ESOL Units from Access 3 to Higher as an integral part of other subjects in the school curriculum. The case study looks at the challenges and the benefits gained by both the pupils and school.

The City of Edinburgh EAL Service Case Study

This case study describes another ESOL delivery model for schools.  The City of Edinburgh EAL Service recognised that many secondary aged bilingual pupils would benefit from an increased range of certificated English language courses in addition to those traditionally offered by schools but was not able to take responsibility for the delivery of SQA ESOL courses in schools due to resourcing constraints. The EAL Service therefore liaised with two local colleges and  secondary school managers to facilitate the provision of after-school ESOL classes at Higher and Access 3 levels by means of school–college partnerships. The case study looks at how the school-college partnership works, the benefits for all parties and the role of the EAL Service.

Case Study of Inverness Hotel Association

This case study describes how a group of 21 of the min hotels in inverness including hotels from the world's leading hotle groups (the Marriott, Thistle, Ramada Jarvis, Best Western and Express by Holiday Inn) are offering SQA work-based ESOL qualifications in the workplace in partnership with tutors from the Workers' Educational Association.

This case study provides quotes form learners and the Thistle hotel General Manager, describing how the hotles are benefiting in key areas as communication and health & safety.