National 5 ESOL
The National 5 ESOL Course enables learners to understand and use English language. This Course contributes towards the development of literacy skills by providing learners with opportunities to read, write, listen and speak in English.
Updates and announcements
- October 2016 subject update (177 KB)
- May 2016 subject update (National 3 - Higher) (225 KB)
- October 2015 subject update (152 KB)
- August 2015 subject update (National 3 - Higher) (158 KB)
- May 2015 subject update (131 KB)
- September 2014 subject update (336 KB)
- Special Edition Update June 2014 (152 KB)
- September 2013 update letter (177 KB)
Changes to assessment in the National 5 course from session 2017-18
Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement that units and unit assessments will be removed from National 5 to Advanced Higher courses, we are strengthening the course assessment to ensure it covers the full content of the course.
The following summary provides a quick look at what is needed to strengthen the course assessment in your National 5 course. These changes will take effect from session 2017-18 onwards. More detailed information will be provided in the revised Course Specifications, which will be available by the end of April 2017.
There will be no change to the performance (speaking and listening) component and it will continue to be worth 30 marks and will contribute to 30% of the course assessment.
Changes to exams:
The question papers will be extended by 20 marks and the duration of the exams will also increase as a result. The extension of the question papers will allow an increase in the sampling of the course content as follows:
- Listening - an additional 5 marks (20 to 25 marks)
- Reading - an additional 10 marks (25 to 35 marks)
- Writing - an additional 5 marks (25 to 30 marks)
The Listening exam will continue to be worth 20% of the course assessment and the Reading/Writing exam will continue to be worth 50%.
Reasons for these changes:
The extension of the question papers will allow a greater amount of the course content to be sampled, following the removal of Units.
Scaling will be applied to retain the current component weightings.
This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.
Course Assessment Specification
This explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
Advice and guidance
Course and Unit Support Notes
These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Course and its Units.
The following document contains the Course Support Notes and the Unit Support Notes for this Course. They can be printed together or separately.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.
General assessment information provides instructions for the conduct of coursework, an overview of the assessment task, evidence to be gathered and general marking instructions.
Coursework assessment tasks provide the live assessment task, including marking instructions and instructions for candidates. Teachers/lecturers can access these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
- General assessment information for National 5 ESOL
Unit Assessment Support
These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Understanding Standards materials
We are publishing examples of candidate evidence with commentaries as part of our Understanding Standards programme. These materials are for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As these materials become available, they are being published in the following locations:
- Available from our secure website Materials relating to Unit assessment, internally assessed components of Course assessment, and externally assessed components of Course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
- Available from our Understanding Standards website Materials relating to externally assessed components of Course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.
More information on our Understanding Standards programme, can be found on our Understanding Standards page.