A close up of the hands of a person writing in their diary

English Functional Skills gives you the ability to learn practical skills for the modern world and ensures that you have good communication skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. It assesses whether you can use these skills in everyday situations.

There are three entry levels and two levels within English Functional Skills.


English Functional Skills is made up of three modules:

  1. Speaking, Listening & Communication
  2. Reading
  3. Writing

In lessons you’ll be given a variety of sources, ranging from articles and reviews, and will be looking at and listening to examples of language use, identifying aspects of language and learning the technical terms to describe them, discussing and writing about issues to do with language. You will also spend time writing non-fiction pieces such as non-fiction stories, instructions or letters, and will learn how to use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately, and acquire and apply a wide vocabulary. You’ll also participate in a number of listening and speaking activities.

This will be done through a mixture of whole-class work, small group activity and individual work.


At the end of the course you’ll be measured via three assessments:

  1. Speaking, Listening & Communication - a controlled assessment of discussion and presentation.
  2. Reading - A short exam (up to 1 hour for Level 2) made up of multiple choice and short answer questions which are examined either on paper or via a computer.
  3. Writing - A short exam (up to 1 hour for Level 2) made up of two writing tasks which are examined on paper or via a computer.

What’s Next

Functional skills are a great way to introduce you to a subject via a practical classes and exercises. Once you’ve completed a level you can move on to the next one, and once you’ve completed level 2 you’ll be prepared for the functional elements of GCSE English and English Language.

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