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ESOL Skills for Life Centre Notification: Updated specifications and live assessment papers

ESB updates and improves its ESOL Skills for Life qualification specifications and assessment papers in response to a report published by Ofqual: Understanding ESOL Skills for Life qualifications.

You can view and download our updated specifications here:

The updates include the removal of true/false and yes/no questions from ESB’s ESOL Skills for Life Reading papers at all levels. Reading is still assessed with multiple-choice, matching, short-answer, and gap-fill questions, and all other aspects of the assessments are unchanged.

In addition, to keep our assessments relevant and authentic, the tasks in ESB’s ESOL Skills for Life Writing papers (E1-L2) will no longer include postcards, letters or stories.

The new specifications contain additional detail on the content of the qualifications and how they are assessed, and are an invaluable reference tool for teachers and tutors.

We are committed to providing the best possible ESOL Skills for Life qualifications for our centres and their learners. The updates to the specifications and assessment papers are a result of our commitment to continuous improvement and ensure that our qualifications meet the highest standards and remain relevant, motivating and accessible to all our learners.

ESB’s Product Development Manager, Anthea Wilson

The purpose of Ofqual’s research was to understand how effective the current regulatory requirements are for ESOL Skills for Life qualifications in terms of their design, assessment, alignment, comparability, and validity.

ESB was one of the six Awarding Organisations that participated in the research and submitted feedback.

If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact us at