Community Based Adult Learning

Adults across Glasgow are taking part in learning where they are developing their skills and confidence, meeting new people and making positive changes.

Community-based adult learning organisations provide a range of programmes which include help with reading, writing, spelling and numbers, English language (ESOL) and digital. Adults come together in small groups where they are supported by trained tutors to move forward on their lifelong learning journey.

Adult learning is available to anyone who is 16 or above.

Click on the sections below to find out more.

Please note, these classes are not suitable for tourists and visitors to Glasgow who are only staying for a short time.

To enquire about ESOL classes contact us at

Don’t forget to include the area of Glasgow you live in, so we can direct you to a suitable Area Team.

More information...

English Speaker of Other Language

This section is for anyone aged 16 or over with English as a second language who is interested in improving their English reading, writing, speaking and listening.

ESOL classes in the community and college are available at different levels so the first step is usually to go to an assessment session so that you know what class is best for you.

ESOL learners benefit from improving their English in many ways. This includes being able to understand important information, express opinions and ideas, meet people and make friends, increase employability, being less isolated, integrate into community and improve health and well-being.

Call 0800 027 6402 for more information and to get started.

Adult Learning & Numeracy

Would you like to improve your skills in reading, writing and numbers?

This section is for anyone aged 16 or above who lives, works or studies in Glasgow and wants to find out about help with reading, writing, spelling or numbers.

Maybe you know someone else who you think could benefit from some help? Whatever the reason, there is a range of free adult literacy and numeracy learning programmes waiting to be discovered. Adult literacy and numeracy learning is designed to meet individual needs and takes place in community venues across the city.

Adults want to improve their skills for a range of reasons, including getting better at:

  • filling in forms

  • helping children with homework

  • understanding bills and bank statements

  • skills for work

  • understanding information to open doors to new opportunities

  • and many more

Some learning providers also offer qualifications.

The benefits of developing literacies skills and having the confidence to use them can be far reaching and life changing. In addition to developing skills, many adult learners also tell us that their confidence, health and well-being has improved, helping them to live fuller lives.

To find out where you can get help with reading, writing and numbers, search our online database or contact our Freephone helpline on 0800 027 6402.

Getting the message out about ALN learning

There is a need for us all to work together to make sure that adults are aware of these learning opportunities. Adult literacies providers and support organisations are able to access a range of promotional materials which encourage adults to take up learning and give support staff information on how to make a referral.

For more information or to request promotional materials, please email

Other Community Based Learning

Community projects and other organisations deliver a range of learning courses in venues across the city reflecting the needs and interests of the communities they support.

This can include learning that:

  • Promotes health and well-being, e.g. relaxation, healthy cooking, dementia training, positive mental health;

  • Develops employability skills and support

  • Supports cultural engagement and creativity, e.g. Museum-based programmes; craft classes, music workshops

  • Broadens involvement in STEM related learning

Organisations promote their learning programmes through local marketing in projects, libraries and other community venues.

Ionnsachadh Gàidhlig - Gaelic Learning

Glasgow Life offers sessions for adults that range from introducing learners to basic vocabulary to becoming more adept at interaction in Gaelic concerning personal interests or current events. We are currently reviewing our offer and will be adding more as the year progresses.

For further information on any of these opportunities or to register an interest please email or telephone 0141 287 2839.

Tha Glaschu Beò a’ tabhann chlasaichean do dh’inbhich bho ìre tòiseachaidh gus an ruig iad ìre far am bi iad comasach air beagan Gàidhlig a labhairt agus sgileil ann an conaltradh mu chùisean pearsanta no tachartsan làthaireil. Tha sinn gu làithreach a’ dèanamh ath-sgrùdadh air ar tairgse agus a’ cur barrachd ris mar bhios a’ bhliadhna a’ dol air adhart. 

Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh mu na cothroman sin no airson ùidh a chlàradh, cuiribh post-dealain gu no cuiribh fòn air 0141 287 2839.

For more information visit Glaschu Beò

Awards and Accreditation

We know that many adults involved in community-based learning value the opportunity to achieve a recognised award or qualification. As adult learning is shaped and delivered in ways that best meet the needs of leaners, working towards a qualification is just one option. If a learner is interested in this, providers are usually flexible in the ways they support adults evidence their learning and achieve their award.

Glasgow’s Learning partners are committed to supporting adult learners to access community-based vocational, accredited, credit-rated and certificated learning programmes, including the Community Achievement Award, Adult Achievement Awards, SQA and other qualifications.

Examples of this includes Adult Literacy and Numeracy learners having the opportunity to undertake SQA units in Communications and Numeracy and ESOL learners achieving SQA qualifications at different levels.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland and the main purpose of the SQA is to work with learning providers like ourselves to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications that are inclusive and accessible to all.

Adult Learning Structures Network

Partnership working is key to ensuring adults in communities across Glasgow are supported to access lifelong learning that meets their goals and aspirations.

Glasgow Adult Learning Group

The Adult Learning Group, a sub-group of the Glasgow Community Learning and Development Partnership, supports the ongoing delivery and development of adult learning services in the city. Chaired by Glasgow Life, this strategic group meets on a quarterly basis to support the implementation of the city’s community-based adult learning priorities and involves a range of partner organisations including third sector, colleges, Jobs and Business Glasgow, Skills Development Scotland, DWP, and health.

Local Adult Learning Partnerships

Local Learning Partnerships have been established in the three community planning areas in the City (North East, North West and South) to:

  • Provide a forum in which adult learning providers are supported to exchange information about practice, funding and CPD opportunities;

  • Support collaboration

  • Report on coverage and gaps in provision

  • Support and encourage learners to have a voice and shape adult learning provision in the city

These groups meet quarterly with the agenda reflecting local priorities aligned to the city’s Community Learning and Development Plan.

For further information on these groups, please contact:

Find out how learner, Fatiha improved the quality of her life, day-to-day, after attending Glasgow Life ESOL classes.

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Free ESOL classes in your community