Without literacy skills, we wouldn’t be able to read, write or engage with the written word in any shape or form. No matter if you’re reading an article in a magazine, looking up information on Google or deciphering the nutritional information on a food label, none of this would be possible without literacy skills.
The ability to communicate, read and write effectively, is so important. That’s why International Literacy Day was established to draw attention to the need for more literate societies, and one of the ways literacy has improved since is through courses delivered by online learning providers like learndirect.
If you’re wondering ‘which course is best to improve English’, this really depends on your current level of English ability and how you want to improve. Thankfully, learndirect have courses to improve your English and communication skills, no matter what level you’re currently at.
Functional Skills Courses
If you’re wondering ‘what is a functional skills course?’, you’re not alone. Many people haven’t heard of these GCSE equivalent qualifications or realise the benefits of studying them.
Functional Skills courses are aimed at providing learners with vital skills in important areas that will benefit them in both life and work. The areas of study include Maths, ICT and English, and the courses are available on several levels depending on what it is you are looking to achieve and the level of knowledge you desire to gain.
Functional Skills English courses aim to equip you with the practical skills to communicate effectively and independently at home and in the workplace.
Throughout the course, you will focus on:
- Speaking, listening and communication
Upon completion, you will know how to write certain pieces such as letters, newspaper articles, emails and blogs. You will also be able to consider information and give a relevant, cogent response, as well as know how to contribute to discussions and present ideas and information clearly and persuasively.
If you study at Level 2, you can come out with the equivalent to a GCSE English Grade C (4) or above. What’s more, you can study Functional Skills courses online so you can learn when it suits you.
You can learn more about the benefits of Functional Skills qualifications in our blog.
Traditional English Qualifications
learndirect also offer a range of traditional school and college qualifications, with the added benefit of online learning so you can achieve your academic goals at home.
Arguably one of the most important is our GCSE Level English. This is because not only do GCSEs allow you to go onto further study, but they are typically essential entry requirements for most jobs and English is often one of the top subjects requested.
GCSE English courses are broken down into English Language or English Literature studies. Both courses help develop your reading and writing comprehension, though, unlike the Functional Skills alternative, they provide more academic material around their area of English.
In GCSE English Language, you learn the science behind the written and spoken word. You analyse the morphology, phonology and syntax of the English language and study the themes and ideas that are discussed by writers. All of which improves your own writing abilities.
GCSE English Literature focuses on the power words possess and explores the ways people have written through time. You study the historical and sociological events at the time texts were written and analyse how they have impacted readers past and present.
Like GCSEs, A Levels are a common stipulation for higher-level learning and are a great way to explore your chosen subject in greater detail. You can take your literacy skills to the next level by studying A Level English Language or Literature, as both courses take a much closer look at their core topics.
A-level English Literature explores various types of writing, so you learn to write effectively in numerous styles. It pushes you to read outside your comfort zone and examines tragedy and crime writing in great detail, giving you the opportunity to read texts written by historical playwrights, poets and authors.
An A-level English Language course examines communication in more depth and teaches you how to apply meaning to words. It identifies the ways society impacts language and what enables humans to acquire, use and understand it. You’ll also study how humans learn language and the language used to help children grasp English from an early age.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to study A Level English to go onto a degree, you could opt for the Access to Higher Education Diploma (English Studies) instead. This encompasses the lessons of both branches of English studies in one course and can help you access university much faster.
If you’re looking to take your literacy and writing skills in a specific direction, learndirect has a host of writing courses to help you achieve a particular aim.
Whether you need to increase the clarity or impact of your words for business communications or fancy yourself as the next J. K. Rowling, there is an online course to suit.
To enhance your literacy skills for the workplace, you could study:
- Business Writing
- Caption Writing
- Scriptwriting – TV, Film, Stage, Radio
- Writing and Selling Travelogues
- Writing Saleable Articles
If you’re looking to expand your skills to become an author, or simply indulge your passion for writing, you could also study:
- Comprehensive Writing
- Crime Writing
- Fiction Writing
- Novel Writing
- Poetry Writing
- Romantic Fiction Writing
- Writing for Children
- Writing Historical Fiction
- Writing Short Stories
No matter your niche or hobby, there’s a course that can help you progress in that direction. For a full list of learndirect’s writing courses, visit our website.
Effective communication isn’t solely focused on your capacity to read and write, everything from your ability to listen to the way you articulate impacts your communication abilities.
To give you the best chance of success in all aspects of life that require communication, you can take courses designed to improve your speaking and interpersonal skills.
With learndirect, you can study:
- Business Communications
- Business Communication (Byte Size Skills Course)
- Communication Skills
- Communication Techniques
- Communication Skills for Dental Professionals Series 1-6
- Risk Management and Communication
Improve Your Literacy with learndirect
If you’d like to improve your literacy skills, learndirect can help you do so with an online course. Our flexible approach to education allows you to learn on your terms, so you can fit your education around your lifestyle.
If you’re not quite sure which online course is right for you, our Course Executives can help you decide. They know which course will help you improve your literacy and communication skills in certain ways, so you can confidently enrol and get started with your learning.