English School
Providing a specialised English language school for refugees and migrants
To improve English communication skills in order to facilitate socio-economic integration and well-being of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and South Africans.
Refugees and migrants who lack English language skills face greater barriers in adjusting to life in South Africa, accessing social services, and securing employment. To address this need, we provide a specialised English language school to promote empowerment, integration, and student success. Our multinational clientele incorporates more than eight African countries, creating a diverse learning environment for over 1300 students a year.
If you are interested in volunteering with the English School, you can find more information on the volunteer page.
  • To provide specialised English language classes that are taught by a volunteer teaching staff.
  • To facilitate informal learning opportunities for the enhancement of English language acquisition.
  • To offer a specialised Literacy programme that develops critical reading and writing skills.
English Classes and English Alive
The English School curriculum was developed specifically for Scalabrini clients, and thematically organised to assist our clients with integration in Cape Town. The curriculum is divided into levels from Beginners to Advanced, and the standards for each level are aligned with the Common European Framework of References for Languages. Classes are taught by a team of around 25 volunteer teachers who donate their time.
• 6 weeks per term
• Placement test to determine appropriate level for each client
• 3 instructional hours per week
• Written and oral examinations
R250 fee per term (includes 6 weeks English Class and 6 weeks English Alive)
English Alive is an informal co-curricular programme which provides students with the opportunity to enhance and practice their language learning. The English Alive term runs for 6 weeks immediately following the English Class, and participation is compulsory for registered students.
• 6 weeks per term
• Activities each term may include: Conversation Club, Business English, Personal Development, Drama, Debating, Writing, Presentation, Afrikaans & isiXhosa
• Additional workshops and events, by student request, on topics such as health literacy and human rights
English School Tutoring
For English School students who are not progressing in their classes, or who have underdeveloped literacy skills, we offer additional support for English acquisition. These students are given access to a weekly tutoring session, facilitated by a team of around 10 volunteers each term.
• One-to-one or small group tutoring sessions
• Sessions individually tailored to meet students’ needs
• 1 hour each week, in addition to their English Class
• No additional fee
Literacy Programme
Some students come to Scalabrini unable to read or write the letters of the English alphabet. These students may have never had access to formal schooling, due to disruptions in the education system in their home countries, or may be familiar with a different alphabet. For these students, we offer a specialised literacy programme to develop the reading and writing skills critical for daily life, and necessary for success in a classroom setting.
• 12 week course
• 4.5 instructional hours each week
• Individual tutoring sessions and weekly group classes
• Focus on learning to read and write in English
• Learning plan developed with each student
R250 fee per term
If you are interested in volunteering with the English School, you can find more information on the volunteer page.