Functional Skills English Level 1

Level 1 English is a government accredited English course equivalent to GCSE English grade GCSE ‘pass’ grade 1 to 3 (grade D-G). Find out more about Functional Skills English Level 1.

What is Functional Skills English Level 1?

Learn the English skills you need to get by in education, the workplace and everyday life with our Level 1 Functional Skills qualification.

Functional Skills English Level 1 uses practical, easy-to-understand situations to help you improve your writing, reading, listening and speaking.

Level 1 English is popular for people who need to improve English skills before starting level 2 English. Level 2 English is equivalent to GCSE English grade 4 to 9 (A* to C on the old GCSE grading system).

You may have personal reasons for improving their English skills. For example; 

  • To help your children with their English homework and revision
  • Or to improve your skills and confidence with English for day-to-day tasks

Find out more about Functional Skills English Level 1 using the links below:


Do you need help with Functional Skills English? Start one of our Functional Skills English online courses and choose an English tutor support package.

Are you ready for your Functional Skills English Exams?

Book your Functional Skills English exams at an approved test centre near you or take our online Functional Skills English exams.

Level 1 English: Modules & Units

During your Functional Skills English Level 1 course, you’ll improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The Level 1 English syllabus includes the following units:


Vocabulary and Word Recognition

Understand vocabulary

Specialist words

Finding the meaning of unfamiliar words

Different vocabulary for different context

Grammar and Punctuation

Understanding punctuation when reading

Apostrophes and missing letters

Reading and grammar

Reading Comprehension 1

Reading and understanding

Types of text, their purposes and the language they use

Reading for pleasure

Fact sheet: layout and characteristics

Reading Comprehension 2

Understanding the right level of detail

Finding information

Scanning and skimming



Ways to improve your spelling

Spelling rules

Spell it out – homophones

Grammar and Punctuation

The power of punctuation

Writing and Grammar 1

Using correct grammar: verbs

Building paragraphs

Linking sentences together

Writing and Grammar 2

Planning and drafting your writing

Focus your writing

Choosing language to suit your needs

Writing and Grammar 3

Fact sheet: producing legible text

Using formatting and images in your writing

Using forms

Using lists and bullets in your writing

Writing letters and emails


Speaking and Listening

Listen and Respond

Listening for relevant information

Active listening

Listening on the phone

Following along and responding

Providing feedback and checking that you understand

Speak to Communicate

Speaking clearly

Making requests

Giving instructions

Presenting your ideas

Explaining and describing

Questions and answers

Engage in Discussion

Taking part in discussions