Olive Tree – English in Devon

A project of St. Sidwell’s

Olive Tree: English in Devon is a grassroots community organisation that works with minority ethnic people across Devon, specialising in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and dedicated to supporting inclusion and celebrating Devon’s diversity.

Our core activity has been the organisation of free English classes which are taught by volunteer teachers. These informal classes are open to everyone who wants to improve their English, to make new friends and to share their ideas and experiences with other people from around the world. We currently run classes at a number of venues across Devon from Exeter to Torquay.


Our ESOL Classes

There are classes for all levels from Beginner (A1) to Advanced (C2) that run throughout the school year. We currently have classes in Exeter, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Torquay and Totnes. Classes are free, but we encourage learners to make a voluntary donation of £1 per class to help cover our expenses.  You don’t need to register for classes.  Simply go along to the classes that suit you best and the teachers will then advise you of your level and tell you the best classes for you.

Location Venue Time Level
Exeter St Sidwell’s Centre


Monday 6 – 7:30 pm Pre- Intermediate (A2)

5.45-6.45 pm

Intermediate (B1 – 2)

10.00-12.00 noon

Lower Intermediate (A1 – 2)

6.30-8.00 pm

Upper Intermediate (B2 – C1)

10.00-12.00 noon


Elementary (A1- 2)

Advanced (C1 – 2)

3 simultaneous classes

West Exe Children’s Centre

Cowick Street EX4 1HJ


10.00-12.00 noon

Mixed level
Newton Abbot A Braseleira (Coffee House), 106 Queen St, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2 EU Wednesday

10.00-12.00 noon

Mixed level
Teignmouth Teignmouth Fire Station,

Higher Brook Street

TQ14 8HY


10.00-12.00 noon

Mixed level
Torquay Central Church,

Torhill Road



10.00-12.00 noon

Four simultaneous classes- different levels (A1 – B2)




Other free English classes in Devon


Venue Contact number to find out class schedule
MINT Methodist Church, Fore St., Exeter, Exeter EX4 3AT 01392 279786


Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter, EX1 2DB 01392 258029



CISCO (Crediton International Social and Cultural Organisation) runs classes for migrant workers and their families in Crediton.


Venue Day & time
Crediton Town Council Offices, Market Street Wednesday 7.30-9 pm
Crediton Fire Station,

Charlotte Street

Thursday 10.00-11.30 am


For further details about the Crediton classes contact Natalia Letch natalia.letch@gmail.com or call her on 01363775739.


What Olive Tree teachers and learners say……..

‘For the last lesson this term we taught up until 11.00am and then had some food, fun and games until 12.00. We divided the students into three teams with Kasia, Natalya and Alex as team leaders. One of our teachers, Chris, brought an excellent game with huge playing cards. It was very simple and the teams could call out the answers, so it was good and noisy! I then supplied the teams with world maps with countries coloured in that they had to name, and the final game we had was Chinese Whispers. Kasia’s team won, not that it mattered! Packets of biscuits were given out as prizes.’

(Arthur – teacher)


‘As a septuagenarian I don’t think you want a photograph of me. But you can quote me as saying how rewarding the volunteer work is and especially when your students are so appreciative of your efforts.’

(Derek – teacher)


‘One person said the class had a nice atmosphere, but I didn’t ask his permission to quote his name. Up to you if you just want to use the quote.’

(Teignmouth student)