A project of St Sidwell’s

Olive Tree: English in Devon is a grassroots community organisation that works with minority ethnic people across Devon, specializing 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.

LocationVenueDay & TimeLevel
Exeter St Sidwell’s Centre, EX4 6NNMonday 6-7.30pmPre-Intermediate (A2)
Tuesday 5.45-6.45pmIntermediate (B1-B2)
Wednesday 10-12noonLower Intermediate (A1-A2)
Thursday 6.30-8pmUpper Intermediate (B2-C1)
Friday 10-12noonThree simultaneous classes:
– Beginners
– Elementary (A1-A2)
– Advanced (C1-C2)
West Exe Children’s Centre, Cowick Street, EX4 1HJWednesday 10-12noonMixed level
Newton AbbotA Braseleira (Coffee House), 106 Queen St, TQ12 2EUWednesday 10-12noonMixed level
TeignmouthTeignmouth Fire Station, Higher Brook Street, TQ14 8HYFriday 10-12noonMixed level
TorquayCentral Church, Torhill RoadThursday 10-12noonFour simultaneous classes, different levels

Other free English classes in Devon

VenueContact number to find out class schedule
Mint Methodist Church, Fore St, Exeter EX4 3AT01392 279786
Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter, EX1 2DB01392 258029 

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

VenueDay & time
Crediton Town Council Offices, Market StreetWednesday 7.30-9pm
Crediton Fire Station, Charlotte Street Thursday 10-11.30am

For further details about the Crediton classes contact Natalia Letch via email at natalia.letch@gmail.com or call her on 01363 775739.

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)

‘The class had a nice atmosphere and the teacher was really good.’

(Teignmouth student)

‘I’ve been going to classes for more than 2 years, learned lots, and made many new friends.’

(Torquay student)