English & ESL

English & ESL


At present the College runs two bespoke courses at Key Stage Four, tailored to individual students’ strengths. Usually there will be two distinct groups /classes:

  • English (Mainstream)
  • English as a second language (ESL)

The second language course follows the Cambridge syllabus for IGCSE over a two-year period, culminating in three exams in the May/June of the second year: the Speaking (oral) exam, Listening, and Reading & Writing.

The ESL IGCSE is equivalent to B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages, ie for those students who already have a strong grasp of English and feel ready to use advanced vocabulary and expressions. Lower CEFR levels can be studied at Key Stage 3, and levels C1, C2 at Key Stage 5.


As a core subject, English is given priority in the timetable. The aims and objectives are best reached through a communicative, student-centred approach to language learning, in small groups by experienced multi-lingual staff. Materials and activities are used, which are interesting and relevant for the age group. The main course book is Cambridge’s Success International, supported by the workbook and various online materials via Google Classroom.

Why study English at XIC?

External results in English (both First Language and ESL) are truly outstanding – better, for example, than comparable schools in the UK or here on the Costa Blanca.

We are extremely proud of the capacity for small-group teaching and learning at all Key Stages – with very small class sizes. This is what makes Xabia International College unique and enables so many of our students to excel in English – for example – our highest performing student at IGCSE English in 2018 was Spanish but, by dint of hard work and excellent support, he secured Grade A* in what is his 2nd or even 3rd language after Castellano & Valenciano.
So, regardless of starting points, our department will always strive to ensure that all students not only meet but exceed their true potential.

Students at XIC are so well-prepared for their future lives, especially in the area of Modern Languages – being proficient for example in both English and Spanish gives our students the most tremendous international platfrom to start their journey through their own lives and work. English, for example, is everywhere, and everywhere, the English language still dominates. Almost 400m people speak it as their first language; a billion more know it as a secondary tongue. It is an official language in at least 59 countries, the unofficial lingua franca of dozens more. No language in history has been used by so many people or spanned a greater portion of the globe. It is aspirational: the golden ticket to the worlds of education and international commerce, the language of global business, the internet, science, diplomacy, stellar navigation, avian pathology.

Fundamentally, though, we want to foster in our students a lifelong love of English in all its various forms. Above all else, studying it with us will be enjoyable because it will be approached in a dynamic, fast-paced, never-boring, light-hearted manner.

View More Subjects