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ESOL Provision in the UK and Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities

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Edited By Freda Mishan

Situated within the context of unprecedented levels of inward migration to the UK and Ireland bringing with it all the complexities of integration, this volume focuses on a key aspect of this - language provision. Through the voices of stakeholders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), this volume critically examines models of language provision and integration, the relationship between language and identity, developing ESOL practices and ESOL policy. A distinctive feature is the diversity of contributions, ranging from research studies to vignettes presenting living portraits of ESOL practice on the ground. The volume fills an urgent gap in this area, offering a snapshot of the ‘state of the art’ of ESOL in the UK and Ireland and projections of how the needs of new migrants can be addressed into the future.

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2 Effects of the UK’s government language policy on ESOL for citizenship learners and teachers (Sundus Ameer)

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Sundus Ameer

2 Effects of the UK’s government language policy on ESOL for citizenship learners and teachers

abstract

In the UK, the twenty-first century saw the emergence of ESOL for citizenship provision and its importance in immigration policies. After the 2001 race riots in northern England, nationality and citizenship policy was changed gradually to accommodate language testing for migrants. ESOL for citizenship courses are self-funded courses where migrants gain a certificate to show the authorities that they have gained ‘sufficient knowledge’ of the English language. This is based on the assumption that such language tests are required for harmonious social integration of migrants in the host society. Considering the importance of ESOL for citizenship for second language learners, it is an under-researched area because of lack of funding. The mixed methods study described in this chapter has analysed the use of such courses or language testing in achieving social integration and the effects of such requirements on ESOL teachers and classroom pedagogy. The findings indicate that the course itself does not ensure social integration of migrants as this is a social phenomenon and depends on language use and community involvement. It appears from the study that the ESOL for citizenship course in itself does not help in making migrants feel more British. Furthermore, the political element of the course adds extra pressure on ESOL teachers.

Background

ESOL provision is most commonly considered ‘the teaching and learning of English for adults...

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