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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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Case Study 1. Full-time ESOL provision, 2002–2017, Limerick City, Ireland (Michelle Benson)

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Michelle Benson

Case Study 1Full-time ESOL provision, 2002–2017, Limerick City, Ireland

abstract

ESOL in Ireland, now 15 years old, is a vital and rapidly developing area of study. In 2002 there was only one ESOL student in our college in Limerick, today ESOL students make up over 50 per cent of the student cohort. This case study briefly outlines one ESOL scenario in Ireland where ESOL students attend a full-time course. It also outlines the ETB (Education and Training Board), the VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme) and the levels of ESOL courses offered in our college. It then details who the ESOL learners are, including countries of origin, prior education and the categories of language learners. Following that it describes the ESOL staff and training, initial assessment, provision and accreditation, integration, resources and progression. It concludes by illustrating oversubscription to the course and finally discusses looking ahead to the future of ESOL in Ireland.

The context

In 2013, sixteen Education and Training Boards (ETBs) were established in Ireland replacing thirty-three Vocational Education Committees (VECs). The Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme (VTOS) is a full time programme designed to help the long-term unemployed return to full time education without losing their social welfare benefits. Learners must be over 21 years of age, unemployed and in receipt of certain social welfare benefits for at least six months. In order for ESOL students to join they must be EU nationals, have refugee status...

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