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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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4 Refugee resettlement in rural Wales: A collaborative approach (Mike Chick)

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Mike Chick

4 Refugee resettlement in rural Wales: A collaborative approach

abstract

What I wish to highlight and exemplify in this paper are the challenges that local authority areas across Wales are dealing with as they participate in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme (SVPRS). I would like to draw attention to the manifold, complex realities involved in organising the type of partnership-based English language provision that has been recommended in recent Welsh and UK government reports as a desirable framework for language provision. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) related issues discussed here have emerged from a case study of a local authority area in South Wales. The study details the ways in which one county borough council, tasked with administering the resettlement of refugee families, has attempted to meet some of these linguistic challenges by taking a collaborative approach to the provision of ESOL classes. This course of action, while initially ad hoc, has developed into a more comprehensive and coordinated approach, as collaborative partnerships, involving various formal and informal providers, have become established in the eighteen months since the first refugee families arrived. Whilst arguing that a partnership approach certainly can enable local authorities to improve their ESOL programmes, the difficulties and complexity involved in implementing guidelines on collaboration, are brought to light. These issues are especially pertinent in local authority areas that have less experience in resettling refugee populations such as rural or semi-rural regions that do not...

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