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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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Vignette 3. ESOL outside the traditional classroom setting: Heart and Parcel – combining dumplings and ESOL (Diana Tremayne)

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Diana Tremayne

Vignette 3ESOL outside the traditional classroom setting: Heart and Parcel – combining dumplings and ESOL

[This is the second vignette aiming to paint a picture of some of the ESOL provision which takes place in the UK outside of settings such as mainstream Further Education (FE) colleges or adult and community education providers.]

Heart and Parcel was established in Manchester, UK, in 2015 by Clare Courtney and Karolina Koścień and, amongst other things, runs projects where women from migrant communities come together and cook different recipes from around the world whilst developing their English language skills. Sessions take place in a variety of venues, and some projects have been run for specific groups. The session described here was one of the informal drop-in sessions which regularly take place.

Today’s session is the last of six and takes place in a well-used community centre in South Manchester. The room is an old shopfront with blinds added to make it less public. The previous week was half term and although there was a session, there were fewer women attending, though some children were brought along too. It’s a cold day and the teachers and volunteers have come early to set up and talk through the session. Karolina is cooking dumplings today and is busy in the kitchen while Clare and Helen prepare resources. Helen is a full-time librarian and after volunteering with Heart and Parcel, has recently qualified to teach ESOL, so...

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