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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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9 Online training and development for those who work with adult migrants with little or no home language schooling (Martha Young-Scholten / Rola Naeb)

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Martha Young-Scholten and Rola Naeb

9 Online training and development for those who work with adult migrants with little or no home language schooling1

abstract

This chapter introduces EU-Speak, an Erasmus+ funded three-phase project that created and delivered six online modules in five languages to address the insufficiency of teacher training and continued professional development for those who work with adult migrants with little or no home language literacy. Registration data and questionnaire responses indicate that the idea of supra-national, multi-lingual provision was both feasible and attractive and open-ended questions point to an impact on participants’ teaching. The EU-Speak modules are now published as a volume in the five languages and can be accessed for free on our website .

750 million adults worldwide have little or no literacy due to poor access to formal schooling. Some migrate to highly literate societies and are expected to learn to read and write, for the first time, but in a new language. Research from the 1970s onwards shows that migrants can reach high levels of second language oral proficiency regardless of age, education and type of exposure (Hawkins 2001), and that when migrants learn to read for the first time as adults, they follow a development route similar to children (Young-Scholten and Strom 2006; Young-Scholten and Naeb 2010; Kurvers et al. 2010). However, the majority struggle to develop literacy skills beyond A1 in←237 | 238→ the Common European Framework of Reference...

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