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ESOL Provision in the UK and Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities


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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10 Beyond ESOL provision: Perspectives on language, intercultural and integration support for Syrian refugees in Ireland (Bronagh Ćatibušić / Fiona Gallagher / Shadi Karazi)


Bronagh Ćatibušić, Fiona Gallagher and Shadi Karazi

10 Beyond ESOL provision: Perspectives on language, intercultural and integration support for Syrian refugees in Ireland


This chapter is the second in this volume (the first being Chapter 5) to report on a research project investigating language and intercultural support for Syrian refugees who are being resettled in towns across Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Based on the perspectives of ESOL providers, resettlement workers, representatives of NGOs and organisations involved in the IRPP, as well as community-based service providers and volunteers, it explores the language and intercultural supports available to Syrian refugees beyond the official provision of English language training. Its findings indicate the need for intercultural training for those working with refugees, appropriate responses to refugees’ diverse needs, and support for sustainable integration in host communities. Emerging linguistic and cultural challenges faced by Syrian refugees in relation to employment, education, and social inclusion are discussed; the findings of this research point to the need for clear policy on refugee resettlement in Ireland.

Refugee resettlement in Ireland

International protection and migration

State-sponsored international protection schemes in Ireland have included the admission of refugees from Hungary in the 1950s, from Chile, Vietnam and Iran in the 1970s and 1980s, and from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo in the 1990s, although support for the resettlement of these←287 | 288→ refugees has varied (Kinlen 2013). Since 2000, Ireland has participated in...

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