Accessing ESOL classes is often a really important part of integration; building skills and feeling part of a community. Access to classes in England is not possible in the first 6 months after arrival and funding cuts have affected ESOL classes and their availability in recent times. Often the cost of one class is equivalent to the asylum support allowance for food, toiletries, shoes and clothes ( just over £5), making difficult choices between learning or eating. There are many informal free ESOL classes across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, trying to bridge this gap, enabling people to integrate and connecting people with people – and in so doing breaking down barriers and prejudices and building confidence and relationships.
City of Sanctuary volunteers are delivering ESOL classes, one to one support and conversation clubs in different cities and towns. One example of a conversation club is the FAN model ( Friends and Neighbours).
We plan to use this stream page to share resources, ideas and best practice amongst volunteers working with those seeking asylum. In Coventry, several CoS volunteer led classes run each week in the Refugee and Migrant Centre. In Leicester, City of Sanctuary ESOL volunteers teach in swish university premises with professional support from Leicester University. In Sheffield, conversation groups run each week at their drop-in. What is happening in your city?
Please contact [email protected] with information about your city and with your favourite websites, resources or teaching ideas to share across the network. We really want to know about your experiences.
Latest ESOL Posts from across the City of Sanctuary Network
Hello Preston! Family Integration Project
Starting a new life in a vastly different part of the world and having to learn to read, write and speak a new language can pose great challenges: anxiety, fear, lack of confidence and worries.Posted by: Preston
Refugees Welcome? APPG on Refugees Report on the experience of new refugees in the UK.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees reported last month after an investigation into the experience of new refugees in…
Translating Lives: What it’s like helping refugees to learn English
By Clare Mulley – writer and supporter of the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign.
“Never give up. Whatever it is you want to do, keep going, one day you will do it.” An interview with Hogar Salim on learning English
by Helen Clare – volunteer and committee member, Birmingham City of Sanctuary. I can barely even begin to put into words…
Rethinking refugees: assets and not liabilities
By Josh Evans, Bearwood Action for Refugees
Why ESOL Matters
At the recent ESOL Forum in Birmingham, we had the privilege of showing a video made by Hogar Salim on…
The Basics of Voluntary ESOL
By Steph Neville, St Chad’s Sanctuary, Birmingham
Over 60 ESOL volunteers gathered in Birmingham
Over 60 ESOL volunteers gathered in Birmingham for a forum event to explore ways of increasing voluntary ESOL provision across the…
What's going on in Preston?
Preston Welcomes Ten Syrian Families to PrestonPosted by: Preston
ESOL forum for those interested in working with refugees
Have you been thinking about how to support refugees in your city?