Love ESOL is our campaign to promote ESOL. We are calling for more funding from the government because we believe ESOL is a vital public service that benefits all of us, not only new arrivals. ESOL is crucial for healthy communities, a thriving economy and the well-being of people who are new to the UK.
Since 2017, we have been organising #LoveESOL events with the aim to engage with policy-makers. This is so ESOL students (and teachers, volunteers and supporters) can have a real say in how ESOL works in the capital. Over the years, hundreds of students have been involved in the campaign. We started as a big teach-out in the green space outside City Hall, which led to invitations to hold an event inside the building the following years and present our asks to the Mayor’s team, as well as meet with key members of staff. The event has historically coincided with the European Day of Languages (26th September), so it is also a celebration of multilingulism and the lingustic diversity we have in London.
We meet annually to look at ESOL provision in London and share our expertise with the GLA. Current #LoveESOL campaign asks are:
- Improving access to free ESOL classes for all who need them, regardless of childcare or work commitments, or immigration status. This includes offering free provision, providing childcare and removing eligibility criteria.
- Setting up an ESOL for London website that hosts a database of courses on offer across London so that students can easily identify a suitable class. The website would also include important information such as cost, childcare, location, day and time, levels, certificates as well as information concerning immigration status restrictions.
- Standing with us to be a bigger voice for ESOL which will help restore funding and improve public understanding of ESOL students’ experiences and the importance of ESOL.
We have been documenting our meetings with the GLA. You can see these below.
We also have a podcast in which an ESOL student talks about the campaign. You can listen here.
For the 2019 General Election, we invited election candidates to sign up to our ESOL Pledge which reads as follows: “I pledge to ensure all migrants in my constituency can access ESOL classes through championing local and national solutions”
The following candidates signed up.
1. Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour, Streatham) – now MP
2. Marsha de Cordova (Labour, Battersea) – now MP
3. Sarah Lewis (Liberal Democrats, Vauxhall)