Resources

Photo credit: Cait Crosse – problem posing on the banking model of education

EFA has always been committed to research and learning about participatory ESOL. See below a selection of research we have been involved with, or have found most valuable.

Our Languages

Dr. Melanie Cooke, King’s College London; Dermot Bryers, English for Action; Becky Winstanley, Tower Hamlets College. Feb, 2018.

Speakers of languages other than English in the UK frequently face barriers to their integration, not because they do not speak the language or are reluctant to learn it (a commonly repeated trope in political and public discourse) but because of beliefs about bi/multilingualism. Our Languages explores the potential for incorporating sociolinguistic topics into ESOL and to establish an approach more in tune with students’ and communities’ realities.

See the Our Languages website with resources developed through this research under the “Toolkits” section.

ACT ESOL: A Theatre of the Oppressed Language Project

Becky Winstanley, 2016.

This report, the research for which EFA was a part, describes how Theatre of the Oppressed methods can be used with ESOL to create a pedagogy of resistance with a focus on migration struggles. 

See the ACT ESOL toolkit that was developed through this research under the “Toolkits” section.

Emerging Worlds

Dr. Melanie Cooke, King’s College, London; Becky Winstanley, Tower Hamlets College. 2016.

These five articles explore using an ‘emerging’ curriculum inspired by students as opposed to pre-set lessons.

1. Planning for Participatory ESOL

2. Topics and Themes

3. Language

4. Literacy

5. Students as Evaluators

Whose Integration?

Dr. Melanie Cooke, King’s College London; Dermot Bryers, English for Action; Becky Winstanley, Tower Hamlets College. 2013.

What does the term ‘integration’ mean to adult ESOL learners? Students found ‘integration’ a difficult term to define, but nevertheless a pertinent one. They expressed anxiety about ways of belonging to their local communities and about how to position themselves in relation to religious, gender, economic and ethnic categories. The report suggests that participatory ESOL classes can offer a safe environment for critical debate and discussion, which in turn, fostered the development of language beyond students’ designated levels. The report concludes that integration is not a one-way street, or even a two-way street between migrant and ‘host’ community but as complex and multi-directional as a ‘Spaghetti Junction’.

The Power of Discussion

Dr. Melanie Cooke, King’s College London; Dermot Bryers, English for Action; Becky Winstanley, Tower Hamlets College. 2014

This research analysed the language produced by the students during political discussions, for example, on Universal Credit and the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and examined whether forced output and co-construction of meaning (Swain 1995) can have a positive impact on language acquisition.

Chapter on Participatory ESOL in British Council’s Language Issues in Migration and Integration, ed. David Mallows, 2014

Dr. Melanie Cooke, King’s College London; Dermot Bryers, English for Action; Becky Winstanley, Tower Hamlets College.

We learn about the background to participatory ESOL and its underpinning principles. The authors also share with us some techniques that can be employed by teachers.