Community Organising for All (COFA) brings together four education-focused organisations from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and the UK for this EU-funded project, where we’re taking stock of the community organising landscape across our respective national contexts with the aim of identifying what’s working and what we can improve upon with respect to organising with migrant communities.
Our growing COFA toolkit currently includes written research and a five-part podcast series on best practices for organising across the four countries. Soon, we’ll also be adding an interactive toolkit and resources on Newspaper Theatre, participatory video-making, and more creative organising methods. Resources are multilingual (English, Italian, Slovene, Croatian).
With the support of the Greater London Authority (GLA), EFA teacher-organisers developed an ESOL curriculum that aims to introduce language learners to the adult education system in London, as well as the opportunities open to them. The materials can be downloaded at the link above and are appropriate for all levels of English learners. This toolkit is up-to-date as of early 2024.
Migreat! was a trans-national research project bringing together four European, education-focused organisations — English for Action, Giolli Cooperativa Sociale (Italy), Elan Interculturel (France), and Nyitott Kor (Hungary) — to explore tools and methods for changing narratives around migration across the continent. As part of the project, the group produced visual tools, a handbook, and a blog full of practical methods for engaging classrooms in this work.
In our five-part series with The ESOL Podcast on ‘ESOL and Community Organising,’ EFA students chat with teacher-organiser Adela Belecova on how English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) education can be used as an effective tool for organising migrant communities in London. Each episode is available to listen to below or on any major podcast app, and additional teaching resources to accompany the episodes are available at the following links:
- Part 1: Exploring Problems (Teaching Resources)
- Part 2: Research (Teaching Resources)
- Part 3: Power (Teaching Resources)
- Part 4: Action and Evaluation (Teaching Resources)
- Part 5: Experiences of Community Organising Outside the UK
‘Our Languages’, a collaboration between English for Action and King’s College London, was a classroom research project that brought together sociolinguistics and participatory pedagogy. It was funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of the Diasporic Adult Language Socialisation (DALS) research project. This website emerged out of the project, funded by the School of Education, Communication and Society, King’s College London.
A Erasmus and EU-wide research project looking into how volunteers can support language provision for refugees, which produced three toolkits for teachers, volunteers and organisations.
7. ACT ESOL
‘ACT ESOL Language, Resistance, Theatre’ is the result of a three-year research process undertaken by ESOL teachers and students with participatory theatre practitioners, exploring how to implement ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ in the ESOL classroom and develop a political and participatory approach that combines language-learning with a focus on resistance. ACT ESOL was initiated by Serpentine Projects in partnership with English for Action.
Reflect is an innovative approach to adult learning and social change, which fuses the theories of Paulo Freire with participatory methodologies. Originally developed by international development charity ActionAid through pilot projects in Bangladesh, Uganda and El Salvador, Reflect is now used in over 500 organisations in around 70 countries worldwide.
Awarded the UN International Literacy Prize in 2003 and 2005 for the way in which it has revolutionised adult learning, the approach challenges teacher or text-driven work, placing learners at the centre of their own process. Discussion and language learning are based on rich visual materials developed by the practitioners themselves and related to their own immediate experiences.
In the early 2000s, ActionAid began to explore the potential for using Reflect approaches in the UK and they funded the Reflect for ESOL project to research, disseminate and train ESOL teachers in the approach. EFA staff were involved in the project and research on the Reflect methodology was later developed through EFA’s research and training work. EFA brought the community organising and social action expertise and Reflect, the graphic tools and language and literacy theory (eg. emerging language). We were both inspired by Paulo Freire.
The Citizens’ Curriculum is an innovative, holistic approach to ensure people have the English, maths, digital, civic, health and financial capabilities they need. This approach taps into what motivates adults to learn, through giving learners a voice in co-designing curriculum content and careful contextualisation, ensuring that people are learning skills which are relevant to their lives and work. English for Action was involved in the development of the curriculum.
English for Action was involved in the development of this set of resources in collaboration with the Learning and Work Institute and Learning Unlimited. The resources are aimed at volunteers supporting adult English language learners and organisations using volunteers in this role. Developed with volunteers with little or no training or previous experience in mind, the resources are designed to support the delivery of conversation clubs and other volunteer-led language practice for adult English language learners. However, they will be useful to anyone engaged in delivering conversation-based English language practice.