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English Speakers of Other Languages Training for the Police, say Basic Skills Agency

The Basic Skills Agency, in association with South Wales Police and Cardiff City Council’s Parade ESOL Service, has produced “Police ESOL”; an English language training pack for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

“Police ESOL” was originally published with a view to strengthening links with the increasing number of asylum seekers living in Wales. However it has emerged that these policies may equally be applied to any ESOL learner, and in particular those completing ESOL Citizenship programmes. “Police ESOL” is designed to enhance community safety, familiarise newcomers with English policies and facilitate communication between the police and minority linguistic communities.

New Visitors

Newcomers to the UK may often feel isolated within their new community through the obstacle provided by a language barrier, or even daunted and intimidated by the fact that they cannot comprehend others or express themselves clearly to those around them. This becomes most pertinent in an emergency situation when clear communication of the problem is essential. The Police ESOL DVD included in the training pack materials, deals directly with this issue, by introducing learners to the emergency services communication centre, allowing them to practise reporting different incidents.

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The activities deal with serious issues such as domestic violence and racism but also include in some more light hearted tasks and utilise games to reinforce language skills and improve general knowledge about how to interact in the community. This move should be praised because it not only takes the first steps towards facilitating the integration process by assisting newcomers to settle within the community – ensuring they have access to community services and the knowledge to make use of these during an emergency.

The Basic Skills Agency primarily involved in the production of Police “ESOL” is an independent organisation that aims to improve the speaking and listening skills of children, young people and adults.

Sara Hashash

ESOL for other emergency services? Tell us where it is needed and who should pay in the FE Blog

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