Unionlearn welcomes the call for the Government to develop an English for Speakers for Other Languages (ESOL) strategy. The National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) has released a draft strategy to highlight the need for a coherent approach to ESOL learning in England.
Towards an ESOL strategy for England (PDF) report was released last week in the Palace of Westminster in London. The strategy is needed to support people whose first language is not English and help more people learn the language and allow them better chance to contribute towards the society and economy.
The report also draws attention to the role trade unions can play in supporting ESOL learning in the workplace and highlights the Working in the UK guide which the TUC has produced to help migrant workers to know more about their rights in the workplace.
The consultation for the report covered teachers as well as other stakeholders such as third sector organisations and trade unions. The responses fed towards the recommendations which include a call for ESOL courses to be offered for free for the unemployed, newly-arrived asylum seekers and people with low literacy in their first language. Curriculum and learning resources should also be provided by central government via a national website and better professional development routes for ESOL teachers.
NATECLA has collected evidence which shows that ESOL strategies in Scotland and Wales have proved to be beneficial and England should follow suit. This would help create a better collaboration between migrants themselves and stakeholders such learning providers, employers, employment and health services and local authorities.