Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Adult ESOL in Multilingual Britain: Session Summaries

Session 1: Research perspectives

Mike Baynham and John Callaghan
Multilingual Landscapes:ESOL and ESOL learners outside the classroom
Classroom-based research has typically been insulated from the domains and contexts of everyday life. In this presentation we examine what happens when researchers follow ESOL learners outside the classroom into the multilingual landscapes of everyday life. We will illustrate the discussion from research carried out in Harehills, Leeds.


Angela Creese
Translanguaging in Pedagogy.
Recommended pre-event reading

In educational settings multilingual speakers are often required to keep their ‘languages’ separate, yet beyond the classroom they are more likely to ‘translanguage’, using linguistic resources flexibly to make meaning.  This paper raises questions in relation to the possibility of developing translanguaging as pedagogy.  The paper considers debates about how best to incorporate into pedagogy the complex linguistic repertoires of contemporary students. 


Session 2: Policy perspectives

James Simpson and Tiffy Allen
ESOL in Harehills: the HENNA project and beyond

In this session James will introduce a project about the need for, and availability of, ESOL classes in Harehills, Leeds, the HENNA project. Tiffy will then describe the changing face of Harehills over the past 20 years, and the ways that the world of ESOL has attempted to keep up with these changes. She will share some of her own experiences of teaching and working in Harehills, as well as presenting some case studies of students who have lived and studied in the neighbourhood. James will end by discussing issues of ‘mainstream’ and ‘non-mainstream’ as well as the importance of coordination of provision that emerged as findings from the project.


Session 3: Perspectives from practice

Becky Winstanley and Melanie Cooke
Participatory Approaches to ESOL

Participatory approaches to ESOL critically explore the shared concerns, issues and resources that learners bring along to the classroom. In this session we will draw on observations from a recent action research project at Tower Hamlets College, London: Emerging Worlds, Emerging Words. This project, funded by Action Aid’s Reflect ESOL, looked at the impact of participatory approaches on traditional ESOL teaching and learning, i.e. on planning, language development, teacher/learner hierarchies and a scheme of work which emerges rather than one which is pre-determined. We will discuss the potential this pedagogy has for working with the resources and repertoires of multilingual learners, as well as the problems which arise for teachers – and students – when working with their expert languages in the ESOL classroom.


Richard Gresswell
Class blogging with young adult ESOL learners.
Recommended pre-event reading

We take a look at a class blog project with young adult entry level ESOL learners at a further education college in the UK. The focus will be on the affordances that blog media present in providing learners with a classroom environment that prioritises meaningful activity. Illustrated through reference to this classroom project and my own doctoral research into blogging, I argue that blog media can be utilised in the ESOL classroom in ways that are socially contingent with the lives of the learners, where the pedagogic focus is on what the learners have to say rather than merely on how they say it.


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