Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

English language learning for adult migrants in Multilingual Britain: A perspective on policy and practice

06 February 2012 - 06 February 2012
Hilary Place LG.01

Dr. James Simpson (University of Leeds)


This seminar is about the teaching and learning of ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages – for adult migrants to English-dominant countries. We will explore the relationship between ESOL policy and practice in England at a critical juncture, when linguistic, political and pedagogic contexts of ESOL are changing fast.

To contextualise, language and communication in urban Britain are increasingly suffused with the multilingualism associated with globalisation and superdiversity. At the scale of national policy, responses to this superdiversity have been contentious: the imposition of language tests for migrants and successive cuts to the funding of Adult ESOL classes particularly so. Meanwhile ESOL practitioners are faced with the twin challenges of gaining deeper understanding of language use in today’s Britain, at the same time as incorporating into their practice – or resisting – the latest policy moves.

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