Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

‘Citizenship’: Ceremonies, testing and teaching

26 February 2013 - 26 February 2013 | Workshop
Baines Wing 2.08

Eleven years ago the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act demanded for the first time that applicants for British citizenship must show ‘a sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic’ and have ‘sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom’. Since then English language education for migrants has become progressively more closely intertwined with policy on immigration and citizenship. In this seminar we discuss three perspectives on ‘citizenship’ – 1. citizenship ceremonies; 2. the ‘Life in the UK’ test; and 3. language and citizenship classes for adult migrant learners of English.

Making British citizens: The role of citizenship ceremonies in integration and belonging

Kate Kipling, University of Leeds

I examine shifting government attitudes towards ethnic diversity within the context of citizenship ceremonies. Whilst these ceremonies aim to foster integration and an inclusive sense of belonging at both a local and national level, it is suggested that this may be undermined by increasingly restrictive immigration policies and a shift from cultural pluralism to assimilation, with citizenship based on conforming to a hegemonic notion of ‘Britishness’.

The ‘Life in the UK’ test: Ideologies and negotiations

Kamran Khan, University of Birmingham

This paper will explore the ideological foundations of the ‘Life in the UK’ test. Using an ethnographically-informed case study, I examine how the symbolic aspects of the test were satisfied but the ideological aspects were undermined through bottom-up multilingual language planning and test preparation techniques.

“I'm doing enough teaching them English”: ESOL teachers’ views of citizenship and citizenship education

Rob Peutrell, Central College Nottingham

The introduction of language requirements and citizenship tests following the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 positioned teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as key actors on the migrants’ ‘journey to citizenship’. At least this was formally the case, yet few teachers were consulted on their ‘new’ role as citizenship educators. How did ESOL teachers view this role or understand the notion of citizenship? I will be discussing this question in relation to my research into the citizenship discourses of ESOL teachers in Nottingham.

ESOL is citizenship? Teacher stance in ESOL citizenship classes

Melanie Cooke, King’s College London

This paper will report on two classroom case studies carried out as part of my PhD research into the teaching of ESOL citizenship. I will explore the professional dilemmas faced by ESOL teachers in their attempts to mediate the citizenship curriculum, looking in particular at the importance of teacher stance in the decisions they make about materials, content and pedagogy and the particular ways they address public debates such as immigration, cohesion and national identity.

The seminar is free. All are welcome, and please feel free to forward this message to others.

Please contact James Simpson if you plan to attend.

James Simpson, Language Education Research Group, School of Education, University of Leeds.

0113 343 4687


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