Tag Archives: ESOL

Action in the ESOL classroom

8 Feb

What does it mean to take action with students? How can we make sure actions are led by learners not by teachers? How can we discuss and plan action in the ESOL classroom without imposing on students who just want to learn English? This January, English for Action staff and volunteers met up to explore these questions and share our skills, tools and ideas.

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Speak English!

6 Feb

Lots of our students have noticed a rise of racism and xenophobia in recent times. Streatham in south London is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse parts of the city – at one time boasting more languages than anywhere in the UK.

Where better to discuss multi-lingual London? Our students in one of our Streatham classes were discussing languages in the community. One student told a story of a friend somewhere out of London who was in the supermarket, speaking Polish to her daughter, when someone came up to her and told her to “speak English”.

The following week we discussed the issue in greater depth using a technique called “problem-posing from a code”, which originates from Paulo Freire, one of our inspirations at EFA. Here is the code, which is a picture of the story from the week before: Continue reading

Brexit Day

19 Oct

50 EFA students, teachers and supporters came together on Saturday 15th October to discuss Brexit, its impact on our communities and plan action in response.

Why did we organise Brexit Day?

Before the referendum EFA teachers spoke to their students about Brexit. We understood that many people were worried about Brexit and the future. Staff and trustees discussed and decided to join the Remain campaign. We felt that staying in the UK would be the best thing for the UK and especially for our students, many of whom are EU migrants.

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EFA students and teachers protest together: adult education must not be cut.

30 Apr

“This is important” said Southwark student Razna on the way to the protest. “Today, they cut 24% but in five years, there will be nothing. Adult education, nothing”.

Indeed, the Association of Colleges (AOC) has made the same warning, predicting that “adult education and training in England will not exist by 2020 if the government continues with its swathe of cuts.”

This is why on Saturday 25th EFA students from Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth joined EFA teachers to march on City Hall. The Government has announced plans to cut adult education by 24%, on top of the cuts that have reduced adult education budgets by a third since 2010. Some of our students remember adult education before these cuts. “In 2007 the good thing was the [Further Education] college was free and the creche was free” remembers Samilla. “Now you have to pay for both of them not free”.

Here are some photo highlights from the day:

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ESOL and Forum Theatre Roleplays: take 2

9 Jun

In the Easter holidays we ran our second ‘forum theatre for ESOL’ course at the Katherine Lowe centre. The course involved two days of games, discussion and devising which culminated in performances for the group. After these performances, the ESOL-learner audience revisited scenes depicted and tried out interventions to improve the outcomes.

Our groups came up with scenes which touched upon the following difficulties

– sexist street harassment

– confrontations on a bus

– being laughed at for a lack of English

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Volunteering with English for Action – Discovering Participatory Learning

1 Nov

Volunteering with English for Action took my focus from the textbook, into the hands of the learner.

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