ESDEG ESOL Project:
Our ESOL Classes are mainly for the mothers of the children attending ESDEG Supplementary classes. Many parents have very limited or no command of spoken English, disadvantaging them in their daily lives as well as limiting their ability to support their children in education and creating over-reliance on formal and informal interpreting services. This project arises from evidence-based and locally expressed needs and sometimes frustrations of parents, who do not fully understand the English education system but wish their children to do well with practical parental support. We already benefitted around 400 people each year, mainly children through supplementary schooling and advice and guidance for parents.
Werecruit people for English classes from parents attending our schools and, through them, by word of mouth to other parents. We will also seek referrals from mainstream schools and other community groups and services.
We run two hours twice weekly classes with CELTA qualified ESOL Tutors based at the Resource Centre in central Southall, a venue that is already familiar to the target beneficiaries and available to ESDEG at marginal cost.
Teaching is focussed on basic English skills and on the skills needed to support children’s education and liaise positively with their children’s mainstream schools. There are models for this type of focused ESOL, for example, ESOL for employment supported by the Mayor of London. Classes are open to both men and women. However, we tailor the service especially for women, who tend to have more limited English language skills as a result of engaging on average less with the wider English-speaking community. We use the teaching English as a springboard for parents to address wider issues in their lives, for example, employment, health, housing and access to services. We refer beneficiaries onwards as necessary and help them to help themselves through acquiring better command of both spoken and written English.
We will assess each potential student before enrolling them on one of the courses and help them set specific goals in addition to achieving a qualification.
In line with ESDEG’s principles of self-help and community empowerment we recruit volunteers to support the teaching and aim to enlist parent beneficiaries into future volunteer support roles in the classroom.