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ESOL-RESEARCH  September 2006

ESOL-RESEARCH September 2006

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Subject:

Re: London Skills for Life strategy

From:

kathy pitt <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

kathy pitt <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 26 Sep 2006 10:28:40 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (186 lines)

yes -- interesting reflections from Judith -- based on James' original
question about the 'neat' assumptions about progression -- yet more evidence
of a managerial view of education and learning?  I think these kind of
bullet point goals show an ignorance of the sheer complexity of the whole
additional language learning process -- which Judith's points refer to -- 
let alone any knowledge of research into and debates over SLA.  Perhpas this
is (at least partly) because ESOL (and literacy) is couched in terms of
'skills' which are seen as discrete items we acquire and accumulate?
Kathy
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Simpson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 9:21 AM
Subject: FW: London Skills for Life strategy


Forwarded message from Judith Boardman

-----Original Message-----
From: Judith Boardman [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 23 September 2006 06:25
To: James Simpson
Subject: Re: London Skills for Life strategy


Thanks for this, I found it really interestimg. I'm especially
interested in
your question 4 and what happens inother areas. Is it universally true
expected that learners progress to a different level within one year? If
so,
who sets this guideline and what happens if it's not met. Does
achievement
mean gaining a full qualification at the same level in S, L R and W or
is it
sufficient to progress at differnent levels (eg. for  a learner to move
from
E2 to E3 in S&L but from E1 to E2 in R&W?). It is my experience that
learners rarely achieve a full qualification in one year. Do other
tutors
find the same and if so, is this smple because of 'spikey profiles' or
is
there some other reason? As you know I am really interested in this
whole
area of adults acquiring literacy skills for the first time. I'd like to

know how other tutors go about addressing this challenge and whether
tutors
are actually being trained now to teach beginners literacy. I am also
really
interested in the blurring of the boundaries between ESOL and Community
Basic Skills. What is the experience of other tutors? When does someone
cease being an ESOL learner and become a CBS learner?Is this seen as
progression in other areas?

Any thoughts?

Judith Boardman
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Simpson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:15 PM
Subject: London Skills for Life strategy


Hello all

You might be interested in having a look at the documents associated
with the London Skills for Life strategy. This is a collaboration
between the Learning and Skills Council, London Development Agency,
Jobcentre Plus etc, aimed at establishing a joint regional body for
Skills for Life. They are on the website of a consultancy that the
London Skills for Life Strategy has hired to help them draw up the
plans, JH Consulting.

Go to their website:
www.jhconsulting.org.uk
and follow the 'downloads' link for a number of downloadable documents
for this work: The following are the key documents:
- London Strategic Action Plan for ESOL September 2006
- London Strategic Action Plan for Skills for Life July 2006 Update
(provides a more in-depth summary of all the work and progress to date)
- Evidence Base for ESOL
- Toolkit for matching provision against the SfL templates (Part 1
Guidance and Part 2 Blank Templates)

There are a number of critical questions about these documents. Here are
five for a start.

1. The strategy suggests that provision will be targeted at 'priority
groups'. Does this mean that some entitled groups will find provision
hard to come by? The non-priority groups, as far as my first reading of
this material tells me, include EU citizens from the new accession
states. Is there a move to exclude this group from entitlement to ESOL
provision? Leaving aside the arbitrariness of the priority/non-priority
distinction, this could mean the strategy falls foul of international
law. Article 14 of the European convention on the legal status of
migrant workers states: "Migrant workers and members of their families
officially admitted to the territory of a Contracting Party shall be
entitled, on the same basis and under the same conditions as national
workers, to general education and vocation training and retraining and
shall be granted access to higher education according to the general
regulations governing admission to respective institutions in the
receiving State. "To promote access to general and vocational schools
and to vocational training centres, the receiving State shall facilitate
the teaching of its language or, if there are several, one of its
languages to migrant workers and members of their families."

2. The infamous ILP still has a role in the template. How does this
square with the wealth of findings, not least from the ESOL Effective
Practice Project research, that an ILP is not necessarily the most
appropriate document for identifying, analysing and catering for ESOL
learners' needs? We found on the EEPP that a focus on individual
learning and ILPs is at the expense of group processes and classroom
talk which are so central to ESOL teaching and learning, and cannot be
negotiated with low level language speakers. You'll be able to read all
about it when the EEPP eventually sees the light of day.

3. The 'template' for ESOL provision emphases on 'job-focused
provision'. This is redolent of the largely discredited thinking on
'survival English' teaching and materials. These methods and materials
were popular in the early years of communicative language teaching for
migrants in the 1970s, and seem to be making a bit of a comeback in the
Adult ESOL Core Curriculum and its associated materials. But we should
ask: Are ESOL classrooms simply spaces where migrants are prepared for
work?

4. Re: progression, there is an explicit demand in the template that
students progress a whole level in one year. Many learners, particularly
those attempting to acquire literacy for the first time as adults, and
in a new language, will simply not progress at this rate. What
contingency arrangements are in place to allow for progress that is at a
slower rate than that prescribed? Are there sanctions for providers
whose students do not progress by a level a year, even if neither they
nor their students can do anything about this?

5. For those of us living outside London (i.e. most of us), are there
any immediate implications? Is it the case that where London leads, the
rest of the country is bound to follow? Or is the situation in London so
distinctly different from the rest of the country that we needn't
concern ourselves with this?

Any thoughts?
James


----------------
Dr James Simpson
School of Education
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
UK
[log in to unmask]
http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff.php?staff=39
+44 (0)113 343 4687

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***********************************
ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an
interest
in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by

James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of
Education, University of Leeds.
To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/ESOL-RESEARCH.html
To contact the list owner, send an email to
[log in to unmask]

***********************************
ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest
in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by
James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of
Education, University of Leeds.
To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/ESOL-RESEARCH.html
To contact the list owner, send an email to
[log in to unmask]

***********************************
ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of Education, University of Leeds.
To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/ESOL-RESEARCH.html
To contact the list owner, send an email to
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