Tag Archives: ESOL

Adult Learners Week 2020⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

This week is Adult Learners Week 2020 in Scotland. We want to highlight all of the fantastic work that Community Learning and Development (CLD) do to deliver high quality adult learning opportunities across a wider variety of areas. These include social isolation, health and wellbeing, digital inclusion, English as a Second Language (ESOL) , literacies, numeracy/maths, family learning, community inclusion, progression pathways, financial inclusion, personal development and active citizenship. 

  The thing that surprises most people about CLD is the variety of roles and diversity of learning that is covered. People who work in CLD often have a variety of disciplines to cover and ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide these. The CLD Standards Council is the professional body for people who work or volunteer in CLD. 

 Adult Literacy & Numeracy in Scotland follows a social practice model. It looks at the skills, knowledge and understanding that a learner has to build on and relates learning to a context within personal, family, working or community life. Provision is offered in a learner centred way and can use real life resources such as bills, letters, newspapers or other household resources to support learning to have a real life context. 

Community based ESOL is delivered by CLD teams across Scotland. Scotland has supported the Syrian Resettlement Scheme in recent years which also links to ESOL provision and wider CLD activity in communities although this can look different in different local authorities.  ESOL learners can come from any country in the world and groups can be made up of a variety of languages and cultures. 

 Community based adult learning in CLD can cover a wide variety of learning opportunities that are intended to be informal, relaxed, friendly opportunities that aim to break down barriers for learners who are hardest to reach. These can be adults with multiple barriers such as mental health, physical health, learning difficulties, alcohol and drug addictions, long term unemployment and social isolation among others. 

CLD Adult Learning covers a variety of areas such as confidence building, health issues, bereavement, life changes (such as divorce, redundancy) focussing on areas of high deprivation where poverty impacts on households and families. 

 CLD is a value-based practice and CLD professionals have committed themselves to the values of self-determination, inclusion, empowerment, working collaboratively and the promotion of adult learning as a lifelong activity. Programmes and activities are developed in dialogue with communities and participants, working particularly with those excluded from participation in the decisions and processes that shape their lives. 

 The focus of CLD in all areas of adult learning are improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship resulting in  stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities. 

 The Education Scotland CLD Team works to support the CLD sector in delivering high quality learning opportunities relevant to the communities that are in need. The team supports professional learning across different areas of adult learning in CLD and supports the creation of new policies and strategies. They are keen to share and promote interesting practice that is of interest delivered by CLD workers who work tirelessly to improve the communities and individuals they work with.   

Follow @edscotcld for more information

CLD Response to Covid-19: South Ayrshire⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

South Ayrshire Council ESOL Service

Continuing our case studies on the amazing response of CLD during COVID-19 lockdown, we now want to highlight work from South Ayrshire’s ESOL service.

South Ayrshire Council English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) staff within the CLD service, identified several challenges as lockdown was introduced. Firstly, many staff were temporarily redeployed to co-ordinate free-school meal provision, and work alongside staff from other council services to deliver almost 2,800 meals a day. Secondly there was a clear need to maintain contact with the more vulnerable learners including those with mental health issues; and, provide continuity of support for learners working towards accreditation. Thirdly there have been technical challenges presented by staff remote working; upgrading IT infrastructure; and, securing online access for learners in rural areas.

ESOL tutors adapted to provide support for learners via video lessons and online tutorials, and also continue to provide English classes for learners who returned to their country of origin prior to lockdown. ESOL learners were involved in the planning of the learning sessions – including selecting times of delivery and identifying a digital platform they were comfortable using, thus reducing digital and financial barriers.

Tutors routinely translate and provide learners with the latest Government guidelines on shielding, social isolation and keeping safe, as well as all Police Scotland notices, and information issued by schools. Staff maintain a reflective log to capture activities, as well as issues that may be noted under duty of care, such as supporting a learner subjected to domestic abuse and signposting to Women’s Aid.

Local authority officers shared insight to some of the impacts to date. ESOL learners have positively benefited from continuing support provided by their tutors – receiving advice and guidance on aspects of their life affected by the lockdown. For example, signposting new families arriving in Scotland to register for free school meal provision.

Moving to a digital platform enabled the ESOL tutors to work with smaller groups based on the level of learning. This has resulted in increased confidence, with learners creating their own peer support groups out with the sessions. Subsequent peer support networks within the ESOL community have continued to develop. For example, with the support of the ESOL staff, learners now have a support network to source halal food from Glasgow.

Virtual participation is also helping to reduce barriers for parents/carers of school aged children. The ESOL team provides activities for children while their parent/carer takes part in a virtual ESOL session. There is also anecdotal evidence that parents/carers and their children are supporting each another with their learning. Learners have reported that the virtual ESOL support has been vital in keeping up to date with schools and nurseries.

More broadly, staff report positive impacts from working in multi-disciplinary teams delivering bespoke services during lockdown – with strengthened relationships and improved understanding of substantive roles. In addition, there have been positive benefits in staff undertaking professional learning and research while working at home.

South Ayrshire council ESOL service identified a number of areas for consideration looking forward: Issues arising from gaps in learning, social isolation and poor mental health will require sufficiently well-resourced CLD services to aid recovery. The Ayrshire ESOL partnership comprised of South, East and North Ayrshire Council ESOL services and Ayrshire College, has established a model to maximise learner engagement and progression – there may be merit in further examining how to apply this model to other learning pathways – with CLD provision as an entry point.

For more information check out @CLDSouthAyr on twitter

CLD Response to Covid-19: North Lanarkshire Council⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Community Learning and Development (CLD) response during COVID -19 lockdown

North Lanarkshire Council – Adult Learning Delivery

Continuing our series of case studies from the West Region on the amazing response of CLD during COVID-19 lockdown we now want to highlight work from North Lanarkshire Council CLD Adult Learning Team.

Across North Lanarkshire Council the CLD Adult Learning Team has continued delivering their CLD service throughout the COVID lockdown period. Initially the CLD staff kept the lines of communication open and established the best way to keep in touch with all learners considering the range of devices being used and the level of learners’ digital involvement. The CLD – Communities and Adult Learning Team looked to ensure that fundamental needs were covered such as information on what was going on, access to food and prescriptions and support for those in isolation.

The speed of response by CLD staff was most impressive and all learners had established contact very early on. The flexible approach took into consideration the position of each individual learner. e.g. WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages, Zoom – all mediums were utilised depending on what learners were best able to engage with reflecting the social practice approach. There also had to be consideration of learners that did not access social media or were not online in anyway. Some learners were contacted by phone and door step drops of learning packs and resources if required. The focus was prioritised around learning and health and well-being.

Highlights:

  • Learning Packs – ALN & ESOL

(Measuring, puzzle books, writing activities, Summer Reading Program)

(ESOL- photo dictionaries, SQA materials, Worksheets)

  • Pivot Garden – Updates posted on progress of newly completed garden and seedlings. Learners were able to access the garden individually and do some upkeep and gardening. Seedlings ‘adopted’ by Community Worker and when established delivered to learners for individual planting.

  • Wednesday Walk – Digital Health Walk – regular timetabled walking activity with theme, promoted via text and social media. Encourages learners to be more physically active and raises awareness of their mental wellbeing. Participants take photos on a positive theme – recent topics have included trees and bees and encouraging mindfulness. Participants then share their photos on social media, increasing their sense of connection. Nature themed topics have been extended with links to materials and activities from Cumbernauld Living Landscapes to encourage further learning.
  • Facebook pages for groups – Motherwell has 3 private Facebook groups set up: Gaelic Culture, Northern Lights Discovery and COLTS Discovery Group.  The learners are able to be in contact with one another and share photographs of their current activities and trips from last term. The Gaelic Culture Group have now set up Facebook Room within their private group; every Tuesday from 1-3pm they meet up for a video chat, practise their language skills together and do a short quiz. One group member who had been housebound over the last term has enjoyed being able to re-join her group online.  The Discovery learners have all kept on track with their activities during lockdown and one learner has just achieved her Silver Award. Wishaw Family History Group have a private Facebook Groups which allows the learners to keep in touch and share photographs of their current family tress and any progress made on their work. The group ‘meet’ weekly for a Facebook video chat: this allows them to socialise with one another, check in with the Support Worker for welfare purposes and share any new findings. Not only has the Facebook group decreased social isolation it has also allowed for learners to learn new IT Skills and explore avenues on social media platforms that they didn’t know existed!
  • ESOL Online -Aimed at ESOL learners and resettlement refugees. Delivered by Community workers, Support workers and Social Work. Ongoing WhatsApp groups where work is posted and a group for information sharing on Covid developments in Arabic & English. Weekly video calls and lessons for each learner. Difficulties were /are mainly which platform to use and longer term the need for a VLE set up for learners to submit work and track progress. Staff need for training in the use of digital online learning platforms and managing of social media.

Upcoming Webinars⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Education Scotland team have collated a number of webinars and online opportunities hosted by ourselves and others that may be or relevance to CLD practitioners and managers. See details of dates, times, platform where available and link for signing up below.

Tuesday 19th May 2020: 2-3pm, SCVO, Managing Risk and the Impact of Misinformation Webinar, Zoom https://bit.ly/2zEfBkc

Wednesday 20th May: 10-11.30am, SCVO, Cyber Security for Third Sector Organisations, Zoom, https://bit.ly/35Yx56X

Thursday 21st May: 10am – 1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Wednesday 27th May: 12-1pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Thursday 28th May: 10am-1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Thursday 28th May: 3-4pm, Education Scotland, Big CLD Blether, Google Meet, https://bit.ly/2AszMCh

Monday 1st June: 11-12pm, Education Scotland, Adult Literacies Webinar, TBC

Tuesday 2nd June: 3-4pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Wednesday 3rd June: 10am-1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Wednesday 3rd June: 1.30- 2.30pm, Education Scotland, ESOL Webinar, TBC

Thursday 4th June: 11-12pm, Education Scotland, Adult Learning Webinar, TBC

Saturday 20th June: 11-12pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Tuesday 30th June: 2-3pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Towards Best Practice in Educating Separated Children⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Scottish Refugee Council, Glasgow Clyde College, Aberlour and Stirling University ran a conference on Wednesday 25 September, the culmination of a year-long project, Towards Best Practice in Educating Separated Children. The aims of the conference were to:

  • To present new research by Stirling University into the educational and language needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee and trafficked young people (16-18)
  • To present the views of young people themselves on their education and aspirations; and
  • To promote the Glasgow Clyde College ‘16+ ESOL’ model – rationale, and curriculum and teaching resources.

The 16+ESOL Routes to Learning handbook sets out the approach, curriculum and teaching resources of Glasgow Clyde College’s 16+ESOL programme for separated children (16-18). It is a helpful resource for lecturers and teachers educating separated children in Scotland, the UK and elsewhere, in colleges and schools or in the community as well as other professionals, such as social workers and guardians. Whilst developed for separated children, the resources may be used and adapted in other ESOL, EAL and other language learning settings. A link to further online resources can also be found in the handbook.

The full research report and executive summary can be found here  Towards Best Practice in Educating Separated Children

The live stream footage from the conference in Glasgow on educating separated children is on Youtube (64 mins). It features researchers from Stirling University presenting their findings into Glasgow Clyde College’s 16+ESOL programme, as well as a presentation from two of the lecturers behind the programme.

A film of four young people (9 mins) who have benefited and graduated from the 16+ESOL programme was shown at the conference.

The project was funded by the Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

An exemplar of the 16+ ESOL programme at Glasgow Clyde College can also be found on the National Improvement Hub.