The future for ESOL

8 September 2014

A lecture to celebrate the achievements of NIACE’s former lead on ESOL, Chris Taylor, as well as to look to the future of ESOL policy and mark International Literacy Day, was held in London.

Three key speakers outlined what should be done to address the ESOL needs of around one million people in the UK, including what policy should look like, what the latest research reveals, what works well in other countries and what practitioners need. The speakers were Professor Alan Tuckett OBE, (International Council for Adult Education), Helen Casey (National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy) and Sheila Rosenberg OBE (Ruth Hayman Trust).

Carol Taylor, NIACE Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“Chris Taylor lived a very full life, all the time building up her knowledge and experience in the field of ESOL, as well as practically helping many people as a teacher. When she joined NIACE in March 2001 she took up a policy role and was able to use all that experience, skills, empathy and intelligence to work at a national level. She ran major programmes, oversaw research projects, developed tools for practitioners, and used her charm, her doggedness and her a ability to work with people to get things done. Motivated by her passion for social justice and improving the experience for learners, she was an integral part of the team at NIACE, as well as at NATECLA and many other networks and campaigns. She is much missed.

“One of the priority actions outlined in our recent manifesto – Skills for Prosperity – is to develop a Citizens’ Curriculum approach, which is particularly important for ESOL learners and teachers. It would provide much-needed informal learning opportunities and would link ESOL with other key capabilities like financial, digital and numeracy. We will also ensure that our call for Personal Skills Accounts will address the needs of ESOL learners.

“Finally, I’d like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the British Council, NATECLA and the Refugee Council for all their invaluable support in organising this lecture.”