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ESOL Research Community

ESOL Research Community

At the next meeting of the ESOL Research Community on the 19th of January 4-5.30pm, Jenny Stacey will talk about her research in maths and ESOL and Jill Court will present findings from her PhD in language learning and social interaction. All welcome.

Each talk will last 15 minutes with 10 minutes for questions, then the final 30 minutes will be for more general discussions on the issues raised by the presenters.

Jenny Stacey, Sheffield Hallam University
Adults studying GCSE mathematics in FE: Self-efficacy, anxiety and examination grades

This presentation will include a summary of Jenny’s research findings, with reference to the age, gender, and ethnicity of participants. She will challenge the deficit model of ESOL learners in GCSE mathematics classes, regardless of gender or age, using the insights gained during the research phase. Jenny will also include some of the recommendations that she will make at CPD sessions, on approaches which may be beneficial for adult learners generally.

Jill Court, University of Bristol
Catch-22? Untangling the relationship between ESOL learners’ language learning and their social interactions with expert English speakers

It is commonly assumed that improving English proficiency increases ESOL learners’ opportunities for social interactions with the British born population. At the same time, teachers and learners generally view opportunities for ‘naturalistic’ language practice as crucial to facilitate language learning.

Drawing on ESOL learners’ accounts, I argue that imbalances in power can constrain learners’ interactions with expert speakers of English, restricting their opportunities to practise the language. Improving English competency can facilitate ESOL learners to consolidate more powerful identity positions, increasing confidence and creating more opportunities to practise and improve language skills. However, English proficiency does not automatically enable participation in English-speaking social networks. In some cases, when ESOL learners do have opportunities to speak with expert English speakers they may, in fact, be silenced.

For full details and to book your place at the ESOL Research Community meeting, visit the NATECLA website.

You can view more NATECLA events along with those for the ESOL Research Community here

If you’re interested in the ESOL Research Community, you may also wish to find out more about the ESOL Managers’ Network

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