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UK prisons the focus of university's ESOL study

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nomad soul

Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: UK prisons the focus of university's ESOL study Reply with quote

Another potential employment opportunity for ESL teachers...

UK prisons focus of EL uni studies
By Andrea Pérez, ELGazette | May 2016

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is carrying out one of the first studies into English language learning in United Kingdom prisons. The university aims to find out what resources and opportunities are available for those prisoners who do not speak English, and to improve strategies and provision, its website reported.

DMU is collaborating with the Learning and Work Institute, which is planning to introduce a curriculum for ESOL learners in prisons and rehabilitation settings. The Learning and Work Institute seeks to help prisoners build skills for their future and reduce reoffending. In this project, funded by the Bell Foundation, the Institute wants learners to make decisions on what is most important for them and their future. According to the Foundation, half of all prisoners have no qualifications at all, which limits their chances of finding a job when released. Prisoners will learn English plus maths, financial skills, health, ‘digital and civic capabilities’.

Three prisons and three community rehabilitation projects will be approached to be part of the pilot phase of the project in the first year, DMU reported. The study follows two reports – The Prison within Prison study on the provision of ESOL education and training for prisoners and ex-prisoners, and The Language Barrier to Rehabilitation – both carried out and published by the Bell Foundation in 2015. The reports state that there is a lack of knowledge about this area and no data on how many people in UK prisons have English as a second language. They identified literacy training and English language skills as crucial, the university’s website reported.

According to DMU and the Bell Foundation, it is important for UK prisons to tackle this issue because not being able to speak English is a determining factor in how prisoners face day-to-day life in jail and their life after release. ‘This is a very under-researched area and we will be looking to see what can be done to improve the quality of provision,’ said Ross Little, lead researcher on this project.

‘Many people in prisons in this country are unable to communicate well in English, and this impacts significantly on their lives inside and outside of prison. A recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons found that people who do not understand spoken English are much more likely to report having felt unsafe in prison,’ Little added. Due to the increase in global migration and mobility across nationalities, the potential number of learners in prisons needing access to ESOL provision is increasing, The Prison within Prison noted.

(End of article)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just went to an open day at one of our prisons the other day. About 30 teachers turned up all with various skills such as cooking, functional skills, etc.
I offered my skills including ESOL, although I haven't taught the UK ESOL syllabus. I think that there were a lot more teachers than positions available though. They do things like bicycle maintenance, tiling, painting and decorating as well as the academic subjects. If you want to find a full time job teaching at one of the prisons, go to OLASS job website or Milton Keynes College where you will find all the current vacancies throughout the UK. Good Luck.
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