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ESOL Research Community event: Research into ESOL Beginner Literacy

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We are delighted to promote this event on behalf of the ESOL Research Community:

  • Date: Thursday 13th June 2024
  • Time: 4-5.30pm
  • Location: Online via Teams

This group is led by Cathy Clarkson and Kathryn Sidaway.


Research into ESOL Beginner Literacy

We are pleased to host two talks where the presenters will share their research on ESOL Beginner literacy. Each talk will last 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions, then in the final 30 minutes we will go into breakout rooms for discussions on the issues raised by the presenters.

Lucie Gegg - Cardiff and Vale College

An exploratory case study of literacy issues for beginner adult ESOL learners in Wales

In this talk, I will explore observations of classroom literacy experiences of ESOL students who are learning to read and write for the first time, in an unfamiliar language. Referred to as “invisible in the English education system” (Sunderland and Moon, 2009), the needs of this particular group have been highlighted by the creation of a transnational organisation – LESLLA (Literacy Education and Second Language Learning for Adults). By speaking to teachers of ESOL LESLLA learners, I discovered strategies that facilitate progression and challenges that prevent successful development of literacy in English. Research took place over the pandemic, so the study included the sudden propulsion into digital learning and a growing reliance on using technology in ESOL classrooms.

About the speaker:
Lucie has taught ESOL for around a decade, starting off as a volunteer with ‘pre-entry’ outreach groups. With encouragement from colleagues, she embarked on a part-time master’s degree at the University of South Wales focusing on her interest in literacy learning for beginner ESOL learners.

Charlotte Godwin - Leeds City College
Cracking the code – A study in adult ESOL literacy

 Examining phonics efficacy for adult ESOL learners, the beginners’ team at Leeds City College is conducting a year-long study on synthetic and analytical phonics. Preliminary findings reveal diverse teacher perspectives, with some favouring synthetic phonics for beginners and others suggesting flexible approaches integrating analytical phonics and the Language Experience Approach (LEA). The study underscores the importance of professional judgment, judicious use of synthetic phonics courses and wider awareness of analytical phonics and student-centred literacy. This research contributes to phonics discourse in adult ESOL education, stressing ongoing professional development for adaptive teaching practices to support learners effectively.

About the speaker:
Charlotte is the Programme Manager for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Beginners in the ESOL department at LCC. She has always worked in teaching language in TEFL, GCSE mainstream, and ESOL FE. Her why is helping students and teachers enjoy and exceed their own expectations of themselves.

To register for this event, please complete this form - you will need to copy and paste this link into your browser:


Please note, the form will close 24 hours before the start of the event.

For more information on the ESOL Research Community events, please see their Padlet (again - you will need to copy and paste this link into your browser): https://padlet.com/kathrynsidaway/your-esol-research-community-ft9b25fqqf15m1xt

Request further information
  • Date(s): 13 June 2024 to 13 June 2024
  • Time: 16:00 - 17:30
  • Price: FREE
  • Location: ONLINE - VIA TEAMS
  • Main contact: Cathy Clarkson, School Education and Professional I Development University of Huddersfield
  • Email: cathy.clarkson2@hud.ac.uk

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