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Towards a multi-lingual pedagogy: English For Action's 2017 Conference
Sat 25 March 2017, 10:30 – 16:00 GMT
“English only in the classroom!” still has a strong influence on the world of ESOL, from initial teacher training to students' own requests to be fined for speaking their other languages. Many ESOL teachers reject this monolingual orthodoxy but are unsure how exactly to make use of the full range of students’ linguistic resources. It is deeply ironic that in superdiverse areas of the UK, the ESOL classroom can sometimes be the most monolingual space that students inhabit, separated from the day to day realities of life in a multilingual city.
In 2016 we witnessed an upsurge of nationalism and anti-migrant feeling, much of which focussed on speakers of languages other than English. It feels more important than ever to make sure that the ESOL classroom is a multilingual space free from such prejudice, where students feel comfortable expressing themselves in any language or combination of languages without fear of discrimination or recriminations; a multilingual classroom with a robust multilingual pedagogy is undoubtedly something we should be aiming for.
At our conference we will examine our own pedagogic beliefs and share our classroom practices relating to the multilingual ESOL class. What activities work? What are the barriers? How can we challenge deep-seated beliefs about the “English only” pedagogy?
Melanie Cooke, Becky Winstanley and Dermot Bryers will share findings from their ongoing research project where they are exploring issues around second language socialisation, migration trajectories and language diversity – and how these might be usefully incorporated into ESOL teaching and learning.
Who is the conference for?
The event is primarily aimed at ESOL, ESL and EAL teachers, lecturers and researchers
What do you mean by 'participatory ESOL'?
Participatory ESOL is a radical approach to language learning - and a growing movement across the UK. It's inspired by the critical pedagogy of Brazilian Marxist educator, Paulo Freire, who believed that education is never neutral - it either upholds or challenges the status quo. The participatory approach rejects the idea that students are passive vessels to be filled with the teacher's knowledge. Instead, all participants (including the teacher) are encouraged to engage critically with the learning process. Curriculum is developed through group dialogue, based on participants' pre-existing experiences, knowledge and daily reality. Language learning is driven by meaningful exchanges between participants in the group, rather than the form through which communication can be achieved. By nurturing exploratory, critical dialogue within the classroom, participants become better able to constructively question orthodoxies outside the classroom. For more information have a look at Reflect ESOL's Vision and Values, the participatory video we made at a previous conference and our chapter 'What is Participatory ESOL?' in the British Council's book Language issues in migration and integration.
Is lunch included?
Yes, vegetarian lunch included. You can tell us about other dietary requirements on the ticket checkout page.
What are my transport / parking options getting to the event?
The venue is 5 minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube or Cambridge Heath train station and is wheelchair accessible.
Underground: From Bethnal Green tube station (Central line), take the Museum of Childhood exit. Enter the park on your right and walk diagonally through the park to the far exit on Victoria Park Square. Turn left out of the park and then left again onto Old Ford Road. St. Margaret's House is above the Gallery cafe, on the opposite side of the road across the zebra crossing. The conference venue is accessible by following the path to the left of the Gallery cafe, which will be signposted on the day.
Train: From Cambridge Heath station, turn right and walk down Cambridge Heath Road. Just before the Museum of Childhood (on the opposite side of the road) cross the road and turn left down Old Ford Road. St. Margaret's House is just past York Hall, above the Gallery Cafe. The conference venue is accessible by following the path to the left of the Gallery cafe, which will be signposted on the day.
Buses No. 8 - 106 - 254 - 309 - 388 - D3 and D6.
Car: Parking should be available in Victoria Park Square, Approach Road and other surrounding roads.
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please contact Cait Crosse by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07969876564.