The ES(O)L SIG IATEFL Scholarship

The ES(O)L SIG was set up in 2002 to provide a forum for teachers who teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Second Language (ESL).   Our main interest is the provision of English language learning for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have come to settle in countries where English is a national language, e.g. the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
While we share many aspects of methodology and teaching and learning with general ELT, the backgrounds of our learners and the contexts in which they learn English do differ and can affect classroom priorities.  For example, learners need a focus on everyday language so they can communicate with their child’s school, access housing and find a job.  Another example is the fact that some of our learners are not literate in their first language.  This has a major impact on their language learning.

The award consists of:

  • registration for the ES(O)L Pre-Conference Event
  • registration for the IATEFL Annual Conference
  • one year’s IATEFL and ES(O)L individual membership for the following year
  • travel costs, including, if necessary, an economy flight to the UK up to a maximum of GBP 400.00*
  • GBP 400.00 to help with other conference related expenses

*this includes the cost of flights and airport transfers but not the cost of stopovers

To qualify you must:

  • be an IATEFL member
  • agree to give a presentation or a workshop on an aspect of ES(O)L on the ES(O)L SIG day at the IATEFL Annual Conference
  • agree to write up your presentation by the end of June 2016 for possible inclusion in the ES(O)L SIG newsletter

 To be considered you must submit:

  • a summary of between 400 and 500 words in which you:
    1. provide a brief description of a specific challenge you are currently facing in your ES(O)L class(es)
    2. outline the steps you have taken/are taking to address this
    3. indicate how attending the conference could help you deal with the challenge
  • an online speaker proposal related to a different ESOL topic  by the scholarship deadline of 23rd July 2015
  • a passport size photo (for inclusion in the conference programme and the scholarship poster should you win, please refer to the scholarship guidelines for photo requirements).

The submission deadline was 23rd July 2015. 

The winners will be informed by Friday 4th September and other applicants by 11th September 2015. Please do NOT contact the IATEFL office about scholarship decisions; the Scholarship Working Party (SWP) will send everyone the results as soon as they are available.

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Welcome to the ESOL SIG

The ES(O)L SIG is one of the most recently established IATEFL SIGs: it was formed in 2002 to give IATEFL members with an interest in the teaching of English as a second or other language the opportunity to focus on the specific concerns that arise when working with language learners who have come to settle permanently in an English-speaking country. This means that teachers in this field work predominantly with government-funded classes that can include learners from a rich diversity of backgrounds: members of settled immigrant communities, refugees, people seeking asylum, and migrant workers from Europe and all over the world.

Many forces affect this part of the ELT world; government and state policies, curricula and assessment frameworks, the learners’ own cultural and educational backgrounds and the range of spiky skills profiles that a typical class can contain, are perhaps the most striking . These raised issues that affect ES(O)L teachers and learners globally.  We knew there was an opportunity to link expertise from all corners of the world and to offer opportunities to achieve this with the SIG.

Linking members working in ES(O)L all over the world can be a little bit confusing because of terminology: ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is used in the UK and Ireland, ESL (English as a Second Language) predominantly in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.  This explains the bracket in our name!  Although terminology is as different as the local situations teachers face, our concerns are frequently and perhaps inevitably the same. Exploring the different solutions colleagues around the world have chosen puts our own teaching context into perspective and provides new ideas for the classroom and to meet our learners’ needs.

There is much going on around the world in terms of ESOL teaching and it is with this in mind that we hope to broaden our SIG reach to incorporate the diversity of ESOL teachers and learners worldwide.

We really welcome your comments and thoughts, so please get in touch and let us know what is happening in your part of the world.

You can also find the IATEFL ESOL SIG on Facebook.

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