Spotlight on teachers of English language

City of Glasgow College hosted its fourth annual ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Conference at its award winning City Campus.

Almost 100 delegates from schools, colleges, local authorities and businesses across Scotland took part in a variety of workshops aimed at generating and sharing excellent practice in English Language teaching in a Scottish and UK context.

Mary McManus, Curriculum Head for ESOL at City of Glasgow College, said: 

“Each year we are seeing new people attend the conference which is a rare opportunity for ESOL teachers to get together. Set against the context of the Scottish Government’s Welcoming Our Learners: Scotland’s ESOL Strategy 2015 – 2020, the conference gave us all a chance to examine our personal and organisational strategies.”

The mix of presentations and workshops created a lively and interactive learning environment giving delegates a chance to generate and pass on new ideas, share best practice and network.

Joya Campbell from Fife Council said: “The conference was full of practical ideas and definitely provided food for thought.” Sara Kyle from Dundee Council added: “I picked up great strategies which can be easily utilised in the classroom.”

The conference’s keynote speaker was James Simpson from The School of Education at the University of Leeds. The essence of his talk was not to dismiss the use of first languages in the class. He said:

“I offer a path that incorporates multilingual translanguaging pedagogies in ESOL practice.  It includes languages, styles and gestures with students encouraged to engage in the many forms of communication used in language development.

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this ESOL conference and to take part in a day that was stimulating in both the range of debate and workshop presentations.”