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Dr Nalita James - The impact of ‘Real English in Action’ on social/community integration


This research, funded in 2020 by the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Communities, depicts the learning journeys of Somali men and women, who attended English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at the Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service, a local authority adult education provider. The group shared their experiences and the impact of English language learning in everyday life and their perceptions about the role of language in social inclusion and community cohesion. The research revealed that enhanced language skills improved self-esteem and confidence, communication, life styles and a sense of new identity. The findings also demonstrated that significant barriers in participation in ESOL programmes still exist. These barriers include lack of confidence and low self-esteem. ESOL tutors highlighted the reduction in funding and limitations of existing processes as barriers to meeting the Government's ambition of ESOL provision as “fundamental” for achieving integration. The findings have recommended a more flexible funding approach to the delivery of ESOL especially in order for adult education providers to meet the local need for ESOL. The research also highlights the significance of the provision of ESOL courses as a fundamental pre-requisite for effective integration and participation within their local communities.

Researcher profile


Dr Nalita James is an Associate Professor and Director of Academic Studies in the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick. Nalita can provide supervision on the PhD programme.

 Staff profile