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ESOL NI News May 2020

The most recent information collated by the ESOL Coordination Point in Northern Ireland on the following:

  • Overall provision of ESOL classes by the 6 Colleges and DfE Community providers (focus on VPRS learners and featuring the success case study of our continuous online programme by Maximpact Training )
  • ESOL Learner Survey final findings – on online learning and connectivity (April 2020 – Northern Ireland)
  • ESOL NI news, links and information and launch of the new forum for teachers

ESOL links and information for teachers –

ESOL NI NEWS – May 2020

A new forum for anyone in Northern Ireland who is interested in the teaching and learning of ESOL.  The hope is to create a space for practitioners to share best practice, resources, links and events that help to bring us closer together and break down barriers.


Welcome to a new forum for anyone involved in the teaching of ESOL, EAL, EFL or ESP in Northern Ireland.

I hope anyone who lives and works in Northern Ireland will contribute to this new regional list.

Please post onto the list with resources or questions or links.

Moderator – Thomas Le Seelleur


Lead IOI Branch NATECLA English Language Lecturer

COVID-19 – Contingency Action Plan – ESOL provision at NI Colleges and funded Community projects (under the Home Office – Additional English Language Training Fund 20/19):

May 2020

All Colleges have been making an effort to engage with students so there is no complete break of learning progress during this period of self-isolation due to COVID-19.

 NWRC ESOL classes are cancelled for the foreseeable future. Both ESOL teachers, Arnie and Conal, are providing remote learning as best they can for those in the ESOL groups who engage with it.

 SRC Further to your email below, materials I developed for Pre-Entry Levelled ESOL learners are available on the Blended Learning Consortium (BLC) website via the following link: https://blc.howcollege.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=96.  There are two learner workbooks as well as accompany flashcards and interactive lessons for all units so leaners can learner at home.  These materials have been widely piloted and used at Southern Regional College with our SVPRS learners.  Please note, as these resources have been shared via the BLC, they are currently only available for use by subscribing FE colleges.  I believe all FE Colleges in Northern Ireland are members of the BLC. As the College uses Pearson qualifications for ESOL examinations are being carried out online across all 4 skills (while the other 5 Colleges are only carrying speaking and listening as a guidance from C&G).

 SWC – Trying to reach to our ESOL students with online/email lessons in a practical way, bearing in mind some of our learners do not have access to the internet and do not check emails often.

 BMC – online classes through Zoom and Canvas – https://www.belfastmet.ac.uk/COVID19latestupdates/?fbclid=IwAR0x12ACw1mnBtImqrWa 9Cjt4zkXre_RS8-kFVRV4WgiP34bn4-Wqk1UdRA.

 NRC – Currently looking at options and resources available. Challenging as it is a widespread provision and mostly at lower levels of ESOL. Teachers are hoping to devise and distribute a physical pack of resources for self-study to be used at home while classes face-to-face are cancelled.

– Portstewart classes: running online regularly with Liz McMath with the students who engage via Zoom.  – Antrim classes: Pre-entry level classes have been cancelled since the start of due to large volume of learners and technological barriers (both limited access and technical knowhow). Higher level classes are being delivered online with inconsistent engagement.


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