Love ESOL is our campaign to promote ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). We are calling for more funding from the government because we believe ESOL is a vital public service that benefits all of us, not only new arrivals. ESOL is crucial for healthy communities, a thriving economy and the well-being of people who are new to the UK.
Since 2017, we have been organising #LoveESOL events with the aim to engage with policy-makers. This is so ESOL students (and teachers, volunteers and supporters) can have a real say in how ESOL works in the capital. Over the years, hundreds of students have been involved in the campaign. We started as a big teach-out in the green space outside City Hall, which led to invitations to hold an event inside the building the following years and present our asks to the Mayor’s team, as well as meet with key members of staff. The event has historically coincided with the European Day of Languages (26th September), so it is also a celebration of multilingulism and the lingustic diversity we have in London.
We meet annually to look at ESOL provision in London and share our expertise with the GLA.
Current #LoveESOL campaign asks are:
1. Better access to free ESOL classes for all, regardless of childcare or work commitments, or immigration status. We want free ESOL provision, providing childcare and removing eligibility criteria.
2. An ESOL for London website with a database of what’s on offer across London for students to identify a suitable class. With information on cost, childcare, location, day and time, levels and certificates. PLUS information about any immigration status restrictions.
3. Solidarity for a bigger voice for ESOL to help restore funding and improve public understanding of ESOL students’ experiences and the importance of ESOL.
We have been documenting our meetings with the GLA. You can see these below.
For the 2019 General Election, we invited election candidates to sign up to our ESOL Pledge . It reads: “I pledge to ensure all migrants in my constituency can access ESOL classes through championing local and national solutions”
The following candidates signed up.
1. Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour, Streatham) – now MP
2. Marsha de Cordova (Labour, Battersea) – now MP
3. Sarah Lewis (Liberal Democrats, Vauxhall)