Evaluation of Community Based English Language (CBEL) provision pilots

This report sets out findings from the evaluation of pilots of Community Based English Language (CBEL) provision, a randomised control trial commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The CBEL intervention was aimed at people with very low levels of functional English proficiency. The programme sought to test whether the course was effective in supporting individuals from communities with very low levels of functional English to improve their ability to communicate and integrate into their wider community and society.

As well as measuring the change in English proficiency, integration was measured in terms of social interactions and mixing; participation in everyday activities; confidence in engaging with public services; local and national belonging; trust in others and attitudes to community integration.

Overall, the findings show that the provision of Community Based English Language achieved clear improvements in learners’ English proficiency. Further, it showed clear evidence of increased social mixing and participation in wider society. Accordingly, the research demonstrates a role for such provision in building social integration.

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