‘Improving Language, Improving Lives’ ESOL tutor resource shortlisted for innovation award

3 May 2019

A joint project between the Bell Foundation, Learning and Work Institute and De Montfort University has been announced as a finalist in the British Council’s ELTons awards for its innovation in English language teaching.

The ‘Improving Language, Improving Lives’ ESOL tutor resource pack is shortlisted in the local innovation category and its creators will find out if its been selected as a winner at an awards ceremony on Monday 10 June.

The resource is designed for use with learners who are in prison, or who have had recent experience of the criminal justice system. It is based on the established principles of Learning and Work Institute’s ‘citizens’ curriculum’ for adult basic skills, which promotes flexible, locally-led programmes of learning that are co-created with learners and cover language and literacy skills, interlinked with wider life skills and capabilities.

Alex Stevenson, head of English, maths and ESOL at Learning and Work Institute commented:
“English language provision for prisoners has received little focus in terms of the professional development support provided to English language teaching professionals working in prison education. The ‘Improving Language, Improving Lives’ project aims to address this.

“Many practitioners report struggling to access relevant professional development, and a dearth of high-quality teaching materials relevant for use in prisons and secure settings. This resource pack is the first publicly available resource of its kind, offering classroom materials and a framework supporting sound teaching and learning principles and curriculum development.

“The resources can be used to support accredited learning leading to ESOL qualifications, as well as in non-accredited provision. Each unit includes a set of tutor notes which provide a suggested approach, stimulus materials, ideas for differentiation, learner involvement, and extension activities.”


Winners of the 17th British Council ELTons Awards for Innovation in English Language Teaching will be announced at the award ceremony in central London on Monday 10 June 2019. Find out more or watch the live webcast here.

Find out more about the programme here.

Download the resource from the Bell Foundation website.

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