WP308 ESOL and Linguistic Citizenship: Practical actions amid policy neglect

Cooke, Rampton & Simpson


This paper describes national policy for teaching English to adult migrants in England, and asks what ESOL teaching can do to overcome the fragmentation and hostility it finds, opening up to multilingualism instead.  After a historical sketch of recent national ESOL policy, it turns to theories of citizenship, comparing citizenship as legal status with definitions that emphasise agency, and it looks at how these can be materialised in ESOL classrooms.  It then considers the theoretical and empirical backing provided by sociolinguistic research, along with practical steps that universities can take to support an idea of linguistic citizenship that prioritises participation and voice.