Lyn Ma

The English course that helps young refugees

With a growing number of teenage refugees arriving alone in the UK, staff at Glasgow Clyde College realised that existing Esol courses were inadequate. Lyn Ma explains how the college designed a 16-plus programme providing trauma support and focusing on personal and social development

The English course helping refugees build a new life

The young people in front of me had endured a tougher time than most of their age. They had arrived in Glasgow as unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees. Many had experienced unimaginable trauma. And I knew this class was not helping as much as it could have been.

At the time, colleges like ours were only offering English for speakers of other languages (Esol) courses aimed at adult learners. So every year, as the numbers of the young people above – aged between 16 and 20 – arriving in Glasgow increased, we had to try to engage them with work that was aimed at adults: in theme, in ...

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