ESOL learning reducing social isolation: How English My Way reflects our future

22 May 2017

Written by Chris Andersson

Those of you paying close attention to the staff pages of this website might have noticed some recent changes to the Good Things team. These changes reflect a new vision for how we’ll be working in the future, as we develop new cohesive programmes and drive social change.

Our Chief Exec Helen Milner has blogged about our new structure in more detail but one of the key changes is our new Social Inclusion team, a dedicated group of staff focussed on developing, building and delivering projects that help reduce social isolation.

Building Community Cohesion

And this brings me squarely on to English my Way. While our Social Inclusion team might be new, Good Things Foundation working in this area definitely isn’t.

We’ve been delivering our community pre-entry ESOL programme since 2013 and we’re massively proud of the impact we’ve seen it have already. The aim of English My Way has alway been to reduce isolation and improve community cohesion by improving the English language skills of people whose first language isn't English.

More than 13,500 people have taken part in pre-entry level ESOL learning since the programme started and with 72% of those learners being unemployed and 72% moving onto further online learning in 2016/17, we’re proud that English My Way really is making a difference to those who need it most.

We're even more proud to be continuing this work, with funding to deliver English My Way through 2017/18 open now.

Celebrating English My Way

We’ll be talking about English my Way a lot this more week. Tomorrow, we’ll launch our 2016/17 evaluation report for the programme and later in the week we’ll be premiering some fantastic video content showcasing the human impact of ESOL learning. Keep an eye on this website and our social channels.

English My Way is a perfect example of our new focus on social inclusion (along with our first passion, digital inclusion), something we’ve long been passionate about but are now talking about. It’s still about using technology - in this case our superb online learning content - but here social impact is the final goal. Where our Digital Inclusion programme (and team) focuses on digital outcomes, here digital is just the means of reducing isolation and improving communities and very really - and very human - way.