English My Way
English My Way was a community-based English language project, developed by Good Things Foundation in partnership with the BBC and the British Council, which supported adults with no or low levels of English language skills.
The project provided pre-entry level ESOL skills through a structured 24-week blended learning programme, improving English language skills to help people better integrate with their local communities. This fresh approach to English language learning combined tutor-led sessions, rich multimedia online learning and volunteer-supported ‘Learning Circles’,
English My Way aimed to reach people with the lowest levels of English language skills (especially women), working in areas of England with high demand for English language support.
The English My Way website was developed as the online home of the ESOL learning programme, offering flexible tutor resources and session plans available completely free.
Impact on people
English My Way had a positive impact on people in the programme with:
- 70% progressing to an Entry Level 1 ESOL course; 72% going on to other further learning; 11% going on to volunteer and 22% going on to employment.
People’s confidence also improved, leading to reduced social isolation, increased independence, and benefits to health and family.
- 65% of learners reported improved confidence using their English to talk to acquaintances; 68% in using their English in shops/public transport and 61% in using their English with doctors and other professionals.
Reach of the programme
- English My Way supported 9,066 people with Pre-Entry Level ESOL and was delivered in 38 of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s 58 target areas.
- The programme supported people with the lowest language levels – 53% very limited and 41% basic.
- More women than men have been supported (68% v 32%).
- The largest proportion of learners are from Pakistan (27%), followed by India (17%) Bangladesh (10%) and Somalia (9%).
- 39% have no formal education and 37% are jobseekers.
- Other demographic groups reached by the programme include asylum seekers, those not working due to health/disability or caring for others, and retired learners.
Impact on Online Centres and communities
The English My Way programme and funding has allowed centres to support ESOL learners better.
- 97% of funded centres were able to improve their support of people for whom English isn’t their first language, while 57% have been able to provide Pre-Entry Level ESOL support for the first time.
- 93% agreed that English My Way had helped them to support community integration in their area.
- Centres agreed English My Way had allowed them to reach out to learners not suited to other forms of ESOL delivery.
English My Way also encouraged many centres to develop new partnerships with Children’s Centres and schools, faith venues, other training providers and Jobcentre Plus offices; allowing them to be better at community capacity building.