ESOL developments at CMETB

CMETB at the forefront of ESOL Developments

The provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is crucial for the integration of migrant learners into Ireland. Among these learners presenting to the ESOL services across the country are highly educated professionals seeking to enhance their English skills, alongside those who lack the most basic literacy skills. Addressing the needs of this diverse learner base has become a priority for every Education and Training Board (ETB) and Adult Education Service nationwide.

Increasingly, Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) have noted learners presenting to their service that lack basic literacy skills in their own language.  Recognising this evolving landscape, CMETB has taken proactive steps to develop ESOL programmes tailored to meet the unique needs of learners, including those lacking basic literacy skills. Historically, there had been no suitable modules available for this cohort, and notably, no ESOL-specific modules at Level 1 and 2 as per QQI standards.

To address this gap, CMETB tutors embarked on a comprehensive research task, exploring options across Europe including LASLLIAM and CEFR frameworks, while also mapping existing provisions within Ireland and further afield. Leveraging insights gained, CMETB’s Adult Education tutors, in collaboration with the Quality Assurance department, undertook the task of designing new programmes aligned with broad standards from QQI. This endeavour was met with enthusiasm, innovation, and creativity from the team at CMETB.

The result was the development of a four-stage approach to ESOL delivery, designed to cater to the needs of learners at varying proficiency levels, including those with minimal literacy skills. This scaffolded approach affords learners the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the language and ensure they are placed at a level that suits them. It allows them time to effectively move through the various levels, achieving each before they progress to the next.

Recognising the significance of collaboration and knowledge sharing, CMETB has shared non-accredited levels and associated resources with seven other ETBs to date. Additionally, the newly developed accredited modules will go to the QQI Programmes and Awards Executive Committee (PAEC) in April. CMETB is committed to extending this collaboration further, welcoming all ETBs to benefit from these resources and modules.

For those interested in learning more about these ESOL developments or accessing resources, please contact CMETB Adult Education Services on 047 30 888.