CMETB host ESOL event

National Launch of ESOL QQI Level 1 & 2 Awards

Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) has proudly launched the new Level One and Level Two English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Special Purpose Awards (SPAs) at a National Launch event held at the Cavan Crystal Hotel on Tuesday 04 June.
This initiative marks a major milestone in the provision of inclusive education and language support for migrant learners across Ireland.

Opening the event, Dr. Fiona McGrath, Chief Executive of CMETB, welcomed attendees and highlighted the importance of ESOL programmes in promoting inclusivity and providing pathways for learners from diverse backgrounds.
“ESOL services across the country see a wide range of learners—from highly educated professionals to individuals lacking basic literacy skills. Addressing these diverse needs has become a priority for every Education and Training Board and Adult Education Service nationwide,” Dr. McGrath stated.
Recognising the evolving language landscape in Ireland, CMETB initiated a groundbreaking research project to assess the English language competency of migrant learners. Conducted by Michael Donohoe, CMETB’s Research and Evaluation Officer, this project resulted in the creation of comprehensive Guidelines and a Toolkit to assist ETBs in placing learners in appropriate English language courses.

Dr Linda Pinkster, Director of FET, CMETB

The success of this research paved the way for CMETB to develop ESOL-specific modules at QQI Levels 1 and 2, initiated by CMETB Community Education Facilitator, Laura Brady. The new programmes are uniquely designed to meet the needs of learners, including those with minimal literacy skills.
The event emphasised that the new programmes provide learners with the opportunity to progress through various proficiency levels, ensuring they receive tailored support and achieve their language learning goals.

The programme development team, led by CMETB ESOL tutors Paula Owen and Kathy Bae, conducted extensive research and consulted with international and national educational bodies working alongside CMETB’s Programme Design, Validation and Review Officer, Micheal Geoghegan. Their innovative approach resulted in a new methodology for ESOL delivery, allowing learners to immerse themselves in the language at a suitable level and advance at their own pace.

The event underscored the critical collaboration within the project, particularly the contributions from the Quality Assurance and Enhancement department, led by Director Dympna McCarron, and the Adult Education service, led by Deirdre Byrne, in securing the approval of these awards. Gratitude was extended to the various stakeholders who supported these initiatives, including the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, SOLAS, QQI, Limerick & Clare ETB, Waterford & Wexford ETB and External experts also made significant contributions to the project including Arthur McKeown, Joseph Sheils, and Lorenzo Rocca.
CMETB is now sharing these ESOL programmes with other ETBs across the country, enabling them to apply for differential validation to deliver these essential educational opportunities.

Pictured right: Dr Linda Pinkster (Director of FET, CMETB) officially launched the new programmes at the event.

Main Photo above– Back row L-R:  Sarah Moon (Professional Learning and Development and Policy Officer, CMETB), Dr Lou McLaughlin (Executive Director, EAQUALS), Dr. John O’Connor (Head of Qualifications Standards and Certification, QQI), Paula Owens (ESOL Tutor, CMETB), Laura Brady (Community Education Facilitator, CMETB)  Kathy Bae (ESOL Tutor, CMETB)  and Arthur McKeown (ESOL Expert and BURC). Front row: L-R: Michael Donohoe (RPL, Research and Evaluation Officer, CMETB), Dympna McCarran (Director of QAES, CMETB), Dr Fiona McGrath (Chief Executive, CMETB), Dr Linda Pinkster (Director of FET, CMETB) and Deirdre Byrne (Head of Adult Education, CMETB).