ESOL for Social Justice? The opportunities and limitations within mainstream provision.

Jill Court

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Adult migrants often experience disadvantage and marginalization in their ‘host’ country and attending language classes is often seen as a way to improve a migrant’s situation. This article draws on concepts devised by social justice
theorists to explore the extent to which mainstream ESOL provision in England and Wales can achieve social justice for adult migrants. It examines the ways in which ESOL provision can improve the position of migrants but highlights how the nature of funding and the government agendas surrounding ESOL provision influence classroom content, and can impede the achievement of true equality for
migrants. It concludes that although there is scope within mainstream ESOL for students and practitioners to resist these agendas, the potential for social justice for migrants to be achieved via language provision is severely curtailed by the ‘human capital approach’ to ESOL policy taken by the current government administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
JournalLanguage Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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