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Engagement through Creativity and Voice – Alternative teaching and learning methods with beginner ESOL learners.

Principal focus of the project

The project tried to answer the question - what would be the impact of introducing these methods into a mainstream ESOL classes on the learners, tutors, curriculum and organisation. It focused on the inclusion of learners considered to be marginalised or unheard through three Natural Voice sessions interspersed throughout a lesson to improve learner's retention and later production of certain linguistic constructions, phrases and sequences. Theses sessions included a warm-up, a range of work including sung and spoken pieces, and an informal 'cool-down' session to summarise and review learning.

What is this about and what were the main findings?

Using a 'grounded theory' approach, the project was exploratory without formal measures of learner progress. The researchers concluded that there were positive changes in learners' engagement, confidence, participation, identity, and willingness to take risks. They also found the learners worked well as a group, and provided independent peer support in and outside of the classroom, as well as theoretical connections to other disadvantaged learners working with dyslexia. The project found that there was no progress seen with some learners on specific target languages and highlighted the need for more detailed research in this area.

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Sheila MacDonald - Kent Community Learning and Skills

Name of associate programmes

ETF Practitioner Research Programme


A Prezi by Kent Community Learning and Skills. A Prezi presentation, summarising an alternative method of working with ESOL learners using voice work and creative activities.