Migrant Mothers: Active Citizens

Drawing on her doctoral research with migrant mothers learning English in east Kent, BTP's Director Sheila Macdonald has presented her findings at ESREA conferences in Portugal (2011) and Canterbury (2013), DPR (2013), IATEFL (2013), NATECLA (2013) and a joint Open University/LSBU conference in London (2014).


She is particularly interested in how migrant women developing English language skills can become confident speakers in a hostile climate and how research can be used to inform and develop sensitive, appropriate and critical ESOL pedagogy.


More information here

Evaluating the impact of the United Mothers programme  

United Mothers is a collaborative programme currently operating in East Kent, produced and managed by Beyond The Page Ltd, in partnership with Wantsum Arts.  The programme’s unique offering combines teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with Natural Voice techniques including singing, plus drama and other creative activities and aims to achieve lasting change in relationships, communication and participation. Sessions are attended mainly by mothers who are learners of English but also those who already speak English as a first or additional language.


Full report available for download below:


United Mothers - Evaluation report by Sarah Christie
United Mothers - Evaluation report by Sarah Christie
RCfCFC United Mothers Evaluation FINAL V[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [394.5 KB]

Brokering Britain, Educating Citizens

Exploring ESOL and Citizenship


Edited by: Melanie Cooke, Rob Peutrell 
Chapter 9 by S. Macdonald

Migrant women, most of them mothers, comprise two thirds of the adult education ESOL population and achievers. Their experiences and perception of themselves as competent users of English and active citizens, however, presents a complex picture as their story is not only about the struggle to overcome structural legal and material obstacles to enter and sustain learning whilst caring for young children. 

Click here to download abstract by S Macdonald
Microsoft Word document [25.0 KB]

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