Creating Welcoming Spaces in a ‘Hostile Environment’

Lauren Bouttell, Robert Livingston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The UK government has fostered a ‘hostile environment’ towards migrants over the last seven years. This has particularly impacted people who are refugees and asylum seekers. Despite rhetoric that migrants should learn English, funding for ESOL has been slashed. Initiatives in ESOL are commonly spearheaded by civil society groups, providing essential adult education in their communities. This chapter investigates the multitude of ways inclusive education for newcomers is being provided in the face of government ‘hostility’. The flexibility of non-formal provision yields a more welcoming and empowering environment that recognises the importance of the knowledge migrants carry with them. We explore how emerging methods in ESOL characterise this unique approach to language learning, and move beyond the idea that education for migrants is limited to learning English.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdult Education and Difference
EditorsBonnie Slade, Peter Mayo, Thi Bogossian
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789004692626
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2024


  • Adult education
  • Refugees

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