ESOL Stepping Stones launches to support non-English speaking mums and babies

ESOL Stepping Stones is a new course we've developed for non-English speaking low-income mothers and their babies. It delivers functional language skills in combination with health and parenting information in the form of a structured 12 week mother and baby ‘stay and play’ group. Each session focuses on one particular aspect of family daily life and includes infant-centred activities and informal language instruction. The course is designed to be delivered by existing staff in schools and children’s, cultural and community centres with free training, materials and support provided. To date, there is no ESOL provision for these mothers in the UK and there is an urgent need to address this gap.

Since we began in September, we have designed all of the course materials, recruited settings across Manchester and organised a training workshop for facilitators taking part in Phase 1 of the project. This Phase will see the course delivered and evaluated in 10 venues across Greater Manchester. Following this, Phase 2 will develop our resources into free eLearning materials so the course can be delivered throughout the UK and beyond. 

Our main aims are to increase the English language skills, confidence and assertiveness of low income non-English speaking mothers, provide examples of language rich activities which will be of benefit to the child (e.g. book reading, storytelling, singing and rhyme) and increase the uptake of key services by these mums. We will also add to the skill set and resources of community venues’ staff by providing full training, materials and on-going support.

If you would be interested in joining this fantastic project, or know a venue or setting that might like to get involved, we would be delighted to hear from you.

For more details please contact:

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