Research academics evaluate importance of language in new report
University of Wolverhampton academics put their research expertise to the test recently by working with a local language network to evaluate the importance of the use of language for non-native English speakers when integrating into a new community.
The University was commissioned by the Sandwell Consortium CIC to evaluate the Sandwell Language Network Programme Evaluation Report 2020-2022.
Dr Dev Acharya, Senior Lecturer in Public Health in the University’s Institute of Health, worked with the Sandwell Consortium CIC on the project evaluation report for a Sandwell Language Network (SLN) programme which offers learning for future community language programmes.
Dr Acharya worked with fellow University academics, Professor Ruoling Chen, Professor of Public Health and Medical Statistics and Lead of Global Health and Epidemiology research, Mohammed Syed, a Commercial Research Specialist at the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust and a graduate of the University and Emaan Syed, a Lecturer in Social Care.
The Sandwell Consortium CIC has ten member organisations based in the neighbourhoods they serve with specialist reach to specific cultural communities.
The Sandwell Language Network Programme Evaluation Report 2020 – 2022 looked at the aims to improve existing English Language provision by building capacity in the voluntary sector to deliver flexible language support in community settings. The SLN was funded by the Controlling Migration Fund (CMF) through Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. The programme was steered through a multi-agency partnership and delivered alongside 15 voluntary and community organisations.
Dr Acharya said: “For non-native English speakers in the UK, integration into a new community is very challenging. Language can serve as a bridge to community integration, and hence to the construction and rehabilitation of identity and a sense of belonging. Learning English is particularly important in finding good jobs and help to their personal development.
“Without taking English classes, many non-native English speakers such as migrants and refugees struggle to obtain employment or simply make friends with their neighbours. This evaluation report highlights the positive impact of the Sandwell Language Network Programme (SLNP) to the participants of Sandwell communities.”
Academic experts surmised that the evaluation of the hub and spoke model approach was effective in reaching and delivering language learning to Sandwell’s diverse communities.
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