Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Language Barrier

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Language Barrier

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Sutton

Campaigners for asylum seekers on Teesside are angry after the Government announced plans to cut funding for English language classes.

Many people who currently access free English classes may no longer be able to do so under proposals that start in September.

The Learning and Skills Council said in an annual report that refugees will no longer qualify for free language lessons, which has angered Teesside campaigners.

This week they launched a campaign to put pressure on the government called Don't Lose ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

Helen Weir, the Middlesbrough co-ordinator for the campaign, said the new rules will stop many refugees from integrating.

Helen, of Great Ayton, added: "I work with asylum seekers and I'm very concerned.

"Quite a lot of the learners in Middlesbrough and Stockton are seeking asylum and as any teacher will realise, English is more than just a language. These people are not allowed to work but the language lessons are a focus for the day and it's a place where they can meet people. …

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