The ESOL reading group was set up to promote extensive reading amongst ESOL learners and
provide a bridge to the independent selection of reading matter and into, or back into, more
formal learning. It was prompted and supported by the offer of resources from the British
Council’s ESOL Nexus project.
The group ran for ten weeks from January 2013, meeting once a week for two hours in the
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afternoon at Stratford Library, a central and easily accessible location in the London Borough of
Newham. In total eleven readers took part in the group: five women and six men, coming from
Columbia, the Czech Republic, Ghana, Morocco, Italy and Spain. Ages ranged from mid
twenties to mid fifties. Some readers are established in the UK, while nearly half are recent
arrivals. Most are not in employment; some have part-time or intermittent work.
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