October 7, 2020

Learning English Together

by Zoe Greenhalgh in News

Note Weavers are delighted to have been commissioned by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to be involved in the delivery of a ESOL Social Integration Project ‘Learning English Together’ [LET]. This is a government funded programme which support adults who are new to learning English to access opportunities more widely in the local community alongside a more formal learning programme. Note Weavers will be part of a team of ‘social mixing’ partners who provide six-week courses for the learners, running weekly music sessions for parents with their young children at The Bureau Centre for the Arts with two courses starting in November 2020 and January 2021.

The LET course delivers English Language learning and support for those learning English at a beginner level who have arrived in the UK in the last three years. The music sessions will offer supported interaction for learners to engage in conversation as they take part in a programme of music activities with their pre-school children. The musical material will be based on simple, easily accessible songs with repetitive language and simple melodies.  Often, a song can be repeated with a slight variation each time – the change of an animal name for example – allowing the words to become familiar, accessible and well-practiced.  Using a new language within a rhythmic and simple melodic framework also allows the learner to hear the separation of the words and syllables, enabling accurate understanding and reproduction, and all within the playful activities shared and experienced with their young child.

Many songs which we use with the early years involve key words which are also ideal for beginner English language learning – colours, animal names, body parts, weather related words. In addition, participants will be encouraged to contribute their own songs in their mother tongue, and will be involved in discussion and conversation with the other learners in the group.  To support their wider engagement with music, participants will have the opportunity to loan ‘Music Bags’ which we use in other Note Weavers programmes. These contain instruments and props as well as pictures and activity sheets enabling families to revisit songs and engage in some of the musical activities while at home. Simple craft activities linked to the music session will be developed and demonstrated for completion at home as a shared activity for families.

The Note Weavers team are really excited to be delivering this part of the Learning English Together programme. We look forward to bringing our experience to a new partnership and to learning from an opportunity to deliver music sessions in a new context and with a new focus.

If you would like to find out more about this work please get in touch with:

sue@noteweavers.org   sorrel@noteweavers.org

If you would like to access any of the Facebook live online sessions you can find them here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbQoQaEw1Q0FTGSoPM0DqdA

Sorrel Harty
Sue Ridyard
Note Weavers CIC
October 2020