WELCOME to the website of the newly-revived Scotland Branch of NATECLA (The National Association of Teaching ESOL and Community Languages to Adults).

We have not had a NATECLA branch in Scotland for a few years and hope to use this one to network and share English Language stories, successes, projects and practice across Scotland.

Ultimately we would like to create a branch that brings English Language practitioners together and we are hoping in the future to start providing workshops, webinars and an annual conference.

As we are ‘newly-revived’ we are looking for people interested in sitting on our Committee to forge and solidify our ideas and plans for the future – so if you think that you have some spare time and are interested in getting involved, please post your details in the CONTACT section. We would love to hear from you, no matter if you can contribute in a big or a small way, every contribution is very much valued.

We are also looking for your stories and pictures to share – what are you up to in class, who has passed exams, what projects have you started…and finished successfully – we would love to hear all your news and share it across Scotland. Please get in touch and we can send an email address to share information.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

NATECLA Scotland logo (2)


ESOL within the Syrian Resettlement Scheme: Events


COSLA is hosting a series of free events across Scotland to share practice around delivering ESOL to adult resettled Syrians in Scotland.  These events are funded through the UK Government’s Syrian Resettlement Scheme.  These events will:

  • enable sharing of ideas about delivery of ESOL to adult resettled Syrians;
  • explore success factors and challenges;
  • explore key themes such as sensitivity to trauma, gender segregation, working in rural areas, literacy and strategic resource allocation; and
  • identify areas where further guidance and support would be useful.

The events will provide a useful opportunity to network and share ideas.  They will also inform the development of guidance on delivering ESOL to resettled Syrians.

The events are for everyone involved in planning and delivering ESOL, including those making decisions at strategic level and those delivering ESOL directly.  There will be a chance to speak with others in a similar position to you and facing similar issues, through themed sessions and discussions.

The events will be in:

Glasgow – 3 May, 1.30 to 4.30pm – Book here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ESOLGlasgow

Stirling – 15 May, 1.30 to 4.30pm – Book here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ESOLStirling

Aberdeen – 23 May, 1.30 – 4.30pm – Book here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ESOLAberdeen

It is essential that you book your space as we expect there to be a high level of interest in these sessions.

We hope that you are able to attend, to help build our understanding of what works and what further guidance would be useful.



Katy MacMillan



Research Scotland

2 Myrtle Park


G42 8UQ


T: 0141 424 5295

E: katy.macmillan@researchscotland.org

W: www.researchscotland.org


Children in Scotland – call for information

children in scotlandApologies for any cross posting….

Dear Children in Scotland member

More than a thousand Syrian refugees have been resettled across Scotland including a number of children, some unaccompanied.

Children in Scotland is committed to ensuring that Scotland can provide a welcoming and supportive home to child refugees. Key to this is a strong children’s sector workforce with the combination of knowledge, skills, and resources that are necessary to meet the often very complex needs of these vulnerable children.

We would like to build a clearer picture of professionals’ experiences of working with children who have experienced trauma, including refugee children, in order to tailor our communications, training and events, and other forms of support to the needs of the workforce.

If you have experience of working with refugee children and families, we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to respond to the four questions in the link below:


Many thanks and with best wishes


Children in Scotland. Level 1, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5EZ

Telephone 0131 313 2322 A company limited by guarantee • Registered in Scotland No 83383 • Inland Revenue Charity No SC003527 • Vat No 875 7960 59




Membership category and price changes from March 2017

Following many years without a change in membership fees, from the beginning of the new membership year in March 2017, all categories will now include our flagship journal Language Issues (PDF format). Most organisations like ours include their journal in the membership fee and we have decided to offer our members the same benefit.Language Issues is published twice a year and is a highly-respected journal and an invaluable resource for all those interested in ESOL and language-learning issues. It explores the area between academic research and classroom practice, discussing teaching, training, management and research into ESOL and community languages.  More information about Language Issues can be found here.

After decades of providing ESOL professionals with the latest news and updates on resources and projects, we believe that NATECLA News is sadly past its prime. At the same time, Mike Harrison, who has done an excellent job as editor for over five years, has decided to step down after the summer edition. In addition, our monthly update email now performs a very similar function and provides members with up-to-date, relevant and useful information.  However, we will continue to publish a special summer conference edition of NATECLA News which will include conference and workshop information. In addition, Language Issues will change slightly to include an enhanced section on classroom practice and reports on projects, content which previously appeared in NATECLA News, thus providing a wider appeal.

The membership fee structure has been simplified and the new prices from March 2017 are given below. The good news is that members who have been paying extra forLanguage Issues will find that they are now paying less!  Other members will find that there is a small increase in their membership fee as they will now be receiving Language Issues twice a year by email (as a PDF).  If you have automatic Paypal renewal, you can either alter the amount yourself or you can ask us to modify the amount on your behalf.

 Criteria Annual fee, including Language Issues
 A Paid teacher or manager
over 18.5 hours per week
 B Paid teacher or manager
4.5 to 18.5 hours per week
 C Retired teacher, volunteer, student, or teacher
4 hours per week or under
 D Associate individual 
not working in the field
 E Affiliated Institution
Typically a further education college, adult or community education centre or private language school
 F Student member – FREE for one year
Somebody training to teach English as a second language – you could be studying towards a CELTA, PGCE or a Masters in TESOL / ELT
  Free for 12 months

Refugee Student Summit

Last chance to register for our Refugee Student Summit

NUS Scotland and the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association are hosting our inaugural Refugee Student Summit on Thursday 9 March, between 10.30am and 2.45pm, at the Collins Building of the University of Strathclyde.

Joined by over 50 delegates from Scotland’s colleges and universities including student refugees, student representatives, alongside education sector bodies and third sector organisations, you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about the current best practice to support refugees and asylum seekers studying in Scotland and to be part of a growing community working to address the barriers that refugee and asylum seeking students face.

At the start of the day, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, will share the work that the University has been doing to support refugee and asylum seeking students. This will be followed by a number of speakers, a panel discussion and an opportunity to explore in smaller groups some of the key points in a student’s journey through education. You can view the full agenda for the day here.  

The event is free to attend but delegates are required to register. The registration deadline has now been extended and will close on Friday 3 March 2017 at 5pm, you can register here. Please also extend this invitation to others who may be interested in attending.

From the EIS:    “Myths of Immigration”

We have recently launched new Myths of Immigration booklets. There are three booklets, each one tailored to a different age range:

  • Early Years and Early Primary (recommended for Nursery to Primary 2)
  • Primary (recommended for Primary 3 upwards)
  • Secondary and Further Education

 We hope that teachers will find these resources useful for supporting open, honest conversations about immigration, and for countering some of the misinformation that has spread in recent years, particularly in some sections of the media.

You can download the booklets from http://www.eis.org.uk/Anti-Rac ism/MythsofImmigration.htm or to request hard copies, please contact Ashley Gray in the Education and Equality Department (agray@eis.org.uk). ” 


ESOL practitioners are familiar with the use of images and realia in the classroom. It’s often so much easier to get key concepts and situations across to students by drawing or supplying pictures to establish meaning than to rely on verbal similes and definition. Personally I find it much simpler, faster and more entertaining to draw a wee castle on a flipchart than to intone ‘a large building often very old, to help defend people, made of stone…’ when I want to make sure students understand the word ‘castle’. (or fort.)

As a Local Authority ESOL practitioner engaged in community ESOL, I am also aware of how useful drawing skills are when we have to engage and consult our learners on how well our provision suits them and how they would like to see our classes and provision develop. Careful listening and fast drawn images ensure that everybody is kept on board with difficult concepts like ‘employablility’ or ‘creche’…

Often we also need to make decisions regarding provision at strategic level and try to work with colleagues and other agencies to agree approaches to provision. Graphic Facilittaion is a powerful tool to ensure different individuals and agencies can visualise and agree key issues, priorities and ways forward. You’ve probably seen it at a seminar or workshop before.

As a consequence I have been developing my own business as a Graphic Facilitator, making my skills available to other professionals across a variety of disciplines including ESOL.

I use large scale imagery depicting metaphor and imagination – visually documenting everybody’s contribution – leading groups and individuals towards a goal with the use of flipcharts (Storyboarding) and rolls of paper (Storylining) by sitting in on group discussions such as meetings seminars workshops conferences.

I am also available for illustration commissions for reports or learning materials.

Previous clients include Angus Council, Scottish Rural Parliament, Falkland Factory Group…

You can find out more about my business and graphic facilitation here:


or find out more about Graphic Facilitation and its uses here:

Graphic Facilitation

Or just get in touch.

Neil Paterson



Ayrshire ESOL Celebrations


The Ayrshire ESOL Partnership held their annual ESOL Celebration for ESOL learners in East and North Ayrshire at Kilwinning Campus on June 9th. The guests were welcomed by Carol Nisbet,  Director, Learning and Skills, Access and Inclusion, Ayrshire College and were congratulated on their achievements and dedication to their studies by Willie Gibson, NAC Council Leader. Agata Chmielewska level 5 ESOL  student from Kilmarnock Campus gave an excellent speech about her ESOL learning journey in Scotland, a testament to her growing confidence and proficiency in the English language. The speeches were followed by refreshments and a traditional Scottish ceilidh led by Kathleen McColmish’s Scottish Dancing Group from Largs and the evening finished with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.  The event was a great success with students and community partners alike, a fitting tribute to a successful year of learning and teaching ESOL in East and North Ayrshire.

orsis-story-1South Ayrshire ESOL students and practitioners celebrated their achievements with an end of year certificate presentation at John Pollock Centre in Ayr on June 23rd.  Learners from community and college ESOL classes were congratulated on their success by Councillor Margaret Toner, who was very impressed by the progress that learners have made as a result of attending classes. Students and staff prepared a great selection of delicious international dishes for the event, which is now a traditional and much appreciated part of their end of year celebrations.

The two events marked the end of an action packed academic year for the Ayrshire ESOL Partnership, as a great number of joint events has taken place in 2015/16. ESOL learners and practitioners in the community and the college have had the opportunity to take part in projects and events such as the ESOL International Market, ESOL Burns Supper, the ESOL Burns Project, ESOL Social Evening, the ESOL Newsletter Project and the ESOL Tutor Training Week.