Adult Language Education and Migration: Challenging agendas in policy and practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Adult Language Education and Migration

Challenging agendas in policy and practice, 1st Edition

Edited by James Simpson, Anne Whiteside


272 pages

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Adult Language Education and Migration: Challenging Agendas in Policy and Practice provides a lively and critical examination of policy and practice in language education for adult migrants around the world, showing how opportunities for learning the language of a new country both shape and are shaped by policy moves. Language policies for migrants are often controversial and hotly contested, but at the same time innovative teaching practices are emerging in response to the language learning needs of today’s mobile populations.

This book:

  • analyses and challenges language education policies relating to adult migrants in nine countries;
  • provides a comparative study with separate chapters on policy and practice in each country;
  • focuses on Australia, Canada, Spain (Catalonia), Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

Adult Language Education and Migration is essential reading for practitioners, students and researchers working in the area of language education in migration contexts.


"Language education for migrants is of critical importance for the promotion of individual life chances and community development. The eighteen substantive chapters in this volume, together with the thoughtful Introduction and Afterword, provide expert accounts of policy dispositions and realities on the ground. This book is a must for anyone interested in language education, language policy and social integration."

Constant Leung, King’s College London, UK

"Adult Language Education and Migration brings together an unprecedented collection of chapters from nine different countries with very unique political and policy backdrops. Readers will find wisdom, optimism, innovation, complexity, and a fresh critical eye among the chapters of this book. Simpson and Whiteside have given us a must-read for educators and researchers working in the dynamic and politically shifting spaces in which adult language learning and migration intersect."

Martha Bigelow, University of Minnesota, USA

Table of Contents


James Simpson and Anne Whiteside

1. Shaping Australian policy for Australian adult migrant English language learning

Howard Nicholas

2. Connecting with community: Helping immigrant low literacy ESL learners in local contexts

Laura Chapman and Alan Williams

3. French language education policy for adult migrants in Québec

Paula Bouffard

4. Justice-oriented citizenship in Canadian ESL classes: The views of experienced teachers

Douglas Fleming

5. Language education for adult migrants in Catalonia: Nation-state ambitions without nation-state resources

Albert Branchadell

6. A multilingual, collaborative and functional approach to nongovernment Catalan classes

Maria Rosa Garrido and Xavier Oliva

7. Integration policies and adult second language learning in Finland

Sari Pöyhönen and Mirja Tarnanen

8. A Capable Parent project - stay-at-home mothers learning Finnish

Minna Intke-Hernandez

9. Language training for adult migrants in France: History, policies and institutions

Hervé Adami

10. Plurilingual literacy practices in a creative writing workshop with adult second language learners

Noëlle Mathis

11. English, everywhere and nowhere: ESOL policies in Ireland

Vera Sheridan

12. Getting to grips with the English language

Sandra Doyle

13. The shifting landscape of Dutch integration policy: From L1 literacy teaching to literacy in Dutch as entrance criterion

Jeanne Kurvers and Massimiliano Spotti

14. ICT-based applications for civic integration in The Netherlands: Policy drivers and limits in practice

Massimiliano Spotti and Jeanne Kurvers

15. English language learning for adult migrants in superdiverse Britain

James Simpson

16. Whose Integration? A participatory ESOL project in the UK

Melanie Cooke, Becky Winstanley, and Dermot Bryers

17. Green Card English: New possibilities and enduring challenges In US immigration reform

Heide Wrigley

18. Educational programming for low-literate adult migrants in the US

Marguerite Lukes and John Lyons


Marilyn Martin-Jones


About the Editors

James Simpson is a senior lecturer in language education at the School of Education, University of Leeds, UK.

Anne Whiteside isa lecturer in a Masters in TESOL program at San Francisco State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General