There are 750 million adults worldwide with little formal schooling and limited literacy. Some migrate to highly literate societies and need to gain oral and literacy skills in a new language. While research shows that they have the potential to do so, this depends on support by teachers and tutors, many of whom are part-time or unpaid volunteers, without relevant knowledge and skills. Lack of teachers and tutors with the needed training and continued professional development creates a disadvantage for these migrant adults.
Everyone has the right to free, basic education (Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26). These immigrants are adults who are past the age of compulsory schooling. In some countries, the only classes are taught by volunteers. In many countries, educational policy ignores them. In most countries teachers are not trained to meet their specific and complex needs.
Decades of research worldwide show adults can reach high levels of oral proficiency and they can learn to read for the first time in a second language. EU-Speak believes that the key to unlocking their potential is evidence-based and enlightened teaching.
The project developed a suite of international ‘modules’ (courses) which present cutting-edge research findings, innovative pedagogical approaches and creative techniques in six different on-line modules currently available in five languages – English, Finnish, German, Spanish and Turkish - representing a range of countries in which these immigrants resettle. The modules are a unique opportunity for those who work with beginning-level adult immigrants to exchange ideas with those in similar situations around the world.