Teaching English to Refugees

Lord Hylton

Some of this is done by volunteers. More could be done, for example, by mobilising students to teach English.

Our central government is, however, the main provider of this essential service. It is essential because it enables refugees and their families to work or study, to communicate with their neighbours, and to move towards full citizenship. Despite this, government funding was cut by some 60 percent between 2010 and 206.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked in an Oral Question on 6 February for increased resources. Our Government replied that some extra money is available for vulnerable refugees from Syria, and for Muslim women in general.

“Refugee Action” and other voluntary organisations are calling for government investment of 42 million pounds per year to provide at least 8 hours per week of English teaching for refugees in their first two years here.

This is a win-win proposal, and I support it wholeheartedly. It would help the shortage of nurses and other skilled people, and would reduce the need to bring in large numbers of low skilled workers each year.

9 comments for “Teaching English to Refugees

  1. maude elwes
    08/02/2018 at 12:02 pm

    Democracy is debate. Debate is a question of alternative views.

    First question is, what is a refugee? Why are they refugees? How did refugees get into the UK? What made them decide the UK was the place to seek asylum? How did they manage to convey their request for asylum without first speaking the language of this country? Why did they not seek asylum in a country closer to home? Why are they not staying home or close to home in order to fight for their human rights and the human rights of ‘their’ kin? How will their country of origin ever be made safe for its people unless those who are born there are willing and want to turn it around to a civilisation they aspire to live in? Are UK policies hindering the advancement of the developing world by taking in those with any semblance of wit?

    Next: Is the UK suffering from severe austerity policies because its citizens tax money was taken to bail out the wealthy of the world, when their bets fell foul because of hysterical greed? Have the same indigenous British citizens suffered gross loss of life standard resulting in the ensuing mass starvation? Which created a need for charity food banks that are going unfunded? Are the citizens of the UK seeing more homelessness on a daily basis, a result of dire poverty, due, in great part, to the influx of millions who are ‘refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants’ taken, by force, from the rest of the worlds unproductive dwellers? Thereby adding to those already in need of care here? Was this policy of open door ‘New World Order’ not put in place directly by this countries politicians without first asking its citizens, or, informing those same citizens of this plan at consecutive general elections?

    Why are the politicians, collectively, along with the famously rich, behind this NWO, not funding this language teaching of the poor out of their own pockets?

    Lets take that one step further. Why are the very wealthy, who are the beneficiaries of cheap labour, imported in this way, along with the corporations and multi nationals, not totally funding the cost of this labour entering our country themselves? It is adding to the rise of poverty wages at a rate kept hidden from the voter. A fund must be set up by them, both corporate and personal, to ship these people to Europe, the UK and so on, in order to fully support them out of their own wealth, in all their housing and feeding needs. Add their clothing, health, education, all prior to their usefulness to them. In other words, Privatisation of Immigration, not subsidised by the tax payer on any level. And after they are completely educated, able to speak the language and so on, that these corporations will have funded, out of their private pockets, put them to work. Then along with their ability to pay into the tax requirements of the State, set aside an amount of their earnings to pay back said corporations and wealthy, out of their own wage. In other word, full privatisation of mass movement of people, taken on by those who privately benefit from it. Those, who decided on the policy must be responsible for the upkeep of all the citizens of the world they ship around. The ignorant tax payer of each country has no obligation to feed the slave trade you appear to support by this suggestion. They have never been consulted.

    The citizen of this country does, however, have an obligation the feed the starving right here, to offer NHS facilities to those who have paid for it, right here, both directly and indirectly, whilst they are natives of ‘British’ soil. We must educate our children first, house those children and their families, as well as see they live in a lawful society based on the values of the ‘British’ people. Which evolved throughout our societies expectations, via fight and endurance, not fleeing and abandoning.

    And to add a snippet of what we are being asked to swallow today, what about the omission of the voting rights of men? Those wonderful decades of fight for women to vote, taken on by our brave ladies? In our history, working men did not get the vote until 100 years ago either. So, it wasn’t only British ‘women’ who fought for Democracy, as wonderful and sacrificial as they were. It was the working class man beside them that made it possible for them to do so. They must not be forgotten either. We do not live and do not want to live in a third world type of matriarchal society, with emasculated males unable to take responsibility and care for the women and children they love.


    • 17/02/2018 at 9:35 pm

      We English have a Great Human Duty now, our language being the Worldwide-Medium;
      and our Minds behind it needing to be clear and honest.

      Whilst clear-thinking Historians have long told us that
      (“) the world has yet to see a true and functional
      “people-sovereign cooperativery participatory democracy” –
      “- the best we have is a Three-Party-State oligarchy – (e.g. Tory, Labour, Liberal)
      being overarched by a covert micro-elite –
      of super-wealthy power-domineering but sustainworthy-governance-incompetent,
      selfishly super luxury-living, one-way-top-down-Directors & Auto-Oligarcrats.
      maude elwes – please
      “debate” – especially any level of “political” – can never be “democratic” nor even discussive
      [“discussion” being the essential facts-&-factors in cooperatively-constructive
      and comprehensively groundworked preparation
      for Problem-Solving, Conflict Resolving, Decision-Making, and/or Debating ] –
      Win-Lose Debating is by definition and process such that there has to be one absolute winning-side
      and the other side has to thereujpon become the absolute-loser
      – such that the real-needs of the loser “cease-to-exist” – it is the winner who takes all —->

      and that is anything BUT “democratic”,
      certainlyit is not
      “All of The Peoples’ Needs-Recognising and Affordably Planning to be Met”.
      The other unfortunate fallacy – or ‘fake-information’ – in your overall deliberation
      is the attitude towards the “refugee situation” –
      wherein the Fact is that whilst this UK “loaned” large amounts of finance to 3rd and 4th world countries,
      UK’s banks have been collecting heavy interest payments from those poor-countries –
      in an on-going amount 8 or 9 times greater than the annual “foreign-aid” money we “donate” to them –
      and in a total cumulative amount so far, far greater than the original capital-amount loaned to them !
      Add to that the other “bottom-line world-account fact”
      that UK is second only to the USA [which consumes 900% more than their fair share] 
      in consuming 500% more than our fair share of the World’s resources and the Earth’s Lifesupports
      [European-Countries as a whole consume “only” some 400% more than their fair share].
      {see David Attenborough’s hosting of
      “How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth”
      and Prof Hickel of the London School of Economics 2017 non-fiction report “The Divide” }.
      Without ourselves first becoming both clear and reasoningly-honest with and in our English language, 
       we need to all “forget” about criticising – nay “blaming” – “refugees, immigrants, foreigners”,
      and to also at least “politely” desist
      from blindly and bigotedly requiring them
      to assimilate to ‘our values’ and to  ‘Our-English/British Way-of-Life’.

    • Lord Hylton
      Lord Hylton
      13/03/2018 at 11:38 am

      Thanks for your comment. I think there are two kinds of refugees. Some flee political persecutions, eg for daring to criticize dictatorial governments. Others flee war and the total destruction of themselves and their families.

      I have seen destruction of whole neighbourhoods in Aleppo and Homs in Syria. Mosul and Ramadi in Iraq are similar, as were Vukovar and Osijek in Croatia.

      Our government should fund English teaching for people already here, so that they become employable and good neighbours and citizens.

      At home, cuts and welfare reform have borne most heavily on those less able to pay, hence the need for food banks etc.

  2. 08/02/2018 at 4:44 pm

    You have there a huge
    and dangerously militantly-confrontational Issue,
    Lord Hylton,
    not least
    because there is,
    a hugely-complex
    but absolutely-essential Task
    still awaiting
    both Your* and ‘The Participatory World’s”‘
    Method lll ‘No-Lose’ Cooperative Problem Solving
    ‘win-win-win’ Proactive and Constitutional
    Resolution and Cooperative Peace-Building.
    1. Clean, Clarify, Simplify, and Bring-Up-To-Date
    all argumentational and educational English vocabulary and terminological-usage.
    1a, Expose the concealed real existential-sense and meaning of English words and terminology –
    1b starting perhaps with the current
    “non-sequitural/red-herring/enthymemal/ conflational abuse”
    of the Human Mind – English or Foreign –
    under such “common and politically-correct” spin-doctorings as

    when the case is “disinformation”, “rumour”, “smart sales-talk” et nauseam;

    “ethnic-cleansing”/ “in the National Interest”
    when the case is “criminal-persecution, deprivation, and genocide”,

    “friendly-fire” / “collateral-damage”
    when the case is “accidentally or neglectfully ‘shot-in-back-by-own-troops’ “.
    * ‘Your’ = responsible and empowered English Language peer colleagues, “academic-bodies” and “stewards-at-large”.
    ** “myth” see also Robert Graves’s “The Greek Myths Vol 1 for a 12-point distinction of what is and what is NOT “myth”
    We also need to fully shoulder our Duty
    to “Life, as well as to both God and Man”
    to make and maintain the English Language
    “absolutely fit-for-this Earth’s and All-of-Humankind’s upon it
    Longest-Term-Future-Planning-and-Practical-Know-How Needs”

    Peace. JSDM..

  3. 18/02/2018 at 11:29 pm

    Education, at whatever age, has the Dual-Definitive-Task
    (1) “leading people into learning, both mind-functionally and body-practically, the already consciously-known Needs and Hows of Existence and of Life-Thrival-Survival ;
    and of
    (2) both the Unknown and [vitally] the “Hidden”, “Covert”, “Slippery-to-grasp”.

    and as instantially aforesaid –
    (i) the essential differences between Lifeplace-Education and Workplace Training
    (ii) similarly but more “entangledly” = ‘seeing’ our Civilisation to be like a pond of water, with a pail of milk stood in an edge-side pool to keep it cool : –

    the “cream” rises to the top –

    but so also in the wider pond does the “scum”;

    and whilst in the productively-operative disciplined, yet and very-limited-“Powers”, Learning-Faculties civilisation-wide
    for either Education or Training
    there is much “cream” ,

    alas! in the governance of the wider “People-Pond” there is much “scum” riding
    and ‘sealing’ the surface.

    (iii) a specific ‘outcome’ then becomes:
    “sine qua non” still we need to daily both re-appreciate [“size-up”] the several timeline-able Futures, and be re-evaluating the Past and the Present for the “continuously-continual” necessity of “prioritising the (and “our”) carry-forwardables”.

    There (again) we have well-published guidances, which ‘desperately’ need to be embodied in our Constitutions –
    (a) the ‘No-Lose’ Method III of Needs-&-Hows-Recognition and Cooperative Problem Solving;
    (b) the “Perceptual Self-Control Educational Practique along with the “Mindset” practique [spokespersons respectively Professors W. Powers and C.Dweck]
    (c) “You Body – biofeedback at its best without instruments, machinery and artificiality” [B. Jencks].

    and the list needs to be furthered, and delivered effectively “learn-worthy” too, remembering that as soon as a Body achieves “non-negotiabilityt” it is tantamount to declaring itself “perfect” – and therewith “not needing to learn anything further” … …

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