ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland

Background PHOTO: ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland Conference.

In Scotland we have a long history of inward migration. We are proud of our capacity to welcome new Scots, whether they are refugees, asylum seekers, or economic migrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families. At this time Scotland’s demographic pattern differs from the UK as a whole. The falling birth rate underpins the Scottish Government’s Fresh Talent initiative. It is thus important, at this time, that we welcome newcomers and support their integration.

PHOTO: ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland Conference.

Integration is perhaps most fully signalled by a desire to become a UK citizen – a New Scot. For our aspirant new Scots, it is now necessary to demonstrate competence in the English language (ESOL skills) and knowledge of life in the United Kingdom as a prerequisite for citizenship. For those whose ESOL skills fall below Intermediate level, evidence of both language competence and life in the UK can be demonstrated by taking an ESOL course + Citizenship course which is accredited by SQA. To support ESOL + Citizenship courses, NIACE (National Institute For Adult and Continuing Education) and LLU+ (at London South Bank University) have produced a pack of learning and teaching materials which combines ESOL teaching with Citizenship content. This pack should be used as a basis for ESOL + Citizenship courses throughout the UK.

Within the UK, Scotland has a unique and strong cultural identity, and a distinctive approach to education. In recognition of this, the Home Office provided resources for SQA to adapt the NIACE pack for Scotland. The result – Citizenship Materials for ESOL Learners in Scotland – was then piloted in five SQA centres in Scotland, from January until June 2006.

The pilot centres were:

  • Anniesland College, Glasgow
  • Dundee College 
  • Inverness Workers’ Educational Association
  • Langside College, Glasgow
  • Stevenson College, Edinburgh

PHOTO: ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland Conference.In addition to piloting and evaluating the Scottish pack, the pilot centres produced excellent additional learning and teaching resources. These additional materials are now available on this website, for ESOL teachers across the UK to use. We have made the worksheets available in Word format so that practitioners can modify and adapt for specific local circumstances where necessary. We hope you and your learners will enjoy using the worksheets. Please follow the link below to the table of contents:



SQA wishes to thank the Home Office for providing initial funding for the ESOL + Citizenship in Scotland project. SFEU provided generous funding for our dissemination conference. And above all, we wish to thank the ESOL practitioners who created these worksheets.

From Anniesland were: Gillian Bell, Francesca di Mambro, Liz Kay.

From Dundee College: Berenice Hunter, Jenny MacLeod, Liz Turner, Sue Hain and Alec Edwards.

From CbESOL and EWT, Stevenson College, Edinburgh: Margaret Morgan, Helen Shields, Nicky Palmer, David Maule, Jill Murray and Caroline Battes.

From Langside College: Jane Weir, Susan Spence, Fiona MacGregor and Sophie Carozzi.

From WEA teachers: Iain Davidson, Sheila Mitchell, Joanne Patterson and Gillian Scott.

PHOTO: ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland Conference.