ESOL cuts activities

Table of Contents
 Table of Contents                                                                                                                                  
 
.................................................................................................................................
   
 1
 Read the letter and answer the questions                                                                                           
 
..........................................................................................
   
 2
 Questions about the Letter                                                                                                                 
 
................................................................................................................
   
 3
 Student Testimony 1                                                                                                                          
 
.........................................................................................................................
   
 6
 Student Testimony 2                                                                                                                          
 
.........................................................................................................................
   
 7
 Let me tell you about myself                                                                                                             
 
............................................................................................................
   
 8
 ESOL Cuts Survey                                                                                                                          
 
.........................................................................................................................
    
 11

George Osborne, Conservative politician and
Chancellor of the Exchequer.
http://www.georgeosborne4tatton.com/
Members of the public can write to the
Chancellor via HM Treasury.
This can be done by emailing public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk,
telephoning 020 7270 4558 or writing to: The
Correspondence & Enquiry Unit, HM Treasury, 1
Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.

1

Read the letter and answer the questions
Dear students,
This is a letter from your teachers. We are writing to share with you
our concern about the education cuts planned by this government.
On Thursday 9th December 2010, the government took a vote to
increase university tuition fees. This is only the beginning. The
education cuts will affect everybody all over the country. Students
will lose their places and teachers will lose their jobs.
The government has already said it will stop the EMA, which helped
635,000 students to stay in education last year.
Adult education and ESOL are also being attacked. If you are not on
'active benefits', for example Job Seeker's Allowance or the new
Employment Support Allowance, you will have to pay full fees for
your course. This will discriminate against women who depend on
their husband's benefits.
Many courses will close.
We believe that we can still change the government's mind. This is
not a strong government. Anything you can do to show your protest
against these cuts will help. Take a class survey to find out how
many people will suffer from the cuts. Write a testimony about how
you will be affected. Both of these can be sent to the government.
Write your testimony on a computer so it can be emailed.
Thank you very much for reading this letter.
Best wishes

2

Questions about the Letter

1. Who wrote this letter?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
2. What is it about?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
3. Why did teachers write this letter?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
4. What do the teachers worry will happen to ESOL students now?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
5. Who will have to pay full fees for their ESOL course?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
6. Will you have to pay full fees?

…………………………………………………………………………………………
3

………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
7. Why do the teachers say this is unfair?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………

8. Can you find any figures in this letter?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
9. Can you find any opinions?
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
10. Can you find any facts?

…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
4

………………………………………

5

Student Testimony 1

Let me tell you about myself.
My name is Amal. I am a student at Tower Hamlets College. I am a
mother of two children. I come from Somalia.
Twenty years ago my country started civil war. I didn’t have any
opportunities. Now I have opportunities to study.
I want to speak English properly. I struggle to make ends meet.
Sometimes when I go shopping, I can’t afford the bus fare to take
me home, and I carry the shopping by hand. It’s painful because it’s
so heavy and at night time when I sleep I feel pain in my arms.
In the wintertime you need a jacket and you can’t afford it. The kids
need a jacket and boots, winter clothes. You need to pay the bills
because the benefit is not enough. I live on £148 a week. With that I
have to pay the bills, buy food and clothes, bus fares, toys for kids,
shoes for the kids.
When they cut this benefit, how can I survive? Every three months I
go to interview and they say ‘Do you want a job?’ I apply for jobs,
and I fail the interview because I can’t speak English properly. Every
time they ask me ‘Do you have any qualifications? How can you
work because you don’t have any qualifications.’ That’s why I failed.
Every job I go they want some qualifications.
George Osborne will never understand my life. He is a rich man. He
is very happy.

6

Student Testimony 2
My name is Roushon. I am studying at Tower Hamlets College. I am a
mother of three children. I am from Bangladesh. I have been in London
for 20 years. I have not had an opportunity to study (until recently). I got
married away when I was 18. I did not have an opportunity to study when
I came to London.
I want to speak English fluently. I find it difficult to mix/communicate with
people from other countries. When I get phone calls, I can’t express
myself, I can’t explain what the problems are. I face any more problems
like this every day. My husband works but he gets very little money. I
find it very difficult just to make ends meet. It is a struggle to pay the
bills in winter, to buy warm clothes and so on.
If we lose our benefit, how can we survive? I won’t be able to work
because I don’t have any skills. Can you get a job if you don’t have any
skills? I went for a job interview last year. But after the interview they
said my English wasn’t good enough. They advised me to improve me
English. I did not get the job. My husband gets very little money. How
can I study if I have to pay for it? And if I can’t improve my English, how
can I get a job?
George Osborne is a happy man. He will not be able to feel/understand
our problems. He has never faced such problems. People who have never
been in poverty are not able to feel the burden of poverty. They will not
even try!! George Osborne does not have to worry about winter bills or
winter clothes. He has a lot of money in his bank and that’s why he is not
able to understand our problems.
If we can learn something, we will be able to teach our children. Mothers
are the first teachers. People say “Give me an educated mother, I will
give you an educated nation.” Without education, you can’t improve the
quality of life.
We don’t want our children to miss out on that opportunity. We have to
take care of our children. I hope all the parents who have been in a
similar situation will agree with me.
The standard of education in Tower Hamlets has improved. This is
because the parents are now much more aware. And our ESOL classes
have contributed a lot to this awareness. I myself have benefited a lot
from attending ESOL classes. I have been able to help my children and
they have been studying regularly at home. All these new cuts will
deprive them of this opportunity and they will surely lose interest. How
7

can we have an educated nation then? We will just sit at home and worry
about the future. We will not have anything positive to do.
What shall we do? Why are the politicians doing this? What good will it
bring? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think this will bring good
results.
Thank you.
Roushon Choudhury
Let me tell you about myself
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

8

__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

9

__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

10

ESOL Cuts Survey

Do you get JSA?
Can you pay the full course fees next year? 
Will you come back to college next year?
How will this affect you?

Can I take your name?
                                                               Male / Female
Do you get JSA?
Can you pay the full course fees next year? 
Will you come back to college next year?
How will this affect you?

Can I take your name?
                                                               Male / Female
11

12