Economic Experiences (Language)

Whilst the respondents were not a representative sample, it was of interest that relatively few of them had made use of ESOL classes, and most of those who did had self-reported as seeking improvement rather than the basics. Both SSAMIS research and EHRC/GREC research indicates that access to classes can be problematic in terms of timing and childcare requirements. There were also specific concerns about decisions to remove the provision of beginner classes in Fraserburgh.

The elements that participants found most effective in helping improve their English included conversations at work or study; English language classes; conversations at home; watching/listening to programmes or reading media; and opportunities to volunteer in charity shops to practice English in a workplace setting. Individual case studies indicated that a gap in cultural understanding and expectations could also be problematic, for example misunderstanding which job requirements were essential, planning for a career path that does not exist in Scotland, etc. Along similar lines, some survey respondents self-reported as having very good English skills, then displayed errors in their written answers.