Birmingham is an extremely diverse city with more than 108 languages spoken in its schools. As a city of Sanctuary, the third largest city in the UK welcomes people from all over the world.
Migrants in Birmingham will soon be able to access a wealth of information through an interactive and dynamic website called the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) Hub. This highly responsive website will provide information on English as a second language courses delivered by informal and formal providers; life in Birmingham including links to Birmingham City Council services; a directory of other support services relating to advocacy, mental health awareness, domestic abuse, services for children, employment opportunities and access to leisure activities.
Accessibility of information is a key element of the ESOL Hub and with this in mind translation and learning tools will be integral to the design. Users will be supported with written and spoken translation tools to support them as they navigate their way through the information. The aim of the website is to consolidate information about English language learning and citizenship and to make it easy for migrants to learn and live in the West Midlands region.
As part of the ESOL Hub, the ICT solutions in easyRights will enable migrants to easily understand and access the services that they are entitled to. In addition, AI programmes will provide tailored language learning support through targeted activities to develop awareness and understanding of vocabulary, pronunciation of high frequency vocabulary and written exercises to consolidate learning. This unique feature enhances communication, supports learning and provides essential information regarding citizenship.
The ESOL Hub is currently under development and should be available for testing by 01 November 2021.