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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter Mouton May 21, 2021

Exploring ESOL teachers’ perspectives on the language learning experiences, challenges, and motivations of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK

Gloria Chamorro ORCID logo EMAIL logo , María del Carmen Garrido-Hornos ORCID logo and María Vázquez-Amador ORCID logo


The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of ESOL teachers on the language learning experiences, challenges, and motivations that refugees and asylum seekers have when they learn the language of the host country. This information was collected using an online questionnaire, which was completed by 72 teachers from different institutions throughout the UK teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers. The results revealed teachers’ perspectives on the main language learning challenges (e.g. lack of first language literacy) and motivations (e.g. accessing education/jobs) experienced by these learners, as well as the main challenges faced (e.g. lack of equipment) and techniques used (e.g. tailored materials/methods) by our respondents. The present paper presents these findings and any correlations found between the teachers’ responses and their background or their students’ profile, and discusses some implications for language teachers, teacher educators, and policy makers to support refugee students’ language learning more successfully.

Corresponding author: Gloria Chamorro, English Language and Linguistics Department, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Cornwallis Central 129, CT2 7NF, Canterbury, UK, E-mail:


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Received: 2020-10-05
Accepted: 2021-05-06
Published Online: 2021-05-21

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