A community-based public engagement with health experiment: Using English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes to empower immigrant communities with science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Indira Mclean
  • Marianne Rushton
  • Rosie Griffiths
  • Maria Giovanna Lizio
  • Emily Dawson


Our previous work with immigrant communities identified a lack of awareness of infections such as gut worm (helminth) infections in their countries of origin, and a lack of English language skills around medical and scientific terms. Furthermore, people from minority ethnic and linguistic backgrounds participate significantly less in public engagement with science practices or informal science learning activities. We suggest this may be due in part to their lack of language skills around scientific English. To start to address these issues of scientific language accessibility, we developed a bespoke set of English lessons that dealt with the theme of infection. A set of six lessons were delivered to adult learners from a variety of ethnic backgrounds in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes. Feedback from students was positive, with students taking the opportunity to share their new knowledge with teachers, other students and their families. All students reported that they felt this would be invaluable to them in their everyday lives. We propose that developing programmes of this nature represents a potentially fruitful avenue for more-accessible public engagement with research and health education practices.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalResearch for All
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018