ESOL Programmes 

 for Refugees & those Seeking Asylum

Consultancy & Training

Training Consultant: Sharon Baker

Sharon has been teaching - and designing full courses for teaching - English, French and Spanish as additional languages since 2007. She has been teaching English to resettled refugees and asylum seekers since 2015 and, since 2017, she has been coordinating a very successful multi-learner and multi-tutor ESOL Programme for an organisation welcoming and supporting resettled families through the UK Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme

A video interview with RESET (the UK’s Community Sponsorship learning hub for supporting refugees), about the ESOL programme she set up and coordinates, is available on RESET’s TOOLKIT website. And an interview in which Sharon talks about the ESOL programme to the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) is available here.  

Sharon recently designed a full four level (Pre-Entry to Entry 3) ESOL programme / ESOL Toolkit for Sandwell Consortium, which is free to be accessed by anyone teaching ESOL. Sharon has also been training Hosts on how to support their Ukrainian Guests with learning English, including the lived experience of refugees, the implications of this on learning and teaching, and signposting to the most suitable ESOL resources available.

Qualifications and Background

Sharon’s qualifications include Master of Education in Applied Linguistics (awarded with Distinction in 2016); BA(Hons) English & French Language Studies; Diploma in English for International Communication (Spanish); CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults). Her Applied Linguistics research was from a Critical Theory perspective with a focus on Special Educational Needs and Disability.


Sharon teaches languages to adults and children of all levels, including students with SEND, and for qualifications including MFL GCSEs and A Levels, IELTS, DELE & DELF. She tutors PhD students in English for Academic Purposes and English for Employment Purposes. She also specialises in tutoring KS3 and GCSE English Language and Literature students with EAL. You can read many testimonials here

Fluent in French and Spanish, Sharon also has intermediate level Italian and reads Portuguese. She does some translation work (French-English, Spanish-English) and was previously National Development Officer and the Volunteer Coordinator & Trainer of an organisation supporting disabled people and their families.

Adult Students
Training and Consultancy Services

Sharon designs full ESOL courses at all levels and she trains ESOL tutors. She also provides consultancy and training services to organisations and groups wanting to set up ESOL programmes for the refugees and asylum seekers they are supporting. 

ESOL bespoke training workshop topics can include:


  • Creating Full Courses - Schemes of work, with core materials and supplementary resources

  • Tutor role and boundaries

  • One-to-one v. class teaching

  • Lived experience of refugees

  • Trauma / mental health & well-being - refugees

  • Vicarious trauma / self-care - tutor

  • Power dynamics / implicit bias

  • Sensitive EFL/ESL syllabus topics

  • Dealing with ‘difficult situations’

  • Barriers to learning

  • SEN & Disability awareness

  • Useful resources for preparing to teach

  • Useful ESOL teaching resources

  • Tutor CPD: useful courses / resources

  • Maintaining learner confidentiality whilst creating a cohesive programme

  • Valuing home languages / promoting bilingualism

  • Child language brokering - dynamics / complexity

Image by Katie Moum
RESET - Welcome a refugee family into your neighbourhood

 What is Community Sponsorship?
"More than 29 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes and countries because of war or persecution. Community Sponsorship gives you the opportunity to welcome a refugee family into your neighbourhood and support them as they restart their lives, here in the UK."

IRiS - Refugee Resettlement Toolkit

Institute for Research into Superdiversity

"To support the refugee resettlement process, IRiS has developed a toolkit and range of resources to inform and assist local authorities and practitioners working with refugees."

Refugee Council - Get Support

Championing the rights of refugees
"We stand up for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum – exploring the issues that affect them, informing the public, and working for fairer government policy." Advice for new refugees

UN - Universal Declaration of Human Rights

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Image by Katie Moum