Latest news

Feedback opportunity for volunteers providing language support to refugees
Family Learning and Creativity Events
New Citizen Maths course

Council of Europe’s toolkit for volunteers providing language support to refugees – feedback opportunity

Are you, or do you know, a volunteer providing language support to refugees? If so, would you/they be interested in giving short feedback on 10 resources in the Council of Europe’s new toolkit for volunteers currently in preparation?

WELCOME_TO_THE_UK_WORKSHOP_539aThe toolkit has been designed for volunteers offering language support to refugees (including asylum seekers) across Europe. Now in its piloting stage, the toolkit includes a wide range of guidance, resources and activities which will be ultimately made available online in 7 languages.  We are looking for volunteers who have recently or are currently supporting refugees in the UK or in other European countries to provide brief feedback on 10 tools in the toolkit’s guidance section, fill in a short feedback form and return it to us by 31st March 2017.

If you, or the volunteer you know, are/is interested, please email Sarah Sheldon on with a little information on where you/they are volunteering and who you/they are supporting. You will then be sent a link to the 10 tools we need feedback on as well as to a short questionnaire and (for information) to other tools/resources in the toolkit. The completed questionnaire should be uploaded online. If you know someone, or an organisation, that might be interested please do pass on this information.

For more information about the Council of Europe’s Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants Programme (LIAM), please see

Family Learning and Creativity Events

Half term creativity sessions run by Learning Unlimited gave youngsters of all ages and their parents and carers shared opportunities to design, create and draw together. Activities ranged from attempts for the very youngest to control drawing implements through scribbling and stencils – good hand control practice for writing skills – to more advanced drawing development using proportion, shading, linear and image making techniques.

Interestingly, the range of imagery used by many children, when left freely to create their own ideas indicates a traditional use of hearts as shapes related to the family and ‘love’, to commercial iconography, cartoons and manga themes used in pop imagery for teenagers.

It’s always great fun to take things home with you, especially to hang on the wall and the obvious delight of the children after a 2-hour session concentrating on drawings and then decorative frame making –  no phones in sight – proves how valuable those spaces are for family learning to take place.

“It was really fun, spent time drawing, glueing and colouring with my children Thank you!” 
fl2“I learnt how all the children (and adults) have different sensibilities and unique talents.”   fl3“I feel very excellent it is amamazing (sic) it is the best workshop ever thank you so much”   “Wonderful! I learnt how to make a frame.” 
fl4“My sons really enjoyed creating their own frames. ownership of what they made from start to finish.” 

Citizen Maths

The free online NVQ Level 2 course Citizen Maths launched in February 2017. The course received development funding from the Ufi Charitable Trust and was developed by Calderdale College, with the UCL Institute of EducationOCR, and with advice from the Google Course Builder team. Learning Unlimited’s Graham Griffiths contributed to the development as part of the UCL team. More than 9000 people had signed up to Citizen Maths during its development and now Calderdale College will continue to support the resource with funding from the Education and Training Foundation.

Citizen Maths uses practical problems to help people grasp and put into practice five key “powerful ideas” in maths.  The five ideas are:

  • Proportion
  • Uncertainty
  • Representation
  • Pattern
  • Measurement

Each takes between five and 10 hours to complete; learners can work at their own pace, spreading this over several weeks or working more intensely over a shorter period. The course has been designed to give you the feeling that you are in a one-to-one tutorial with a helpful and skilled teacher. It does this using short video lessons — many learners really like these. It also uses demos and online apps to help you try ideas out. There’s even a bit of programming in Scratch, a widely used educational programming language.

2016 European Social Innovation Competition semi-finalists

Learning Unlimited hasLU shortlisted for the European Social Innovation competition been selected as one of 30 semi-finalists in the 2016 European Social Innovation Competition, out of 1095 entries. The competition looks for creative approaches that harness the potential of refugees and migrants, enabling them to contribute to the social, economic, cultural and political life of their host countries and our proposal – Refugee & Migrant Integration Training – is very much a part of this ethos. The LU team is already looking forward to going to Berlin to participate in the social innovation academy and receiving mentoring support to help progress our ideas and we’ll be sure to let you know the results when they’re announced in October.

More information about the competition and the other semi-finalists can be found here.

 2016 ELTON Award Winners!E489-Eltons-2016-WINNER-Web-Banners-BLUE-FINAL_4

We’re delighted to announce that the Literacy for Active Citizenship ESOL readers  were declared winners in the Innovation in Learner Resources category of the 2016 ELTon awards, at a ceremony in London on 2nd June.

Many thanks to all the writers and illustrators for their brilliant work, and also to the ACE project learners, befrienders, and teachers who helped with the development of the readers. Congatulations too, to all of the other winners and nominees. Click here for a full list.

Foufou Savitzky (author of On the Bus + Priority Seats) and Lee Yoon Teng (author of No More Cake! + What's Wrong With Me?)
Foufou Savitzky (author of On the Bus + Priority Seats) and Lee Yoon Teng (author of No More Cake! + What’s Wrong With Me?)

The ceremony was livestreamed on the night and you can catch up on the whole event at the ELTons website via this link here – our category can be found if you fast-forward to 1:20:30 and watch from there.

The ELTons, sponsored by Cambridge English, are the only international awards that recognise and celebrate innovation in English language teaching (ELT). They reward educational resources that help English language learners and teachers to achieve their goals.

See more photographs from the evening here.