The project “European Speakers of Other Languages: Teaching Adult Immigrants and Training their Teachers” has from 2010 to now been tackling, at an international level, the improvement of the educational outcomes for non-/low-educated migrants. The current project (“EU-Speak 3”) is the culmination of efforts to test the effectiveness of on-line teacher training and development. Research dating back decades indicates that while theirs is a double burden, they have the potential to learn to read for the first time as adults and to acquire to a high level linguistic competence in their new language. The relevant findings relate to route of development where, regardless of age or education, route is sufficiently similar for linguistic competence (Hawkins 2001) and for first-time literacy (Kurvers 2002) to reject fundamental differences between the literate and non-literate. More than any other set of findings on migrant adults' language and literacy, these compel us to critically consider the effectiveness of techniques and materials used in basic language and literacy teaching and to review what teachers know about their learners. I discuss the theoretical basis of three European projects on materials for low-educated L2 adult beginners (phonics software, in Dutch, English, Finnish, German; short fiction books in English, Spanish) and on international, on-line raining/development to provide their teachers with deep knowledge of core aspects of language and literacy development (in English, Finnish, German, Spanish, Turkish).
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