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RETAS Leeds looking for part time ESOL teacher – exciting opportunity!

RETAS (Refugee Education Training and Advice Service) are looking to recruit an enthusiastic ESOL teacher to help run a pilot programme working with asylum seekers in Leeds. Teaching will take place at a hotel housing asylum seekers. For more details, please see the following “Pilot Programme for Asylum Seekers” document. However, please note that the programme is not fixed at 6 weeks and times and duration are negotiable. If you are interested or would like any further information, please contact Sophia Ulhaq at

Welcome to Leeds
Course Title: English for Asylum Seekers

Project Overview
The Welcome to Leeds Project is a RETAS initiative designed to help newly arrived asylum seekers and
refugees to settle into the UK. The project includes delivering enrichment activities, orientation and
social events. RETAS now has an exciting opportunity to deliver a Welcome to Leeds English Language
programme to Asylum Seekers in Leeds.

Asylum Seeker Needs
Whilst awaiting to hear of the progress of their applications, Asylum Seekers are housed by the
government in different parts of the country. During this time, they are settling into a new culture,
climate and language with little financial support and restricted access to mainstream activity
including welfare, education and employment. The waiting, isolation, confinement, and uncertainty
can lead to mental health issues. The Welcome to Leeds Project offers an early, friendly and positive
pathway to integration for asylum seekers and attempts to provide relief to this situation by arranging
enrichment and social activities that can contribute to making Leeds a welcoming city and achieve
effective integration.
Covid-19 and lockdown measures have made situation worse for asylum seekers in terms of access to
vital support and social participation especially those accommodated in hotels often located in the
outskirts of the city. Hence, for the first time, due to a high demand, and the fact that asylum seekers
are unable to pay for their travel expenses to come to RETAS classrooms, we are resolved to deliver
on-site English Language classes in some of the asylum accommodations to help ease the transition
to the UK for a specific group of asylum seekers currently staying in temporary asylum
accommodations in Leeds.

Programme Vision
The English for Asylum Seekers Programme is atypical of traditional ESOL classes as it incorporates a
more holistic approach to language learning. The programme objectives are to provide mental
stimulation, language learning and social activities embedded in a series of six stand-alone sessions.
As such, a sole focus on producing structured/classroom-based language is secondary and instead the
focus is on providing practice with fluency, boosting confidence, and providing social enrichment
through communicative and experiential language learning activities.

The Site and Covid-19 Safety
Sessions will take place at a hotel where the learners are staying, in a large events room. There are
tables, chairs, a flipchart board and a projector available. For Covid-19 Safety, a maximum of 24
learners, 6 volunteers and 1 teacher are permitted in the room. Teachers and volunteers will need to
sign in and out of the premises and submit to a temperature check. Hand sanitisers are available at
the entrance and masks/face shields are expected to be worn.

RETAS Volunteer Support
Volunteers are not expected to act as interpreters unless absolutely necessary. This is to ensure that
the focus remains on speaking English. Volunteers will be able to provide support in English for learner
groups, individual learners and lower-level learners to ensure everyone is able to follow and engage
in the sessions and to help teachers manage the group. If, under the Welcome to Leeds project,
interpreting or other support needs are required, volunteers or asylum seekers can communicate with
the Project Coordinator.

The Learner “Group”
The hotel currently houses 117 asylum seekers and we anticipate a number of them will be interested
in attending English Language classes. In order to accommodate as many learners as possible, whilst
also maintaining educational quality and Covid-19 safety, class sizes are capped at 24 per session.
However, to ensure as many individuals as possible get access to some language learning, there are
no fixed groups and sessions will be run on a first come, first-served basis. Therefore, sessions are
expected to be stand-alone as groups may change slightly from week to week.

Full document including suggested program content and barriers to learning

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