“You are contagious”: Paper by Dr Anne Smith

Dr Anne Smith as published a new Open Access article in the Scenario journal, entitled “You are contagious”: The Role of the Facilitator in Fostering Self-Efficacy in Learners.

The article identifies kinaesthetic approaches to facilitating a learner in role, which help to lower the affective filter, and support learner progression in a mixed ability group. It examines the role the body plays in accelerating the creation of a supportive group dynamic, and where it can support and interfere with the likelihood of applying the language and confidence developed in real life.

“They have become my family”: Paper by Dr Anne Smith

Dr Anne Smith has published an OpenAccess article in the ArtsPraxis journal, entitled “They have become my family”: Reciprocity and responsiveness in a volunteer-led program for refugees and migrants.

Creative English is an applied theatre program that supports English language learning for adult refugees and migrants in the UK. The program is shaped by an ethic  of care, focused on responsiveness, reciprocal relationships and empowering individuals to take action. This article identifies challenges and opportunities highlighted by the rapid expansion of a project governed by these values and delivered by volunteers.

Balancing creative and functional language needs: Paper by Dr Anne Smith

Dr. Anne Smith has published an Open Access article in the latest issue of the SCENARIO journal of language, culture, and literature.

This article argues that play and creativity are cornerstones of a person-centred approach to adult second language education. However, when learners are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants already living in the country where the language is spoken, it is important that language learning also addresses their functional needs. Creative English is an applied theatre programme for adults in the UK that balances these functional and creative needs while developing confidence in English language communication skills. Drawing on participant-led, practice-based research which resulted in the development of Creative English, this article purports the benefits of an approach that combines playful emotional engagement with pragmatic subject matter. Creative English is based on improvisation. It reduces inhibitions and creates a state highly conducive to learning and taking the risk to communicate in a second language. It also offers the opportunity to rehearse language in everyday life situations. When learners’ perceived needs are met, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can then be inverted, as creativity allows opportunity to address needs in terms of self-esteem and belonging.

Research and Practice in Adult Literacies: Paper by Dr. Anne Smith

Subscribers to the journal RaPAL (Research and Practice in Adult Literacies) can read about Anne’s journey to develop Creative English in her article, ‘‘Laugh your way to confident English’: A volunteer-led approach to meeting the needs of migrants’ in their summer edition.  The article describes the impact of learning through fun and laughter for participants and volunteers, helping learners build their confidence to become the next generation of volunteers on the project.  You can find more information about RaPAL’s journals here:


Evaluation of the Creative English Programme

FaithAction are proud to announce the launch of an External Evaluation of the Creative English programme, completed by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.

The Creative English programme is making a positive difference to the lives of low- and intermediate-proficiency speakers of English. Learners are made welcome in an accessible, friendly, fun environment and are given the opportunity to mix with other people outside their own immediate family group, as well as being given the chance to improve their English language skills. The research process has found evidence that the programme is providing a valuable stepping stone towards greater engagement with the wider community and, in some cases, further training and increased employability.

Paper by Dr. Anne Smith

The paper, ‘Maximizing empowerment in applied theatre with refugees and migrants in the United Kingdom: Facilitation shaped by an ethic of care’ by FaithAction’s Dr. Anne Smith was published in The Journal of Arts & Communities, Volume 6, Issue 2-3. The paper draws on evidence from Creative English to argue for “the value of fostering an ethic of care within an arts project, which emphasizes the importance of facilitating a culture of agency rather than dependency for participants”.

More information on the paper can be found here.