The Formation of Social Capital for Refugee Students: An Exploration of ESOL Settings in Two Further Education colleges

Anastasia Dimitriadou


This study explores the role of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classrooms as social networks that provide its members, the refugee students, with social capital, which could be used to ease their integration into British society.

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a pilot study that explored the contribution of Further Education colleges to refugee integration, by analysing the processes of social capital formation for refugee students.

The findings confirmed ESOL students' diversity in terms of ethnicity, educational background and professional experiences and indicated that colleges as educational institutions do not differentiate between refugee and migrant students. In addition, colleges participating in this study were cooperating with the local community in order to promote the quality of ESOL provision and enabled social capital formation for refugee students.

Whether this social capital has any value for refugees' integration depends on refugee students' willingness to use this resource and their acceptance by the wider social structure.

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