Language for Change

Language for Change is a grant-making scheme launched by the Foundation in 2015. It has two key objectives:

  • Developing and trialling language-based interventions for ex/offenders or those working with them which will help ex/offenders with English as a Second Language to better access education, employment and rehabilitation support
  • Building and sharing knowledge about the impact of, and removal of, the language barrier to rehabilitation

The learning from the Programme partnerships and research reports has informed the development of the Foundation’s long-term strategy in criminal justice.

The Foundation’s partners are St Giles Trust, Hibiscus Initiatives, Reading Agency, Shannon Trust, and the Learning & Work Institute.

Impact from the Language for Change partnerships includes:

  • Bell Foundation partners operating in 124 out of 128 prisons
  • Resources and toolkits to adapt learning, information advice and guidance approaches to the needs of foreign national prisoners
  • The ESOL Tutor Resources Pack, specifically adapted for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tutors working in the secure estate
  • Prison support for Peer Advisor Programmes for foreign national prisoners
  • Recommended reading lists and materials for offenders who have English as an additional language in order to encourage more reading for pleasure
  • Increased numbers of learners accessing literacy programmes led by mentors

The Language for Change initiative has become part of the Foundation’s larger Criminal Justice Programme. The Foundation will be guided by research and learning in order to identify future opportunities for grant-funding to support offenders who have English as an additional language.