Today we visited one of our new Talk English Courses at Stoneyholme Community Primary School in Burnley, which is taught by Shabana, Luthfa and Asma. As well as the Talk English Courses on offer, the school provides lots of opportunities for parents of children at the school, as well as members of the wider community […]
Today we visited one of our new Talk English Courses at Stoneyholme Community Primary School in Burnley, which is taught by Shabana, Luthfa and Asma. As well as the Talk English Courses on offer, the school provides lots of opportunities for parents of children at the school, as well as members of the wider community , including activities for over 50s, employability skills, drop-in advice and information sessions and skill sharing sessions.
Shabana, one of the volunteer teachers, also has children at the school and has always lived in the area. After completing a teacher training course with Talk English, Shabana started teaching the class last month and is really enjoying her experience as a volunteer and says that she can already see the difference the course has made to the learners-.
â€œSome of the learners didnt answer questions at first, but by coming to classes, they are building their confidenceâ€
A lot of her learners haved moved to the area from Pakistan or Bangladesh, and speak Bengali, Pashto or Urdu. Before starting the course, all of the learners had an informal interview to find out their level of English. Shabana and her co-teachers used this opportunity to help them plan their course:
â€œWhen I started doing the assessments with them, I actually asked the learners what kind of things they wanted to learn, so I got feedback off them and they said making appointments, ringing into school when their child is absent, so were focusing on speaking and confidence building.â€
She has found her learners want to learn English so that they can be more independent:
â€œA lot of the learners are dependent on family members to go for doctors appointments, the dentist, so they just want to be more independent and learn the language.â€
When asked what she was getting out of the project, Shabana, who is really friendly and outgoing, told us:
â€œI love all the people that come to my class- there are some bubbly ones, some quiet ones, some shy ones, but we are getting there. Some are still shy, but they are managing to say their name, their addresses.â€
Volunteering as a teacher with Talk English has also opened up new possibilities for Shabana as she is hoping to start another teacher training course through the project and in future she would like to get into ESOL teaching.
If you would like to get involved in the Talk English project in Burnley, Hyndburn or Pendle, get in touch with Samina from Lancashire Adult Learning to find out about learning and training opportunities.