Almost 25 years after moving to the UK, Zahra* started learning English with Paddock Community Trust in September 2014. Zahra grew up in the care of her grandmother in Pakistan. When she was 14, her grandmother sadly passed away and she moved to the UK. This upheaval, accompanied by the grief of losing her grandmother, […]
Almost 25 years after moving to the UK, Zahra* started learning English with Paddock Community Trust in September 2014. Zahra grew up in the care of her grandmother in Pakistan. When she was 14, her grandmother sadly passed away and she moved to the UK. This upheaval, accompanied by the grief of losing her grandmother, left her with no confidence, which was heightened by her lack of English. Unfortunately she did not enrol into school upon her arrival in the UK, so her education ended when she left Pakistan.
A false start
After getting married and having children, Zahra attempted to go to English classes but her lack of confidence meant that she left the course after one week and did not return.
Last September, Zahra decided it was time to try learning English again and found out about the courses available at Paddock Village Hall, home to Paddock Community Trust. Zahra received one-to-one support from volunteers at the centre, who made sure that she got on to the right course for her.
Although she was nervous about her first session, Zahra said that she was made to feel very safe and comfortable, which gave her the strength to keep coming back. With each session her English skills, confidence and motivation increased. Nearly 25 years after her move to England Zahra was finally learning English!
Despite struggling initially, Zahra worked really hard. Her confidence grew as she began to learn language which would help her in her everyday life. In December 2014, Zahra successfully completed the course, achieving her personal learning outcomes, which included increasing her confidence.
Zahra says that she is “so happy with the progress she has made so far- she has learnt skills that she has seen her children use, but she had never imagined she would be able to do these things herself. It was also great to be able to attend a course in her local area.
Taking the next steps
Throughout her course, Zahra had received advice and guidance from the careers service and tutors at Paddock Community Learning Trust who provided next step support. Zahra is enjoying learning so much that she has started another course to further develop her English skills. She has also joined the local library and is using English more at home.
Zahra is keen to do as much as she can to improve her English and skills, so in addition to her new course, she is also attending the popular Talk English CafÃ© at Paddock Village Hall, which provides an informal opportunity to talk to volunteers and other learners in English.
* The learners name has been changed to protect her identity.
Picture Credits: Paddock Village hall, Betty Longbotton, Geograph.co.uk, CC by SA 2.0