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News: We’ve expanded our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course offer!

Group photo of staff and students
ESOL cohort

Our new ESOL+ programme gives students the opportunity to enhance their employability skills by pursuing a specific career pathway alongside studying ESOL

We have a range of courses aimed at developing knowledge of different vocational routes, including ESOL Automotive, Volunteering to Support English in the Classroom, and Science. These short courses aim to equip students with the skills to progress to a higher-level college course or employment.

We spoke to two of our current ESOL+ students to find out more. 

Albana Bisha - ESOL Skills for Life Level 2 and Level 1 Award Volunteering in the ESOL Classroom

Albana Bisha

49-year-old Albana Bisha moved to the UK from Albania in 2014 to create a better life for her and her two young children. After living in the UK for a year, she decided to enrol on an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course at the college to improve her opportunities. She said:

Image of Albana smiling

When I first joined the college, I felt shy and embarrassed not knowing any English, but the teachers were so friendly and welcoming. I soon made new friends and my confidence began to grow 

Albana Bisha — ESOL student

Eight years on and Albana has progressed through pre-entry levels 1,2 and 3, to ESOL Level 1, and now she’s honing her skills even further on the Level 2 ESOL programme, alongside our brand new ESOL + pathway course — Volunteering to Support English in the Classroom.

The new volunteering pathway enables ESOL students to support fellow students in the classroom, helping them to improve their literacy skills. Back in her home country, Albana wanted to become a maths teacher but was never given that chance. With her new-found skills, she hopes to work with primary school children as a teaching assistant. She said:

The motivation, encouragement and support I’ve had from my ESOL teachers is amazing. The college has changed my life 100%! 

With the qualifications I’ve achieved, I now feel like a good role model for my children, who are both at university. I hope to put the skills and confidence I’ve gained on the ESOL+ course to good use by supporting young children to progress at school. 

Albana Bisha — ESOL student

Jamal Isshk – ESOL Skills for Life Level 1 and ESOL Entry 3 Automotive

Jamal came to the UK from Libya in 2021. He’s a trained mechanic but without an English-recognised qualification, he is unable to work in the automotive industry here in the UK. This course is not only refreshing his industry skills but is also improving his English vocabulary even further and building his confidence, so that he can be in a position to apply for jobs in a field he really enjoys.

He said:

Jamal at London Road

I enjoy learning with the group because we have similar backgrounds. I already know a lot about repairing cars, but this course is helping me learn the English terms and vocabulary I will need to get a job. I hope to move up to the Level 1 or Level 2 mechanics course at the college this September to improve even more and then I’ll have the qualifications to start a career. 

Jamal Isshk — ESOL student

Lisa Brookes (Advanced Practitioner — ESOL) said: 

This is the first time we have run the ESOL+ courses and they have been a great success. It has been a great opportunity for ESOL students to develop vocational skills with the Automotive department at London Road and the Science department at the Hub. Students on the Level 1 Volunteering course are also really enjoying their placements in ESOL classrooms at the Adams Building, assisting teachers with low literacy ESOL students. The courses offer a great pathway to vocational courses, an opportunity to develop their employability skills and a chance for different departments at the college to work collaboratively together. 

Lisa Brookes — Advanced Practitioner (ESOL)

Linda McDonald (ESOL Head of Faculty) said: 

One of the key challenges for ESOL learners progressing on to vocational courses or into employment is having enough specialist or technical language to enable them to thrive. They often already have experience working in the areas from their lives in their home countries so ESOL+ provides a great stepping stone to support the transition back into this employment or on to further vocational training. We are looking forward to expanding the offer further for 2024/25.

Linda McDonald — ESOL Head of Faculty
Published on:
  • 12th March 2024 (1:58 PM)
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