ESOL students celebrate achievements at awards ceremony

The Mayor of Hackney, Phillip Glanville and the Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Soraya Adejare, joined a celebration at the Hackney Empire last week for over 180 local residents who have recently completed an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course.

Hundreds of residents have attended ESOL courses over the past year, which helps people access further education and improve prospects for employment.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Learning to speak English means so much more than just understanding the language. It allows everyone to take part in the civic, economic and cultural life of this fantastic, diverse borough. We’re incredibly proud to provide ESOL classes in Hackney and support people to access opportunities, whether that’s through helping them to find work, helping them to feel a part of the community or just making it easier to go about their daily life.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Hackney Adult Learning Services provides more than 25 ESOL courses for the borough’s adult learners, which take place in accessible venues across the borough, including children’s centres, primary schools, community organisations, libraries and museums. They are a place where adults who have come to Hackney from across the world can come to improve their English, supporting them to become more independent and involved in the community.

Saba Khan, who came to the borough from Pakistan, achieved a learner of the year award. She was the last to join the class in April and passed all her exams in June. She wants to be a beautician and is currently studying a level 2 beauty course. She said: “I’ve learned so much – more than I thought I would. Before joining the class I didn’t have many friends and only spoke a few words of English. I can now have a full conversation and have met new people, and it has helped with my confidence. I am so proud of myself.”

Awards were also given to members of staff who had gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting the delivery of ESOL.

Katrin Karlsdottir, Centre Manager at Wentworth Children’s Centre, said: “It is wonderful seeing the learners go through each of the levels and improve their skills. They are wonderful people with stories to tell – they teach us so much!”

To join an ESOL class, potential students need to attend an ESOL advice session, where an adviser will check their level of English before helping them find a class which will best suit their needs.

Advice sessions take place regularly at five venues across Hackney. For more information call 020 8820 7043, email esol@learningtrust.co.uk or visit www.learningtrust.co.uk/esol.