The English Second Other Language (ESOL) foundation course for Ex Gurkha families living in Doncaster

February 8, 2016

An English Second Other Language (ESOL) foundation course was run for the wives, families and the senior members of the British Gurkha Community Doncaster from 21 March 2015 to 26 Mar 2016 at the Intake Library, Doncaster. The course was funded by the Military Covenant Grant fund and Doncaster Council. The main aim of the course was to help students improve their English language skills in order for them to be able to effectively carry out their daily routine activities such as shopping, travelling on public transport, attending GP/ Hospital appointments (accessing services). It was also hoped that the course will prove to be a stepping stone for some of the students to move onto further higher levels of ESOL.

More than 60 people from the community registered and attended the course (originally designed for 40) and on the whole, the course proved to be a great success. It was clearly evident that the students have become much more confident with their language skills towards the end of the course. The course was also successful in providing the students with the self-belief, that it’s never too late to learn. The final course certificate presentation event was carried out on 02 Apr 15 at the Intake Library. The Civic Mayor (and Armed Forces Champion) Mr Paul Wray was the Chief Guest for the event together with the Veteran Support Officer, Mark Hopson and the Community Library Development Manager Ms Sharon Collins.

Members of the British Gurkha Community receive their English Language course certificates in Doncaster
Members of the British Gurkha Community receive their English Language course certificates in Doncaster

The personal experiences shared by some of the students about the course are as follows:

Mr Ha Parsad Pun (68) –“I used to be nervous and lacked confidence when going out on my own mainly due to the language issues. However, I now feel much more confident after the course”.

Mrs Bimala Rai (58) – “The course has immensely helped me raising my self confidence as I am now able to understand people better and find it’s easier to express myself which has made a world of difference to the quality of my life”

Mr Jok Bahadur (74) – “With the help from the course, now I am slowly finding it’s easier to attend my GP/Hospital appointment and going for shopping on my own. It has motivated me to keep trying to learn furthermore”

Mrs Kendra Limbu (41) – “The course has been able to raise my confidence and self belief as it has enabled me to go on with my daily activities such as shopping and using public transport without much help from other people. Thanks to the course, I am now also able to interact with people a lot better”.

Finally, the British Gurkha Community Doncaster offer our sincere thanks to the Veteran Support Officer Mr Mark Hopson for his tireless hard work to find the funding and the Doncaster Council for kindly authorising the funding for the course. We are much obliged and grateful to the council for this support. We would also like to thank the Tutors and the volunteer youth teachers for their hard work in making it a successful course. Last but not least, we are also much thankful to the community Library development team for providing us with assisted financial support of the venue, Intake Community Library.

Lastly, we remain optimistic that we will be receiving similar help & support from the council and Veteran Support in the future, in order for us to be able to run similar useful courses/ projects for the community.

Published: February 2016

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