Empowering English language learners at the Crisis Graduation Ceremony

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This week IH London teacher and trainer David Riddell attended the student graduation ceremony at Crisis.

Crisis is a homeless charity that we work closely with to provide English lessons for speakers of other languages (ESOL). The International House Trust sponsors a teacher to work at Crisis to help improve the students’ English speaking and writing skills, as well as their confidence.

The graduation ceremony at Crisis is a regular event to recognise the students’ achievement in a range of different courses. David reports here on the graduation ceremony experience:

“It was my great pleasure to once again attend the Graduation ceremony at Crisis, and to once again experience the amazing atmosphere that exists on these occasions.

One by one, students received certificates for their work in a multitude of courses offered. As well as ESOL, the centre offers Maths Through Cooking, Hat Making, Strictly Skylight, Beginners Guitar and a host of other courses.

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It was a joy to see the look on people’s faces as they received their certificates – such pride and achievement, and gratitude, too, for being able to not only study in such an environment, but also to feel part of the Crisis family. There is the overwhelming feeling of the Crisis centre being like a family home with great love and support evident everywhere you look.

There were inspirational testimonies of achievement from students, and humbling life stories. We heard from one person receiving a special recognition certificate after her studies led to her starting her own business selling Ethiopian bread!

We witnessed a fantastic dance display from Strictly Skylight which would surely even have got a ‘10’ from Craig Revel-Horwood! And the whole audience joined in singing a special song for the occasion.

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It was good to meet Jagtar and Liam, the IH London teachers working at Crisis, and to hear about their projects. As well as the ESOL courses that Liam runs, Jagtar teaches a range of courses including a women-only IELTS course, and a Literacy and Cultural Affairs course.

Above all, though, I noticed the pride not only in the faces and speeches of students, but also in the faces and speeches of staff members. The commitment and dedication of staff is obvious, as is the joy they share with their students when achievement is recognised. For them this not just ‘a job’ it is part of their life.

Crisis is hugely appreciative of the support they receive from IHL, but we at IHL are also deeply grateful to be part of the work they do and we look forward to many more years’ collaboration.”

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