Veena Torchia tells us more about English teaching at Crisis, IH London's involvement, and the difference English language lessons can make to homeless people.
The Learning Zone Skylight at Crisis is a bit like a 'mini college'. It offers homeless people accredited courses in a range of different subjects including English as a second language (ESOL), Literacy, Numeracy, Health and Safety, Food Safety, IT and Bookkeeping. We also have an English Club for learners who prefer more hands-on teaching methods.
Our English language learners come from all over the world and we work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers who are all at risk of homelessness.
Activities for ESOL learners
During the ESOL course we go on trips and attend workshops at places like the Tower of London, the Wallace Collection, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace, the British Museum and the British Library. We are sometimes invited to exhibition previews at the British Museum: last term we saw the Ancient Egyptians' Book of the Dead.
Graduating in style
Each term finishes with a graduation ceremony where we celebrate our students' success and present them with certificates. There are also opportunities for students to showcase their work over the term, for example films, poetry, readings, songs and displays. Trustees, partners and ministers all come to the graduation ceremonies. The next one is on 17 March 2011.
IH London's English teachers
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CEO of IH Trust, Steve Brent, and his wonderful trustees for their support and assistance in the delivery of ESOL. So far we have been helped by two full time IH London English teachers; Jemima and Jagtar.
Jemima and Jagtar have taught a wide range of ESOL students from beginner through to those ready to take their IELTS test. Their innovative teaching methods are really effective - for example - using music and film in their lessons. This has made their classes engaging and enjoyable and always well attended! We have gained a lot from their EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching methods, and they have developed their experience and skills in working with vulnerable people.
Veena Torchia is a Senior Tutor in the ESOL department at homeless charity Crisis.