Today we would like you to meet Fatima, a learner in our Initial English as an Additional Language (EAL) class. And, this semester we are excited to share her experiences learning English with you! A big thank you to Fatima for her generosity in sharing her story and Assunta, her teacher, for writing it for us.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to leave your homeland and move to a country on the other side of the world? Far from all your family and friends and support networks? A country with a language you don’t understand? A country with a different way of life? Different foods? Different shops, laws and procedures? Add to this the fact that you were unable to attend school in your own country or perhaps only attended a few years of primary school. While you are a fluent speaker in your mother tongue or fluent in several others, you can’t read or write. Imagine then suddenly finding yourself in an English classroom where no one speaks your language and you find yourself holding a pencil for the first time?
Meet Fatima. This is her reality. Fatima comes from Afghanistan and speaks Pashto, Dari and Urdu. She commenced her learning journey at Prace at the beginning of the year. Settling quickly into the classroom routine, Fatima has become a much-loved member of the class. She attends 3 face to face classes and 1 online class each week and has not missed one lesson. Her enthusiasm and desire to learn is infectious. This commitment is strengthened by the help Fatima receives at home from her supportive family.
In such a short time, Fatima has realised that by attending class regularly and frequently revising and completing homework tasks, her confidence in English has grown. Fatima has learnt lots of new words throughout the semester both in class and at home. Furthermore, she has developed the confidence to try to communicate with her teachers and the other students, and is now starting to help other students in class.
Last semester Fatima learnt to write her name, address and contact details independently. She is now able to put the letters of the alphabet in order from memory, recognise and write all 52 lower- and upper-case letters and copy from the board. She can link letter names with their sounds and has started to sound out short familiar words.
It has been a pleasure to watch Fatima learn and develop her skills – as her teacher I get to witness and guide her and all her classmates on this amazing learning journey. Let’s check in with her later in the year and see how she is progressing.
Do you know someone interested in learning English? Find our more about our EAL classes here.