Sara, who hails from Eritrea, initially came to the Centre as a client in the IT room. It was when she attended an assessment that she realized in order to pass her Life in the UK test she would benefit from one to one coaching in basic reading.
I was assigned to coach Sara in October last and I was immediately struck by her determination to achieve her goal of passing the Life in the UK Test. The book we are currently using is Yes, we can Read', which uses phonetic English. I explained to Sara that we would be working at her pace throughout the course and I also told her that people often surprise themselves by underestimating their own ability. For example thinking they were unable to deal with math's and yet when challenged do know how to manage their own money. Using this principle, I used a number of advertisements in the Metro newspaper to see if Sara could recognize some of the well known brand names; needless to say she could and this certainly gave her an initial confidence in her ability to read English. To find out about volunteering at the Centre click here.
Sara has conscientiously attended all her weekly sessions and usually takes home a copy of the pages we have covered in that session so that when we revisit the previous week's work she is able to pronounce the words I have underlined for her to concentrate on. I have discovered that Sara has a liking for chocolate, and we have celebrated with a bar of Kit Kat when her homework on pronunciation, especially of vowels, has borne fruit. It is most rewarding working with Sara, who has a clear goal as to why she needs to become proficient in the English language. Written by Paul Tobin, Volunteer