Talking Together Online Pilot
After 6 years of providing our beginner level, volunteer led ESOL classes in the community, our Talking Together project came to an end in March 2020. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re now trialling using Zoom to provide conversation groups to support our former Talking Together learners to continue learning English.
Over the next few months, we’ll be offering conversational sessions led by our volunteers focused on topics that of interest and importance to our learners such as health and well-being, interacting with their children’s schools, and accessing public services.
Many of the learners that we work with have struggled to practise English during the lockdown so these groups provide a vital safe space for them to talk in English with other learners, whilst guided by our trained volunteers.
As these quotes from our volunteers show, these informal conversational sessions can improve learners confidence in using English, help them to access other services and support, and they’re a great way to make new friends!
“The group offered a safe space for the learners to not only speak English but to share difficult experiences and feel supported. They all seemed to feel that they had benefited from being there… The Talking Groups are a very simple and effective means of cementing the language skills from the Talking Together course and helping the learners to feel confident in accessing further ESOL provision.”
“The best (and most rewarding) example of progression was one learner who said she had never attended a single parents’ evening (her children have been attending school for 11 years). She said she didn’t have the confidence to attend, and that her husband always attended as his English was better than hers. After we did a session on parents’ evenings which included some role play, the learner told me (and promised me) she was planning to attend the next parents’ evening for one of her children.”